Cowan baseball's offense shines in win against Wes-Del

Wes-Del head coach Daniel Hanson talks to the team June 10 following the Warriors semi-state loss at Loeb Field. Zach Carter, DN.
Wes-Del head coach Daniel Hanson talks to the team June 10 following the Warriors semi-state loss at Loeb Field. Zach Carter, DN.

Wednesday evening, the Cowan Blackhawks (3-4) traveled to Wes-Del (3-3) in a battle of Delaware County foes. After opening the season 3-0, Wes-Del has since dropped its previous two games and was looking to get back in the win column against a county rival. 

However, the Warriors never gained their footing throughout the game and dropped their third game in three days, 16-4. 

It was a fast start for the Cowan offense as new leadoff hitter, sophomore Jaydon Auker, started the game with a single, and the Blackhawk hitters who followed took advantage of a hole in right field.

The offense didn’t slow down for the black and yellow as they went through their full lineup and then some through the second inning, taking a commanding early 6-0 lead. Cowan head coach Aaron Wells was not surprised at all by his team's strong offensive performance.

“We’re making adjustments right now that we’ve been preaching all year,” Wells said. “Attack early, attack often and that’s what they did tonight.”

Wes-Del struggled in the early going. The maroon and white were able to notch some hits but continuously stranded runners on base.

Defensively, starting pitcher senior Ty Freeman was struggling early and couldn’t seem to find a rhythm. In addition to Freeman's plight, fielding errors were a frequent occurrence as well. 

“Ty battled on the mound and gave us everything he had,” Wes-Del head coach Daniel Hanson said. “We didn’t make any plays behind him, just in the first inning giving them two unearned runs where the ball never left the infield.”

Freeman throw.jpeg
Wes-Del junior Ty Freeman prepares to throw June 10 during the Warriors first semi-state game at Loeb Field. Zach Carter, DN.

Auker had a great showing at the plate, getting on base every time he came up to bat. Through the first three innings, Auker notched a single, double and triple already. 

The individual success for Auker seemed to be contagious with the Cowan bats continuing to connect and build an 8-0 lead after the third.

“I got moved to the leadoff spot,” Auker said. “It’s my job to get on base, and I want to do everything I can to help the team in that way.”

While the offense may have been the star of the game for the Blackhawks, their defense came to play as well, stifling the Warriors all game long.

“Our defense was locked in today,” Wells said. “We talk about it every day, focus on the pitch at hand and they did that super well tonight.”

For the Warriors, even though the Blackhawks were making heavy contact, there were multiple opportunities to get the outs, but fielding errors plagued the maroon and white's defense all game long.

When the fifth inning hit, Wes-Del decided to make a pitching change as sophomore Kameran Vonderschmitt took over on the mound for Freeman.

The Warriors got on the board in the bottom of the fifth thanks to an RBI double from junior Greyson Mealy and an RBI single from Freeman to bring the deficit to within eight runs. 

The pitching struggles continued through Vonderschmitt, leading to another change, as Hanson was trying to find anything to slow down the bats of the Blackhawks.

Even though the Warriors were able to score some runs late to try and make a run, the defense was not up to par. The black and yellow continued to torch the Warrior defense, pouring it on late, scoring five in the final inning.

With the Warriors having played their third game in three days, they’ve run into some difficulty in those games. That adversity is what Hanson has preached to his team through this stretch.

“We’ve talked about that,” Hanson said. “Adversity comes at some point in life, and that’s the thing about sports: it prepares you for life. So right now, the adversity is there but as I tell them every game, fortunately, it’s not the end. It’s not the last game.”

While the 3-4 record for the Blackhawks may not be flashy, they are extremely confident in what their team can do and are infatuated with confidence, riding the momentum of these last two games. 

“Don’t sleep on us,” Auker said. “We’re coming, we want that sectional title.”

Cowan will be on the road for another conference game against Shenandoah (5-2) April 18, with first pitch set for 5 p.m.

Wes-Del will play its fourth game in four days, traveling to Randolph Southern (1-3) to battle the Rebels in a conference game. First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
Contact David Moore with comments at or on X @gingninj63.


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