CENTRAL CITY — Every pitcher appreciates some insurance runs when they are on the mound.
And the Calamus-Wheatland baseball team gave senior Brian Forret more than enough support in the seventh inning of Thursday’s Tri-Rivers Conference contest with Central City.
Already leading 7-1 thanks to five runs the inning before, the Warriors sent 19 players to the plate in the seventh, amassing 10 hits and four walks along the way.
The result was a monster 16-run eruption that turned a comfortable lead into a 23-1 rout.
Cal-Wheat batted through its lineup before it even recorded an out with Jacob Anderson (two singles) and Caleb Banowetz (a double and a home run) coming up with two hits in the inning.
That clinched the win for Forret, who allowed just four hits and a single run in six innings of work, while striking out 10. Chase Knoche pitched a scoreless bottom of the seventh in relief.
Banowetz led the Warriors, who recorded 12 of their 14 hits in the sixth and seventh innings, with three hits — including the home run — four runs and four RBIs.
Seth Beuthien, Austin Henning and Anderson all added two hits. Beuthien and Anderson were two of four Warriors — Cole VanderHeiden and Connor Scheer were the others — to score three times, while Henning belted a home run in the second inning and joined VanderHeiden with three RBIs.
It was the third game in as many nights for Cal-Wheat, which made up Monday’s rainout by knocking off Maquoketa Valley, 6-0, on Wednesday.
Despite the six runs, hits were hard to come by for both sides as the Warriors and Wildcats each had just two hits.
Cal-Wheat, though, scored twice in the fourth inning without a hit and then used one of their hits — a triple by Knoche — plus two walks, an error and an RBI-groundout to plate four more runs in the fifth.
That was plenty of support for VanderHeiden, who allowed just two hits and struck out eight. Scheer, meanwhile, earned the final two outs.
Henning had the Warriors’ other hit — he singled to lead off the second — but Cal-Wheat also earned five walks and took advantage of three Maquoketa Valley errors.
The Warriors opened their week with a non-conference battle with Camanche that was held at NelsonCorp Field, the home of the Clinton LumberKings.
The Indians secured the early momentum with two runs in the bottom of the first and withstood a Cal-Wheat rally in the middle innings to claim a 5-3 victory.
Camanche’s early push came after the Warriors missed out on their own bases-loaded threat — three consecutive singles by Beuthien, Banowetz and VanderHeiden — in the top of the inning.
It was a three-run lead when Cal-Wheat broke through in the fourth as Forret doubled to the wall in left-center, scoring Henning all the way from first.
Camanche got the run back on an errant pick-off attempt, but the Warriors pulled within one when Beuthien and Banowetz both earned walks and then scored on a double by Scheer.
The Indians, though, seized the momentum right back with a steal of home and Cal-Wheat had just one baserunner the rest of the way.
Beuthien, Banowetz, VanderHeiden, Scheer, Henning and Forret had the Cal-Wheat hits with Scheer and Forret providing the RBIs.
Banowetz allowed six hits, while striking out 12 Indians.