VAN HORNE — Benton Community’s hard work is beginning to pay dividends.
The return is modest, but the Bobcats are starting to collect in the form of victories.
Benton scratched and clawed its way back for two come-from-behind victories, sweeping Western Dubuque, 4-3 and 9-7, Tuesday night at Manship Field. Benton is 10-14, but has won five straight during the last five days.
“We’re really proud of them,” Benton Coach Derek Anderson said. “We’ve had a slow start to the year and guys continue to buy into what we’re teaching them. They are getting here early and working. We’re starting to see it pay off in games and that’s a tribute to the guys.”
The strides have been a total team effort. Anderson and senior Spencer Touro have seen the growth. Everybody has made the effort to improve and help the team. The sweep over Western Dubuque, which received votes in the Class 4A state rankings, can boost the confidence.
“We have a lot of young guys,” Touro said. “We’re capable of being a really good team and this shows them that. If they didn’t see it before, they do now.”
In the opener, Benton won in its final at-bat after surrendering an early 2-0 lead from a two-run double by Touro. Benton rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, getting a sacrifice fly from Cade Timmerman to bring home Christian Atkinson with the winning run. Atkinson set up the walk-off with an RBI single, scoring courtesy runner Parker Nolan.
“That is the thing I love about baseball,” said Timmerman, who also threw a complete game for his second win this season. “You can go 0-for-3 and have the chance to win the game. I came up big for our team. It felt great.”
In the nightcap, Benton trailed by two going into the bottom of the sixth. Western Dubuque helped the comeback, committing an error to start the inning, a pair of wild pitches and another error that tied the game, 7-7.
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Turner Schroeder and Drew Lange added RBI singles for Benton. Lange finished the second game with two hits and three RBIs. Parker Nolan had an RBI triple and drove in two. Luke Wiebel has two hits in the opener and scored twice in the nightcap for Benton.
“Everybody is starting to put the ball in play, moving runners,” Touro said. “We’re playing smarter baseball.”
Western Dubuque’s Zach Bierman had three hits in the opener. Sawyer Nauman and Payton Quagliano had two hits and two RBIs in the second game for Western Dubuque (20-6).
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