ALBIA — That’s now six straight wins for Centerville to start this season after finishing on a seven-game winning streak to win the Class 2A title last year. The Big Reds traveled north and swept a doubleheader with their rival Albia with 10-3 and 6-3 victories.
“Two good wins that we are lucky to get. We didn't play our best but the positive is we had guys step up in some tough situations to help us get the wins. We know each night we are going to get our opponents best and that's something that we need to use to get us going earlier in games,” Centerville head coach Ryan Hodges said.
Centerville used a five-run second inning to take the lead in game one for good before adding two runs in the fourth and three more in the sixth.
McCain Oden loves to play in rivalry games against Albia and he would once again come through with a big performance. At the plate, Oden would go 3-for-5 with five RBIs. On the mound, the junior would go the distance to pitch all seven innings while giving up three runs, one earned, on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
In his 11 baseball games against Albia, Centerville is 9-2 while winning the past eight matchups. For his varsity career, Oden is hitting .415 against Albia with 17 RBIs in those 11 games. He has started on the mound in four of them, going a perfect 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA. He has only allowed four runs, two earned, in those games while striking out 17 against three walks in 24 innings pitched.
Brady Kauzlarich went 3-for-5 with one RBI while Myles Clawson collected a pair of RBIs in game one.
Centerville held a 4-1 lead going into the sixth inning in game two. A Gage Wilson two-RBI double would cut the Big Red lead down to one with the tying run in scoring position. The Big Reds would escape the inning after a close play at first went in favor of Centerville as they held a 4-3 lead going into the final inning.
Centerville would then add a pair of insurance runs in the seventh on two-out RBI hits from Walker White and Clawson. Clawson then came in to get the save as Albia went down in order.
Kauzlarich and Merrick Mathews both pitched three innings for Centerville. Kauzlarich gave up one run with three strikeouts while Mathews surrendered two runs with four strikeouts.
Kade Mosley went 2-for-3 with a RBI while Otis Williams also chipped in a RBI in game two.
“Hope the weather starts to stay more consistent so we can continue to get a rhythm,” Hodges said. “If we continue to keep our nose down and focus on what we can control, we will keep moving in the right direction. I'm excited to see how we keep improving each day.”
Centerville (6-0) play just their second home game this season on Friday against Chariton (2-3).