Hoping his team is starting to peak at the right time, Rob Struckhoff guided his Borgia baseball Knights to a pair of wins in recent days.
Borgia (17-7) beat Warrenton Friday, 11-2, and won at Owensville Monday, 14-2.
The Knights have been seeded first for the Class 3 District 8 Tournament at Fulton High School. Borgia takes on Owensville Saturday at 10 a.m.
“Our district tournament will be at Fulton High School which just built a beautiful, brand new baseball facility,” Struckhoff said. “Our first-round opponent is Owensville. We’ve beaten them twice now on the season, but I’m sure we’ll get their best effort on Saturday. We can’t afford to take anyone lightly at this time of the year. We’ve got one of the toughest districts in the state. Six of the eight teams have winning records.”
Despite spotting the Dutchmen an early lead Monday, Borgia was able to pick up a 14-2 win in Gasconade County.
“Owensville gave us a scare early by taking a 1-0 lead in the second,” Struckhoff said. “At that time we were a little flat, and weren’t taking very good at bats. However, the third inning was another story. We put 12 runs on them. I believe at one point we had three or four doubles in a row. We talk about driving the ball to the gap and that is exactly what we did in that inning.”
Owensville scored once in the bottom of the fourth and Borgia added two final runs in the top of the fifth.
Nine different players had hits in the game with Trent Leimkuehler and Matt Jones each getting two.
Noah Borgerding, Sam Deschenes, Brendan Feldmann, Tony Helfrich, Brendan Kleekamp, Jack Kopmann and Austin Rettke each had one hit.
Borgerding, Helfrich, Jones, Kopmann and Leimkuehler each hit doubles.
Kopmann scored three runs while Deschenes, Grant Eckelkamp and Kleekamp crossed the plate twice each. Feldmann, Helfrich, Alex Jasper, Michael Kren and Leimkuehler each scored once.
Borgerding and Jones drove in three runs apiece. Kopmann had two RBIs while Helfrich, Leimkuehler, Rettke and Evan Zeitzmann each had one RBI.
Jones walked twice. Eckelkamp, Kopmann and Leimkuehler had one walk apiece.
Deschenes and Kleekamp each stole two bases. Eckelkamp and Leimkueher had one apiece.
Borgerding and Zeitzmann contributed sacrifices.
Jones pitched, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk. He struck out nine.
“Matt Jones started on the hill and gave us five solid innings,” Struckhoff said. “He really pumped strikes and that’s what you have to do as a pitcher. He challenged their hitters and won most of the battles.”
Friday’s game with Warrenton changed venues due to wet field conditions after storms rolled through the area earlier in the day. No matter where it was played, Borgia was ready to go, picking up an 11-2 win over the Warriors.
“We came out and played extremely well against Warrenton,” Struckhoff said. “We got on top early and kept tacking on runs throughout the game. When you can score runs in five of seven innings that shows your taking quality at bats as a team.”
Borgia scored four runs in the second, two in the third, three in the fourth, one in the sixth and one in the seventh.
Warrenton’s runs came in the third and seventh innings.
Leimkuehler led the team with three hits, two runs, one RBI and two stolen bases.
Borgerding and Helfrich each had two hits. Borgerding scored once.
Helfrich homered, scored twice, drove in two and stole a base.
Borgia had two home runs on the day. Jones also hit one over the fence.
“Tony Helfrich and Matt Jones also knocked two balls out of the park which really fired our guys up,” Struckhoff said.
Eckelkamp, Jasper, Jones, Kleekamp and Kopmann each had one hit.
Eckelkamp doubled, scored twice, drove in one and walked. Jasper scored and drove in one.
Jones added one run, two RBIs and a walk to his home run.
Kleekamp doubled, scored, drove in a run and stole a base. Kopmann drove in a run and added a sacrifice.
Feldmann pitched the first six innings, allowing one run on five hits and one walk. He struck out five.
“Brendan Feldmann threw a quality game on the mound,” Struckhoff said. “He was sharp with his control and made them earn what they got. His defense was solid once again and that makes it really easy to pitch. This was a big game for Brendan’s confidence leading into our district tournament.”
Leimkuehler pitched the seventh inning, allowing one run on two hits and a walk. He struck out one.