There was nothing riding on Sunday’s Home Talent League doubleheader between McFarland and Waterloo. Both teams were long eliminated from the playoffs, and it was an opportunity for them to finish the season on a positive note.
The Muskies ended up winning both games by scores of 5-2 and 12-2 to break a six-game losing streak and finish the season with a record of 5-11.
In the first game, McFarland had a three-run second inning as Nick Knoche drew a one-out walk and Dave Ellefson was hit by a pitch. Left-handed slugger Nick Herbst drove in both runners with a double and scored the inning’s third run on an infield error to put the Muskies ahead 4-0.
Waterloo cut the lead to 4-2, but McFarland added a run in the fourth as Herbst singled and scored on a base hit by Nick Schreiber.
Schreiber, the starting pitcher, struck out nine, walked three and allowed only four hits in seven innings to earn the victory. Both Herbst and Eric Seeliger had two hits.
In the second game, the Muskies put together a four-run first inning with Kyle White and Schreiber getting RBI base hits.
Herbst hit a solo home run in the second inning, the team’s first since Schreiber pounded one in the Muskies first game of the season May 5. Run-producing singles by starting pitcher Noah Punzel and Mason Grady increased the McFarland lead to 7-2 after three innings.
The Muskies added another run in the fourth before putting away the McKays with a four-run fifth inning. Herbst singled and White tripled to bring in two runs, and Schreiber added an RBI single to put McFarland up 11-2. After Knoche and Reid Simon walked, Grady drove in the winning run with a walk-off single.
McFarland had 13 hits with White, Herbst and Grady each getting two. Punzel allowed six walks but gave up just two hits and struck out six in five innings. Waterloo committed three errors.
Muskies manager Justin Hanson said the team was competitive in several games and could have earned more wins with a few more key hits.
“We were always one hit away,” Hanson said. “We got beat big only three games this year. We were one run away from winning multiple games. If we can turn those into wins, we are in the playoffs.”
The McKays ended their season with a record of 1-15.