WINTHROP – Caleb Banowetz had already been on a bit of a roll at the plate.
But the Calamus-Wheatland junior took it to another level during Monday’s Tri-Rivers Conference baseball doubleheader with East Buchanan.
After collecting 12 hits – five of them home runs – and 11 RBIs the previous week, Banowetz feasted on Buccaneers pitching, setting team records with three home runs and 10 RBIs in the Warriors’ 21-7 victory in the opener and then belting two more home runs in a 19-0 rout to finish the sweep.
Banowetz is the first Iowa baseball prep since 2016 to hit three home runs in one game and he is just the 19th player to collect at least 10 RBIs.
The junior belted his first homer – a three-run shot – right away in the first inning and the Warriors jumped out to a 5-0 lead after Max Hansen and Lane VanderHeiden added to the three early runs with doubles.
Cal-Wheat plated three more runs in the second – Banowetz drove in Chase Knoche with a triple and scored, himself, on a groundout by Brant Boeckmann, while Tyler Rowold and Hansen hit back-to-back doubles – then took control of the game with a nine-run fourth inning.
Hunter Rickels opened the inning with a single to bring up Banowetz, who promptly slugged his second home run of the game.
Cal-Wheat scored again on an RBI-groundout and then loaded the bases. Knoche drove in one run when he earned a walk before Rickels cleared the bases with a triple.
Banowetz was up next and he homered again – becoming the 31st Iowa baseball player to homer twice in one inning – to make it 17-2.
The Buccaneers came back with five runs in the bottom of the fourth, but a four-run fifth inning – Rickels drove in two runs with a double, Banowetz knocked in two more with a single – helped the Warriors end things early.
Banowetz finished with five hits, including three home runs and a triple, and 10 RBIs, but he was far from the only Warrior to have a big game at the plate.
Cal-Wheat piled up 18 hits and 13 of them went for extra bases.
Hansen, Rickels, Rowold, and VanderHeiden all hit two doubles in the game, while Rickels, who finished with four hits, five RBIs, and four runs scored, also clubbed a triple.
Boeckmann added two singles – Seth Beuthien scored three times – and earned the victory on the mound, allowing just four hits and two runs in three innings of work.
The Warriors scored in all four innings they batted in the nightcap, highlighted by a 10-run third inning.
Knoche opened the game with a lead-off triple, while Rickels, Banowetz, Boeckmann, and Brian Forret all hit singles to stake Cal-Wheat to a 4-0 lead in the first inning.
The Warriors scored twice more in the second. Connor Scheer was hit by a pitch and came around on a Rickels groundout, while Banowetz hit yet another home run.
The first seven hitters in the third inning reached safely with the seventh – Rickels – clearing the bases with a three-run triple.
Cal-Wheat scored four more runs after the triple, the last coming on another triple, this one by VanderHeiden.
Three final runs in the fourth provided the capper. Banowetz hit his fifth home run of the night to score Rickels, and Rowold got in on the action with his own solo home run.
Cal-Wheat had 14 hits, including a team-high three from Banowetz, who drove in four runs and scored two more.
Knoche, Rickels, VanderHeiden, and Rowold each had two hits. The first three all socked triples, while the latter belted his third home run of the season.
Rickels drove in a team-high five runs and Rowold scored three runs (Knoche, Rickels, Boeckmann, Hansen, and Scheer all joined Banowetz with two runs). Forret drove in three runs and teamed with Rowold to earn the shutout on the mound.
Forret allowed just four hits and struck out three, while Rowold did not allow a hit in relief.