The Pella High baseball team saw their season come to a close last night with a 7-2 loss to Norwalk in the opening round of the Class 3A District tournament in a game broadcast live on 92.1 FM KRLS.
For three and a half innings the two conference foes were neck and neck with Pella clinging to a 2-1 lead, but a missed opportunity by the Little Dutch in the top of the fourth inning proved to be the difference maker. Pella loaded the bases but was unable to produce a run, opening the door for the Warriors who responded with four runs off five hits in the bottom of the inning, then added two more runs in the fifth off a two run homerun and Pella was unable to mount any comeback in the final two innings. Pella head coach Aaron Reasland said that inning changed the entire flow of the game:
“Baseball is a game of momentum and you gotta keep it in your dugout. Unfortunately going into the fourth inning we had a big opportunity with bases loaded but couldn’t get it done, then they (Norwalk) were able to come back in the bottom half and put some pretty good swings on the ball. Our guys got a little bit flustered I think. You gotta bounce back…that’s a life lesson people need to learn..you can’t let one mistake turn into two”
Schyler Kane was solid on the hill for Pella holding Norwalk to just two hits until that fourth inning. He suffered the loss pitching 4 1/3 innings allowing eight hits including two homeruns while striking out five and walking just one. Jacob Gleason pitched the final 1 2/3 innings allowing just one hit while striking out two. The loss also ends the careers of five seniors Chris Bandstra, Nick Gerdes, Ryan Lanke, Teelan Paulson and Alan Pfadenhauer who Reasland says have been the backbone of the program’s success:
“When I started here they were the first group I got to work with and we said all along that they’re gonna be the catalyst that turns this program around, they’re gonna be the energy that jump starts things and they’ll be the leaders that’ll show the underclassmen someday how we do things in Pella…Holy smokes have they done that..If you ask any one of our underclassmen they all would agree those seniors have played a huge role in the success we’ve had”
Pella ends their season 19-15 overall.