Humboldt plays for state bid

BOONE — Fresh off a pair of victories over North Central Conference rivals, the Humboldt baseball team finds themselves playing for a Class 3A state berth.

The Wildcats face Boone in a 3A, Substate 2 championship here beginning at 7 p.m.

On Monday night, Humboldt (19-14 overall) picked up its third win this season over Webster City, 5-3. Freshman Cade Witzke went the distance, scattering seven hits with two strikeouts and three walks to earn his sixth victory of the season.

Isaac Thurm, Joey Busse and Owen Newton all had two hits, with Newton driving in three runs.

Thrum is the leading hitter for the Wildcats, recording 40 hits with 28 RBI and 31 walks. Newton is batting .400 with a team-high 34 RBI, Reese DeWinter has driven in 30 and Jacob Thurm has plated 29 runs with 13 doubles.

Jacob Thrum and Colby Clarken are both 4-2 on the mound, with Thurm striking out 45 and Clarken 40.

Earlier this year, Boone (23-8) claimed a 12-4 decision in Humboldt against the Wildcats, plating five runs in the first two innings and five more in the sixth. Sawyer Savery was 3-for-3, with both Isaac Thurm and Michael Brightly collecting two hits each.

The Toreadors rode the arm of Spencer Wilkening to a 2-0 victory over Gilbert, allowing just four hits and striking out a pair. Derek Rhinehart had two runs and a double, and Evan Appenzeller had two hits.

Evan Appenzeller, who has eight homers and 27 RBI, earned the win in the first meeting with Humboldt, striking out five. Brett Price had six strikeouts in three innings of work.

Appenzeller is 8-3 on the mound this year with a 2.81 earned run average and 59 strikeouts in 47-plus innings. Dresden Wilson is 5-1 with 47 strikeouts and Price is 4-1 with 43 strikeouts.

The Wildcats enter having won two in a row and nine of their last 10 around an 8-7 loss to Storm Lake on the road. Boone has also won back-to-back games and is 9-2 over its last 11.

The state baseball tournament begins July 20 in Des Moines at Principal Park with 1A action. The 3A games start on Tuesday, July 24.