NEOLA, Iowa — Western Iowa Conference baseball has started and ended with Treynor for the past decade.
The Cardinals have won or shared the past 10 regular-season championships, including eight outright titles.
The Cardinals were a combined 33-3 in WIC play the past two summers. So when they started 5-4 in league play this year, some undoubtedly were wondering if Treynor had lost its edge.
Treynor found it Thursday night.
The Class 2-A No. 10 Cardinals pounded eight extra-base hits in a 17-hit barrage, dropping Tri-Center from the unbeaten ranks with a resounding 17-4, five-inning victory.
“We’re capable of playing this kind of baseball,” Treynor coach Bob Mantell said. “With having six new starters, we knew we were going to have growing pains. What we hoped was that by the time we started getting into the meat of our schedule, our guys would start figuring it out and start buying in a little bit. Knock on wood, hopefully this is a sign of good things to come.”
Treynor, also rated sixth in western Iowa 2-A/1-A, improved to 10-4 overall and 7-4 in WIC play, while western Iowa No. 2 Tri-Center dropped to 9-1 and 9-1.
The Cardinals ripped eight hits and scored seven runs in their first two innings against senior standout Kaleb Harrison (3-1), a Kansas City (Kansas) Community College recruit who entered with 27 strikeouts, two walks and a 1.37 ERA in 151⁄3 innings this season.
“We just came out knowing we were going to hit the ball hard, and being confident that we would,” said Treynor catcher Dean Bedell, who was 4 for 5 with two doubles, a triple and an RBI.
Justin Cox went 3 for 3 with a two-run homer, while Kristian Martens had two hits and four RBIs. Will Halverson went 3 for 4 with three runs scored.
Martens (3-1), a sophomore transfer from Riverside, pitched a four-hitter while striking out six and walking one against a team that entered sixth in 1-A with a .368 team batting average.
“He threw great tonight,” Mantell said. “He pounded the strike zone. He battled and competed.”
It has been an unpredictable series between the teams. Last year, Treynor swept the regular-season conference games, but then Tri-Center rolled to an 18-3 win in the conference tournament final. However, Treynor advanced to state with a 4-0 win in a 2-A substate final.
“That’s the thing about baseball,” Tri-Center coach Max Kozeal said. “You’re going to have games like this. I was proud of our kids. Your character is revealed through games like this. We had a lot of guys that were battling to the end of the game.”
Treynor (10-4, 7-4).............250 55—17 17 3
At Tri-Center (9-1, 9-1).........010 21— 4 4 4
W: Kristian Martens (3-1). L: Kaleb Harrison (3-1). 2B: T, Dean Bedell 2, Martens 2, Kyle Christensen. 3B: T, Tommy Duysen, Bedell. HR: T, Justin Cox; TC, Trevor Carlson.
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July 1: Air Force's Nic Ready hit a total of 55 home runs, including 21 in the final round, to edge Clemson's Logan Davidson in the College Home Run Derby.
June 28: Oregon State celebrates beating Arkansas 5-0 in Game 3 of the CWS championship series. The Beavers were down to their last out in Game 2 before a fielding blunder by the Razorbacks gave Oregon State a second life, which it took advantage of en route to the program's third CWS title.
June 18: John Olson, and Mary Olson, of Joslyn, Missouri, take cover under ponchos during a rain delay at the College World Series. Weather provided a huge problem in the 2018 CWS.
June 15: Cam'ron Jones checks out Omaha.com, or perhaps Snapchat, during the Huskers' Friday Night Lights camp.
June 9: Terence "Bud" Crawford celebrates his knockout victory over Jeff Horn to win the WBO welterweight title.
May 19: Fremont's Lucas Arps celebrates after winning the Class A 400-meter dash.
May 19: Lincoln Lutheran's Josie Puelz celebrates after clearing 12-2 in the Class C girls pole vault final.
May 17: Omaha Roncalli's Thomas Alitz cheers after scoring the winning run in the Class B state championship on a hit by Logan McGill with two outs in the seventh inning.
May 17: Omaha Creighton Prep's Eric Allbery, right, jumps on the dogpile as the Junior Jays celebrate their Class A state baseball title.
