Wordekemper's two-hitter helps SM turn back N-F, 8-1
Eric Wordekemper fired a two-hitter, walked none and struck out 14 batters to help Storm Lake St. Mary's clinch at least a share of the Northwest Conference title with an 8-1 victory over Newell-Fonda last Friday night at Memorial Field.
St. Mary's is now 13-2 in the league. Newell-Fonda and Sioux Central are tied for second place with 11-3 marks.
St. Mary's bolted to a 5-1 lead after two innings. Jeff Speers doubled and Wordekemper and Tim Brown hit back-to-back singles to produce a run. John Mach's infield single scored pinch-runner Nick Netsch.
The Panthers added three more runs in the second. Joey McCollum and Ryan Gessner each singled before an RBI sacrifice fly by Speers and an RBI single by Brown.
Brown delivered an RBI single in the sixth inning. He collected three hits in the game. Wordekemper had two hits, including a double. Speers had two singles and drove in two runs, while Gessner added a pair of hits.
Jason Ripke took the loss for the Mustangs. He allowed five runs on eight hits in 1 2/3 innings. Blake Rieman and Aaron Bland each had a single. Newell-Fonda is now 20-6 overall.
St. Mary's improved to 17-8 overall.
"I thought we did a nice job of coming out early and establishing a good lead to get the momentum in our favor," St. Mary's coach Ryan Berg said.
"St. Mary's came out and hit the ball well," Newell-Fonda coach Del Rieman said. "You can't get behind to a pitcher like Wordekemper 5-1 in the second inning and expect to be in the game."