MOUNT VERNON – On a night that featured a rain delay, 30 combined hits, and two opponents separated by more than 250 miles of Iowa countryside, there was very little normal about the Northeast baseball team’s regular season finale Tuesday.
Playing Denison-Schleswig (located about an hour from the Nebraska border) in a non-conference tilt at Cornell College in Mount Vernon, the Rebels piled up 14 hits.
But the Monarchs — who are playing three different eastern Iowa foes in three different college venues in three days — were even better, collecting 16 hits, (including nine during an 11-run push late) to erase a pair of Northeast leads in a 16-7 victory.
The two teams got a late start as afternoon storms drenched the diamond and delayed the first pitch until after 8 p.m.
After a scoreless first inning, the Rebels struck first.
Doing all of its damage with two outs, Northeast loaded the bases on three straight singles by Dane Johnson, Kael Parson, and Jimmy Weispfenning.
Dakota Stevenson hit a tapper in front of the mound, and his push to first forced a quick throw. The Monarchs’ resulting offering sailed over the first baseman’s head, allowing the Rebels to clear the bases.
The next batter, Riley Wolfe, followed with a hit to right to plate Stevenson from second, and Northeast had a 4-0 lead.
The Rebels escaped their own jam in the bottom of the second — Denison-Schleswig loaded the bases with nobody out, but then hit a pop-fly to Rebels catcher Ty Cain and a grounder that turned into a 6-4-3 double play — but the Monarchs struck for four runs of their own in the bottom of the third.
The score did not stay tied for long as Cade Hughes and Anthony Adney drove in Weispfenning and Wolfe, respectively, with singles in the fourth.
Denison-Schleswig, though, got a run back in the fourth and then sent 10 batters to the plate in both the fifth and sixth innings, scoring five times in the former frame and six times in the latter to pull away.
Wolfe, who scored Northeast’s final run in the sixth, led the team with three hits, and made the start on the mound, spreading out six hits and allowing four runs, three earned, with two strikeouts (Adney and Weispfenning combined for two strikeouts in relief).
Caleb Gruhn, Johnson, and Weispfenning all had two hits with Weispfenning joining Wolfe with two runs scored.
It was the second neutral-site game in as many days for the Rebels (5-20 overall, 4-13 in River Valley play), who hosted Mid-Prairie Monday night at NelsonCorp Field in Clinton — the home of the LumberKings.
The Golden Hawks also struck late, turning a 1-0 lead into a 6-0 victory behind five runs over the final two innings.
Stevenson and Hughes combined to allow seven hits on the mound, while striking out four batters.
Wolfe and Hughes provided Northeast’s hits in the contest, with Stevenson earning a walk.