The Solon baseball team split a doubleheader with Class 2A top-ranked Dyersville Beckman on Monday night losing 7-3 and winning 5-3, moving to 19-8 on the year.
The Spartans struggled to hit Beckman’s left-handed ace, Joey Lehmann, in the first game.
“The first game they threw a lefty at us that was very well polished,” Solon coach Keith McSweeney said. “He did a good job. He was nipping the corners, throwing off speed backdoor curve balls. He kept us off balance for six and a half innings.”
Solon remained scoreless during Lehmann’s time on the mound, scoring all three runs after a new pitcher was introduced early in the seventh. Lehmann finished with 12 strikeouts, allowing just one hit and no runs.
“We hadn’t seen a lefty that throws hard like that all year,” McSweeney said. “And now we have.”
The second game was a different story. The Spartans got out to an early lead, scoring two runs in the second on a Blazer throwing error.
Beckman responded with one run in each of the following two innings to tie the game at 2-2. The Spartans and Blazers continued to play solid defense into the bottom of the sixth inning.
“I thought we played great defense,” McSweeney said. “That’s something we always try to do.”
Solon finally broke the game open in the bottom of the sixth when junior catcher Lucas Kane knocked in the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly to center.
“I just wanted to get the ball in play,” Kane said.
The Spartans added two more runs on RBIs from senior Tim Lance and junior Elijah Kane.
“Up until that last inning there, we weren’t able to get those guys across,” McSweeney said. “But we put those guys in place so our guys can succeed, and we were able to knock them in that last inning.”
The Spartans remain unranked in Class 3A.
“When we play like this, we can beat teams,” McSweeney said. “We’ve had a pretty good year so far. It’s about consistency.”
Solon next faces Benton Community on Friday in Solon.