BASEBALL: Hawks open season with split at Memorial Day Tournament

GRUNDY CENTER – The South Hamilton baseball was rocked early, but got up off the canvas and earned a split at Monday’s Grundy Center Memorial Day Tournament.

Iowa Falls-Alden (2-0) two-hit the Hawks (1-1) in an 11-0, 6-inning contest in the semifinal round. South Hamilton finished third on the strength of a nine-high explosion in an 11-5 win over Grundy Center in the consolation final.

With so many new faces on the team – and young faces at that – Hawks’ head coach Bret Bell said the tournament was a chance to learn about his crew.

“It was a good day. We came into the tournament with more of a practice mentality to see where we were as a team,” Bell said. “I knew the bats would struggle early, but the bounce back in the second game was a really good thing to see and we played tremendous defense all day, so that was a bright spot.”

Caleb Olson had both hits – a first-inning bunt single and a sixth-inning base knock down the line – against Iowa Falls-Alden. Drake Thompson took the loss on the hill.

South Hamilton rattled off five extra-base hits – all doubles – against the Spartans. Colton Schwrien had two of them and drove in a run. Landon Quam and JD Rader both found the gap as well and combined for five RBIs. Trey Woodall went 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

Olson worked three innings and got the pitching win. Woodall and Nathan McSparin shut the door in the late innings.

South Hamilton will make its home debut on Wednesday against Heart of Iowa Conference rival Nevada at 7:30 p.m.