AGWSR Cougar head baseball coach Dave Showalter will tell you that his team is not good enough to take a breath and expect to just win. Despite a solid start to the season, which has included four last at bat wins, facing a winless rival is a dangerous proposition.
Monday night in Grundy Center, however, AGWSR avoided the upset. Exploding out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, the Cougars beat the rival Spartans 12-4. They did it with 15 hits and 10 stolen bases.
If ever there was a chance to win easy, this was it for the Cougars. The Spartans have lost all nine of their games this season, with an average difference of more than seven runs. AGWSR came in at 5-1 on the season, which also came with a 3-1 mark in the North Iowa Cedar League-West.
From the get-go, the visitors controlled things. A leadoff single by Josh Bartling was followed by a single from Liam Stubbe to score him. Matt Pfaltzgraff was hit by a pitch before the Spartans recorded their first out. Singles by Luke Starr and Ben Macy plated the next two runs.
GC got on the board with one in the home second, but the Cougars responded in the fifth with all the extra runs they would need. The verse started with a Brody Roder single. He stole second, went to third on a groundout, and scored on an error. Keon Huffman later came around to score on a wild pitch after reaching on a fielder's choice.
The Cougars added five more in the sixth on five base hits, a walk, an error, and two wild pitches. Those insurance runs, along with two more in the seventh, held the Spartans off after they scored three in the bottom of the sixth.
Stubbe moved to 3-0 on the mound with a nine strikeout performance. He had an even better night at the plate, going 4-4 with two runs batted in and three runs scored.