Eagles open 5-1 in TRC; Harms fires no-hitter



     Five wins in six Tri-Rivers Conference games made for a strong start to the 2017 season for the Midland baseball team.

     Midland (5-1 conference, 5-2 overall) started the season with a no-hitter and a pair of hitting barrages, beating Clinton Prince of Peace 11-0 and 12-2, both in five innings, May 25 in Clinton. Connor Harms pitched a no-hitter in the first game, striking out 11 and walking four.

     “I was very impressed with Connor being able to finish out this game,” Midland coach Ryan Steines said. “He had a lot of borderline pitches that didn’t go his way. He was able to limit the walks, and even got himself out of a jam by picking a kid off. Everyone contributed at the plate in some way.”

     The Eagles had 12 hits. Austin Smith batted 3-for-3 with a double. Wilson Buckwalter was 2-for-3 with four runs batted in. Harms and Eli Spillman had two hits apiece; Harms knocked in two runs.

     Midland collected 16 hits in the second game. Austin Smith was 2-for-3 with an inside-the-park home run and three RBIs. Fisher Bisinger and Britan Martens both went 3-for-4; Martens drove in two runs. Others getting two hits each were Alex Smith, Landon Hunter and Buckwalter. Harms had two RBIs. Bisinger pitched a three-hitter for the win, striking out 11 and walking none.

     “Fisher pitched a nice game as well,” Steines said.

     On May 30, the Eagles played host to North Linn in a doubleheader, and split the two games.

     North Linn won the first game 5-1 in nine innings, scoring four in the top of the ninth. Midland had seven hits. Austin Smith was 2-for-4, and Bisinger had a double.

     Midland won the second game 4-1, scoring three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning, on a bases-clearing double by Jensen Dodge, to break a 1-1 tie. Austin Smith batted 2-for-3 with a double. Bisinger pitched all seven innings, allowing four hits and striking out five.

     Midland came back with a doubleheader sweep at Easton Valley June 1, by scores of 6-3 and 17-0. The Eagles scored three runs in the top of the sixth inning in the first game, breaking a 3-3 tie. Austin Smith, Buckwalter and Hunter had two hits apiece. Austin Smith had a triple and a double, and Alex Smith hit a double. Bisinger had three RBIs. Austin Smith, pitching in relief of Buckwalter, picked up the win.

     “We were very balanced offensively, with 10 people having at least one hit and nine players having at least one RBI,” Steines said.

     Pitchers Dodge, Martens and Alex Smith combined on a two-hitter in the second game. Midland had 13 hits, including two each from Alex Smith, Harms and Hunter. Austin Smith, Harms, Bisinger, Martens and Hunter had two RBIs apiece.

     Midland closed the week with a single game at Bellevue June 2, and lost 8-5. Six Eagle errors led to seven unearned runs for the Comets.

     “We really have to learn from this game and understand that we need to show up ready to play every night,” Steines said.



     Midland opened its softball season with six games, but was unable to come away with a victory.

     The Eagles (0-4, 0-6) opened the season at the Central City tournament May 27. Midland’s first game was a narrow loss, 10-9 to Clayton Ridge, which scored the winning run in the bottom of the fifth inning. Midland had five hits. Emma Paulsen pitched and took the loss.

     “We played very well, I thought, for it being the first game and coming off a season like last year’s,” Midland coach Dustin Klein said. “We had three errors in the first and fourth innings, which allowed four runs in each inning. Emma Paulsen pitched a good game overall for it being her first outing. If we can clean up the errors and get the bats going, we will have a good season.”

     Midland then played Marion, and lost 13-1 in four innings. Anna Roseland and Ari Hacke had the Eagle hits. Emma Dusanek scored the Midland run, driven in by Paulsen.

     “I was proud that they played tough, and held the game to one error,” Klein said.

     The Eagles went on to play host to North Linn May 30 in a doubleheader to open the Tri-Rivers Conference season, and lost by scores of 10-0 in five innings and 16-0 in four. Midland was held without a hit in the first game. Ella Rupp and Taylor Bahnsen took walks.

     In the nightcap, Paulsen had the Eagles’ only hit, a double.

     “Things are starting to click with our young team,” Klein said. “We only had three errors on the night. North Linn just hits the ball very well.

     “This team will find wins this year.”

     The Eagles almost found one in the first game of a June 1 doubleheader at Easton Valley. Midland scored six runs in the third inning to take a 6-5 lead, but wound up losing 10-7. Paulsen had a double and two RBIs in the game.

     Midland lost the second game 13-0 in three innings, and was unable to get a base hit.



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