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Spartans hand Vikings first losses

Doubleheader baseball sweeps against Vinton-Shellsburg and South Tama
Luke Ira takes a measured lead from second base during Solon’s 5-4 win over Iowa City Regina May 25. (file photo by Doug Lindner)

SOLON– The Spartans put a blemish on Vinton-Shellsburg’s perfect season.
Solon’s varsity baseball team swept a home doubleheader from the Vikings June 7, putting an end to a nine-game winning streak and handing Vinton its first losses of the season.
Junior Zach Wegmann’s grand slam sparked the Spartans in the 12-8 opening game.
Vinton-Shellsburg had scored four runs in the first inning and two more in the second off Solon junior Tyler Linderbaum for a 6-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fifth, junior Luke Ira’s two-RBI single and back-to-back-to-back hits from Linderbaum, sophomore Adam Bock, and senior Nick Hofsommer tied the game.
Wegmann’s towering shot into the road over the right field fence, part of an eight-run inning, put Solon up 9-6, said head coach Keith McSweeney.
“The inning was a tremendous momentum swing for us on the night, with eight of nine starters scoring a run in the inning,” McSweeney said. “Another big part of our success was Tyler Linderbaum on the mound. He wasn’t sharp early and they hit him hard in the first two innings, but he rose to the occasion in the middle innings and really competed. His effort during that stretch was crucial in our success given the bats in their lineup.”
Linderbaum struck out four and walked two over six-and-a-third innings, yielding seven hits and eight runs (six earned) for the win. Sophomore Ryan Geistkemper pitched two-thirds of an inning in relief.
Ira, Linderbaum and Hofsommer each had two hits.

The Spartans put five runs up in the third inning to take control of the nightcap, a 9-7 victory.
The Vikings struck first with two runs in the opening inning, but Solon responded with three in the bottom half. The teams were tied 4-4 when the Spartans cranked out five runs for a 9-4 lead that held.
Junior Eric Weetman struck out six and walked two in six innings on the mound, giving up seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits. Geistkemper made his second appearance, pitching one inning of relief.
Solon supplemented eight hits with six walks to make the most of its opportunities.
“Our guys had a great approach in game two,” McSweeney said. “They were trying to get us to chase soft and down and away for most of game two, but our guys were disciplined at the plate and wouldn’t bite. We made them pay for the free bases they gave us, and Eric Weetman gave us a great outing on the mound.”
Ira was 2-2 at the plate with a solo home run and three runs scored, while Linderbaum was 2-4 with a double. Bock and junior Spencer Wegmann each had two RBI.
“We knew Vinton was to present a different set of challenges than we’ve faced thus far, but our guys wanted it more and found a way to win the evening,” McSweeney said. “We’ve found a formula for success the last couple weeks and we’ve had a tremendous team-first approach. The guys are just feeding off one another and playing to the last pitch.”

Solon followed the wins with another sweep of a WaMaC West Division opponent, traveling to South Tama June 9 for 9-1 and 12-5 blowouts against the Trojans.
Freshman Cam Miller struck out six and walked two while scattering three hits and allowing a single run over six innings in the 9-1 win. Sophomore Trevor Shuchmann pitched a scoreless inning of relief.
The Spartans built a 3-0 lead in the first inning and added to it with a pair of runs in both the second and third innings. Solon cruised into the seventh inning with a 7-1 margin and added two more insurance runs for the final tally.
Zach Wegmann was 3-5 at the plate with a double and an RBI, while Hofsommer and junior Kendrick Harris were 2-4. Hofsommer had four RBI to lead the team. Sophomore Jackson Pipolo had three stolen bases and scored three times.
Hofsommer earned the win in the 12-5 victory, striking out four and walking three while allowing only one hit and two unearned runs. He was relieved after three innings by Geistkemper, who threw two scoreless innings and struck out five. Harris, Spencer Wegmann and Shuchmann split the three remaining innings.
Solon had 11 runs on 10 RBI, with two each for Bock, Hofsommer and Harris, who was 2-3 with a double. Ira was 3-4 at the plate with a double, an RBI and two runs scored.

Solon’s nine-game winning streak came to an end at Central DeWitt June 12.
The Sabers won an 11-inning marathon, 3-2, and scored 11 runs in two innings to run away with a 12-2 victory, dropping Solon to 12-6 on the season.
The Spartans scored on RBI from Zach Wegmann and Geistkemper in the top of the fourth, scoring Hofsommer and Harris to tie the game at 2-2.
Central DeWitt ended the game in the bottom of the 11th against Linderbaum, who had pitched three scoreless innings in relief of starter Weetman.
Ira took the loss in the other game, allowing six earned runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out one.
Solon managed 10 hits, with Bock and Harris both 2-3 at the plate.
Harris scored Ira and Bock in the top of the first to give Solon a 2-0 lead that held until the fourth inning.