EDDYVILLE — The North Mahaska baseball team doesn't play in many weekend tournaments.
In fact, there's only been one tournament on the Warhawks schedule each of the past three years.
"We only play in this tournament," said head coach Kevin Kelderman said after North Mahaska claimed the championship at the Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont tournament. After winning a wild 12-10 contest with Pekin at Ron Welsch Field, Luke Roose and Sam Terpstra pitched the Warhawks to a 4-1 win over the Rockets in the finals.
The win was the third in the span of two days, erasing a 1-3 start to the season. The wins were the first for the Warhawks in the EBF tournament since joining the four-team field with Pekin, Pella Christian and EBF in 2015.
"We kind of look at tournaments a little bit different," Kelderman said. "We look at playing good defense and good team-oriented baseball. We want to attack the ball and becoming better hitters.
"We only go to this tournament and it was rained out last year, so I'm pretty sure for most of our guys this is the first tournament championship they've experienced."
EBF head coach Thomas Hallgren had hoped that athletic director Curt Johnston would presenting that team championship trophy to the Rockets. Things started out well for EBF on Saturday, less than 24 hours after dropping both games in a South Central Conference doubleheader with defending Class 2A state champion Centerville.
Wyatt Klyn's two-run homer in the very first inning rallied the Rockets after allowing the first run of the tournament to Pella Christian in Saturday's opening game. EBF added three more runs in the third and never looked back, sending the Eagles into the consolation contest with a 9-2 win in a game that started the tournament just over 12 hours after the final pitch was thrown in Friday's second game with Centerville at 10 a.m.
The Rockets (5-3) again scored in the opening inning of the championship game when Jaden Herr walked, stole two bases and eventually scored to put EBF up 1-0 against North Mahaska. It would be the 10th and final run scored by the Rockets in their home tournament as Roose and Terpstra allowed just three hits over the final six innings of the final contest.
"Fatigue definitely played a part in how we played in the final game. I didn't do a good enough job getting the guys ready," Hallgren said. "We need to get adjusted to preparing to play on back-to-back days and learn how to grind out wins. It's not something the guys have to learn. It's just something they need to get back in the groove of experiencing as we go along and play more games this season."
The Warhawks (4-3) had to rally in the seventh inning of Saturday's second contest to earn a place in the finals, scoring five times in the seventh inning to edge Pekin in a back-and-forth semifinal. Run-scoring hits by Dylan Shipley and Terpstra erased an 8-7 lead for the Panthers, who fell to 3-2 on the season after losing to Pella Christian, 8-4, in the third-place contest.
Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 9, Pella Christian 2
PC 100 010 0 — 2 7 2
EBF 203 004 x — 9 8 3
Pella Christian battery — Devin Haveman (L, 0-1) (4 1/3IP, 7H, 5R, 4ER, 3K, 3BB) and Matthew Bokhoven (1 2/3IP, 3H, 4R, 4ER, K, 3BB), Lawson Bruxvoort catching.
2B — Blake Veenstra.
Hits — Bokhoven 3-4, Kyle Branderhorst 1-3, Bruxvoort 1-3, Haveman 1-3, Veenstra 1-3.
RBI — Bokhoven, Veenstra.
Runs — Bokhoven, Cole Webster.
EBF battery — Austin Johnson (W, 1-0) (4 1/3IP, 5H, 2R, 2ER, 2K, 3BB) and Adam LaRue (2 2/3IP, 2H, 2K), Zach Leonard catching.
2B — Jaden Herr, Jared McCrea.
HR — Wyatt Klyn.
Hits — Kalen Walker 2-4, McCrea 1-1, Johnson 1-2, D.J. Stout 1-2, Herr 1-3, Klyn 1-3, Trey Moore 1-3.
RBI — Herr 2, Klyn 2, Stout, Walker.
Runs — Nolan Stetter 2, Walker 2, Reilly Flaig, Johnson, Klyn, McCrea, Moore.
North Mahaska 12, Pekin 10
N.M. 002 320 5 — 12 13 3
Pekin 110 132 2 — 10 5 4
North Mahaska battery — Luke Groves (4IP, H, 3R, 2ER, 4K, 7BB, 2HBP), Jayden Steil (W) (2IP, 2H, 6R, 3ER, K, 2BB, 2HBP) and Luke Roose (IP, 2H, R, ER, K, 2BB), Jayden Stout catching.
2B — Ty Kelderman, Blake Readshaw, Logan Shipley.
Hits — Readshaw 3-4, Shipley 3-5, Lu. Roose 2-4, Steil 1-2, Groves 1-3, Kelderman 1-3, Le. Roose 1-4, Sam Terpstra 1-4.
RBI — Shipley 3, Terpstra 3, Kelderman, Lu. Roose.
Runs — Readshaw 3, Dylan Klinker 2, Le. Roose 2, Lu. Roose 2, Kelderman, Shipley, Terpstra.
Pekin battery — Tugg Hill, Alex Solomon, Chase Stansberry (L) and Gage Gilliam, Quinn Ledger catching.
Hits — Mason Juhl 2-4, Brady Latcham 1-3, Ledger 1-3, Stansberry 1-5.
RBI — Juhl 2, Ledger, Stansberry.
Runs — Tanner Bainbridge 2, Juhl 2, Kennan Winn 2, Cael Baker, Hill, Latcham, Ledger.
North Mahaska 4, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont 1
NM 010 030 0 — 4 6 2
EBF 100 000 0 — 1 3 1
North Mahaska battery — Luke Roose (4IP, H, R, ER, K, 4BB) and Sam Terpstra (W, 1-0) (3IP, 2H), Dylan Klinker catching.
Hits — Dodge Duke 1-3, Klinker 1-3, Luke Roose 1-3, Grant Smith 1-3, Sam Terpstra 1-3, Blake Readshaw 1-4.
RBI — Duke, Ty Kelderman, Readshaw.
Runs — Duke, Klinker, Readshaw, Smith.
EBF battery — Thayne Alexander (L, 0-1) (6 2/3IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 6K, BB) and Trey Moore, Mason Roberts catching.
2B — Kalen Walker.
Hits — Nolan Stetter 1-2, D.J. Stout 1-2, Walker 1-4.
Runs — Jaden Herr.