The Ankeny baseball team had a chance to win both games of Thursday’s doubleheader at Waukee.
Instead, the sixth-ranked Warriors came away with a pair of walk-off victories.
Waukee swept the twinbill by scores of 3-2 and 4-3 to improve to 9-2 on the season. No. 9 Ankeny’s record dropped to 4-4.
“We played really well except for the seventh inning in both games,” said Ankeny coach Joe Balvanz. “We kind of let them slip away, but hopefully it’s a learning experience for us.”
The loss in the opener was especially painful. Ankeny pitcher Chris Spear (1-1) took a no-hitter into the seventh inning before Waukee rallied for three runs, one of which was unearned.
Spear finished with a two-hitter and five strikeouts.
“We felt good the way that Chris was pitching,” Balvanz said. “But then we had an error, a walk, another error and a double, and that was the ball game.”
Weston Fulk drove in both of Ankeny’s runs. He hit a sacrifice fly in the second inning, then added an RBI double in the top of the seventh.
But it wasn’t enough.
“We played well enough to win,” Balvanz said. “We just didn’t execute some things that would have allowed us to be more successful.”
Brody Brecht went 2-for-3 and scored a run in the opener. He then tripled and had two RBIs in the nightcap.
“We out-hit them in both games, but just didn’t get the big hit when we really needed it,” Balvanz said.
Ankeny scored a run in the fifth inning to tie the second game at 3-3. The score remained that way until the bottom of the seventh, when the Warriors scored the winning run off Cooper Cox (0-1) on a sacrifice fly.
Fulk started on the mound, allowing two earned runs over 4 1/3 innings. He had six strikeouts.
Peyton Agan doubled and scored a run.
“There wasn’t a lot of offense in either game,” Balvanz said. “Fulk threw really well in the second game, and we were right there with them the whole way. But that’s a good Waukee team, and you’ve got to give them credit. They found a way to win, and our inexperience showed at times.
“It’s a little bit of a tough pill to swallow, but we told the guys to keep their heads up. It’s a long season, and we’ve still got a lot of baseball left to play,” he added.