WYOMING – One milestone has put the Calamus-Wheatland baseball team on the verge of another.
With pitchers Max Hansen and Caleb Banowetz both tossing one-hitters, the Warriors – ranked fourth in Class 1A – swept a Wednesday matinee doubleheader with Midland, winning the opener, 11-1, and the nightcap, 7-0.
The two victories were the 25th and 26th of the season for Cal-Wheat setting a program record for wins in a single season, breaking the old mark of 24 set in 2010 and 2017.
The two victories also left the Warriors just two wins away from their first Tri-Rivers Conference crown. The team is set to play Prince of Peace in a doubleheader Monday, one victory would clinch a share of the league title and a sweep would give Cal-Wheat the outright crown.
The Warriors struck early in the opener, scoring three runs in the first inning – five straight Cal-Wheat batters reached safely in the frame with Brant Boeckmann, Tyler Rowold, and Hansen providing RBI-hits – and then a fourth in the second.
Hansen ran into his only trouble in the bottom of the second. Midland used its lone hit – a single to left – a hit batsman, and a walk to load the bases with nobody out.
A second hit batsman brought in a run, but Cal-Wheat answered with a 1-2-3 double play – Hansen to catcher Banowetz to first baseman Rowold – and Hansen escaped further damage with a strikeout.
The Warriors offense continued the momentum in the third. Back-to-back doubles by Hansen and Brian Forret matched Midland’s run and Cal-Wheat sent 12 players to the plate.
Hunter Rickels cleared the bases with his own double and scored moments later when Banowetz slugged another double.
All told, Cal-Wheat scored six times to push its lead to 10-1.
The Warriors added an 11th run in the fifth inning – Boeckmann doubled in Banowetz – and Hansen fanned the final two batters he faced to finish things two frames early.
Hansen finished with seven strikeouts and just the lone hit, while also pacing the Cal-Wheat offense with three hits.
Rickels, Banowetz, Boeckmann, and Forret all added two hits. Rickels scored twice and had two RBIs. Connor Scheer and Magnus Sands joined Rickels with two runs, while Banowetz, Boeckmann, and Hansen matched him with two RBIs.
The Warriors broke open the second game with a four-run fifth inning.
Already up 2-0, Cal-Wheat picked up a walk by Rickels and a single by Banowetz.
An error allowed Rickels to score, while a single by Rowold drove in Banowetz’s courtesy runner, Sands, with a single to make it 4-0.
Another Eagles miscue, meanwhile, scored both Austin Henning – running for Rowold – and Hansen to make it 6-0.
That was plenty of support – Chase Knoche added a seventh run in the sixth frame – for Banowetz, who did not allow a base runner until the fifth inning and did not give up his first hit until giving up a single with one out in the seventh.
The junior struck out 14 batters and did not issue a walk.
Hansen again led the way on offense with two hits and three runs – both team-highs – while Rickels, Banowetz, Boeckmann, Rowold, Forret, and Scheer also had hits for the Warriors (26-3 overall, 23-1 in Tri-Rivers play).