May 16: South Sioux City celebrates after defeating Elkhorn South in the Class B state soccer championship.
May 16: Kearney's Christian Dakan hoists the Class A state soccer trophy alongside his teammates.
May 14: Millard North celebrates its Class A state championship win against Omaha Marian by kissing the trophy.
May 14: Elkhorn celebrates its Class B championship win against Omaha Skutt.
May 9: Creighton's Will Robertson celebrates with Jack Strunc, left, after homering the fifth inning. The Jays beat UNO 10-6.
May 6: The Omaha Storm Chasers play below the newly dedicated Steve Pivovar Press Box at Werner Park.
April 21: Nebraska coach Scott Frost leads the Huskers during the Tunnel Walk on Saturday.
April 19: Awardee Dante Pettis and former Nebraska football player Johnny Rodgers, right, pictured during the Jet Award dinner.
April 19: Former Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne attends the Jet Award dinner.
April 18: UNO's Malik Moore pitches against Nebraska. The Mavericks knocked off the Huskers for the first time since 1997.
April 11: Creighton's Will Robertson, left, and Thomas Luevano celebrate scoring on a triple by Jack Strunc.
April 11: Elkhorn South's Mo Gohr gains control of the ball in the Metro Conference tournament.
April 3: Scott Frost directs Husker football practice.
March 31: The boy campers pose for a photo at the Athletes' Training Center Futures Camp at Iowa West Field House.
March 27: Creighton defeats Nebraska 3-1 in the first matchup of the year.
March 25: Kansas' Malik Newman drives to the basket, drawing a blocking foul on Duke's Wendell Carter. The Jayhawks went on to defeat the Blue Devils in Omaha and advance to the Final Four.
March 17: Arizona State defeats Nebraska in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Nebraska Wesleyan celebrates winning the NCAA Division III men's basketball championship.
March 17: Creighton defeats Iowa in the NCAA women's basketball tournament.
March 17: Creighton's bench cheers as Michael Emodi hits a walk-off homer off Wichita State pitcher Chandler Sanburn in the Jays' home opener.
March 12: The Creighton women's basketball team celebrates making the NCAA tournament.
March 10: Wahoo celebrates winning the Class C-1 boys basketball title.
March 10: Nebraska City Lourdes' Quinten Vasa, center, holds up the trophy with his team.
March 9: Glenwood celebrates after winning its first boys basktball state title in school history.
March 3: Scotus' Maggie Feehan celebrates after winning the Class C-1 title.
March 3: Superior celebrates a Class C-2 championship win over Ravenna.
Feb. 25: Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night. The Huskers went on to defeat Penn State.
Nebraska's Duby Okeke enters Pinnacle Bank Arena with his family at his side on senior night.
Feb. 24: Creighton's Marcus Foster, left, and Davion Mintz celebrate Creighton's 89-83 overtime victory over Villanova.
Feb. 24: Omaha Creighton Prep's Colin LaFave competes in the 100 fly at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 24: Lincoln Southwest's Anna Heinrich, left, and Josie Ford celebrate their first and second-place finishes in the 50 free at the state swimming meet.
Feb. 17: Kearney’s Phillip Moomey is in the top 20 of his weight class in two national polls. Only a handful of underclassmen are ranked ahead of him.
Feb. 17: Omaha Burke's Jakason Burks does a backflip after defeating Millard South's Caleb Coyle during the 106-pound Class A final at the state wrestling championships.
Jan. 28: Omaha Lancers coach and General Manager David Wilkie talks with players during first-period action.
Jan. 26: UNO's Luke Nogard skates past the referee.
Jan. 16: Nebraska's Nicea Eliely gets excited during pregame introductions as the Huskers went on to beat Iowa.
Nebraska's James Palmer celebrates a home victory over Illinois with Isaiah Roby.
Jan. 9: Former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden, left, talks with former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne during the Outland Trophy banquet.
Jan. 4: Omaha Burke's Shereef Mitchell brings the ball up court in the Metro holiday tournament.
Jan. 1: In his final game with Central Florida, now-Nebraska coach Scott Frost raises the Peach Bowl title after defeating Auburn.