Alex Bowker prepares to swing at a pitch against Quincy Notre Dame.

On Saturday afternoon the Carrollton Hawks hosted a double-header against the massively talented Quincy Notre Dame Raiders.

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

The Hawks fought hard but dropped both games losing 8-3 and 7-5.

The Raiders improve to 18-1 and are now on a 16-game win streak while the Hawks move to 14-6-1.

“It’s a nice quality opponent, and I’m not into moral victories, but we were in the ballgame both times. So it’s gotta make you feel good about playing 1A competition,” Carrollton coach Jeff Krumwiede said. “We were able to play with these guys, and we made some plays.”

In game one, after giving two runs in the top of the first, Carrollton responded with three off of Jase Wallingford to take a 3-2 lead. However, Notre Dame retook the lead for good with another two-run inning to go up 4-3.

The Hawks would threaten Wallingford, a 6-foot-9 San Jacinto Community College signee for a couple more innings. In the third, they put two aboard with one out, but couldn’t score. Then in the fifth two men got aboard with no outs, but Notre Dame got out of the inning unscathed.

“Overall I think we played pretty good. We had a couple of mistakes, but they’re a great team, one of the best on our schedule, and we played with them,” Carrollton shortstop Alex Bowker said. “We see improvement with our bats. We’ve been hitting the ball harder, and we’re seeing it better.”

The Raiders got some insurance runs two in the fifth and two more in the seventh.

“There relief pitchers did a great job, and you gotta tip your cap to them. They’re a nice ballclub, well coached, and we gotta play better to beat teams that good.”

Ethan Brannan started game two for the Hawks and ran into some early giving up a run in the first inning and two more in the second to trail 3-0. However, Carrollton would come back.

Sophomore lefty Griffin Kirn retired the first four Hawks until Tyler Barnett, and Kolten Bottom hit back-to-back singles. Barnett would score on a sacrifice fly by Brannan and Garrett Settles singled home Bottom to make it 3-2. The Hawks tied it up at three apiece in the third after Bowker singled, stole second, went to third on a ground ball, and then scored on a sacrifice fly from Nathan Walker.

Brannan settled down after the second inning and finished with four strikeouts, three walks, four hits and three earned runs.

Article continues after sponsor message

After two scoreless innings between the two sides, the Raiders broke through with a four-run sixth inning. Three of the runs came with two outs as Malachi Lenz, Nick Wellman, Ben Whittaker, David Hutson, and Alex Mast all contributed to the two-out rally.

Brady Nierman highlighted Notre Dame’s offensive onslaught with a 4-for-4 performance with all of his hits being doubles.

Carrollton sliced the lead in half in the bottom half of the inning as Tyler Barnett drove in Walker and he later scored on a past ball.

“Just a lack of clutch hitting at times and that’s been an issue for us in some of the closer games we’ve had,” Krumwiede said. “There’s a lot of positives coming out of it, and hopefully we can build on it. The reason you play tough competition is to expose your weaknesses so that you can work on them. Hopefully, we’ve had enough of that throughout the season that we can know the road we’re headed down.”

Brannan, Blake Struble, Alex Bowker, and Nathan Walker all took the mound for the Hawks in these two games.

Ethan Brannan readies for a pitch.

“We have depth with our pitching staff. We’re still trying to figure out those one or two guys that really separate themselves,” Krumwiede said. “Kolten [Bottom] and Gabe [Jones] took a step towards doing that last week. We’ll continue to try to funnel things with our pitching staff to see who we look at in those clutch situations down the stretch. Everyone will continue to get a chance to show us that.”

Some potentially bad news for Carrollton is catcher Hayden Stringer’s hamstring. In the second game, he injured it in the second inning and played two more before coming out. Stringer is a valuable four-year starting catcher, who the Hawks need to succeed. At last, the injury doesn’t look too bad.

“We lost two games, but I really hope we don’t lose our catcher,” Krumwiede said. “I’ve had a hamstring [injury] before; it’s nothing to mess with, it can saddle you for a long time, and it looks like it’s minor right now.”

The Hawks have another important week ahead starting Tuesday as they visit 21-4 Routt Catholic in a non-conference rivalry game pitting the WIVC North and South champions. Carrollton travels to Pittsfield for a makeup game on Wednesday and then host Wood River on Thursday and Springfield Lutheran on Saturday.

“Any time it’s Routt and Carrollton you don’t have to add icing to the cake. It’s already there,” Krumwiede said. “We’ll be ready for it.”

Kyle Waters knocks a single to the outfield.

Nathan Walker fires a pitch.

More like this:

Mar 14, 2024 - Nathan Hopper Shines as Granite City Triumphs 11-6 Against Waterloo Gibault

Mar 25, 2024 - Saturday, March 23 Sports Round-Up: Tigers Take Soccer Win, McGivney Falls, CM Baseball and Carrollton Softball Post Triumphs

Mar 17, 2024 - Friday, March 15 Sports Round-Up: McGivney Defeats Louisville North Clay, Granite Moves To 2-0, Hawks Blank Pittsfield In Softball

Mar 4, 2024 - Cougars Hand Creighton Loss, Fall to Loyola in Eight Innings

Apr 1, 2024 - Saturday, March 30 Sports Round-Up: Redbirds Capture Baseball Wins, Jersey Wins In Softball; Shells, Hawks, Warriors Also Post Victories