Nevada baseball team makes big strides in first year under Steve Glenn
The Nevada baseball team is heading in the right direction after one season under new head coach Steve Glenn.
The Cubs went 13-17 overall and 6-8 in the Heart of Iowa Conference a year after finishing just 3-24 overall and 1-11 in the conference.
"We really focused on establishing a positive culture and worrying about what we are doing, not what our opponents are doing," Glenn said. "We were plus 10 in the win column, which was the second highest win jump in the state last I checked. We still have a ways to go, but I feel we started to shift the culture of the program."
A big key to that improvement was developing confidence.
"Our biggest challenge was to get the players to maintain positive attitudes regardless of what was happening," Glenn said. "Getting the players to play one play at a time and to believe in themselves and trust what we were doing. It was also a challenge to get everyone to believe that we can compete with other strong programs on our schedule."
Nevada didn't have the best luck against the top teams on its schedule. But the Cubs did defeat most of the teams they were supposed to or were even with, which is a step in the right direction.
"I feel our positive culture was the biggest growth this year," Glenn said. "We came a long way in dealing with adversity and to not let past plays effect current plays. One pitch at a time mentality."
Nevada opened the season winning three of its first eight games to already match the previous year's win total by the end of May. The Cubs lost to Bondurant-Farrar (9-4), defeated Grand View Christian (7-1), fell to Knoxville (17-7), toppled Perry (6-2), suffered a sweep at the hands of eventual HOIC champion Roland-Story (7-1, 13-3), earned a 13-9 win over Iowa Falls-Alden and took a 12-2 loss against West Marshall.
As June rolled in Nevada got hot. The Cubs won five in a row with victories over Vinton-Shellsburg (4-1), South Hamilton (11-5), Eagle Grove (8-7), Greene County (4-1) and Perry (9-1).
Then Cubs lost four straight. They dropped both games of a doubleheader to Prairie City-Monroe (16-6 and 9-5) and suffered losses to Ballard (11-1) and Hampton-Dumont-CAL (10-7).
Nevada came back to defeat Carroll (11-10) and West Central Valley (17-2). The Cubs fell to West Marshall by a 14-0 score, but came back to defeat South Tama (7-6) and South Hamilton (9-0).
The Cubs ended the month on a cold streak. They lost to Grinnell (10-2), suffered a sweep at the hands of Saydel (13-4 and 16-0), dropped a slugfest to Webster City (13-11), defeated Greene County (10-0) then lost to Humboldt (11-3).
In July Nevada wrapped up the regular season with a 10-2 loss to Boone. The Cubs then took on No. 9 Independence in the Class 3A substate quarterfinals and put up a great fight before losing, 5-2, to end the season.
"Our biggest strengths this season was our athleticism and base stealing ability," Glenn said. "These seniors had a fantastic senior year in athletics and it carried over to baseball. These seniors were confident in themselves and in many cases their athleticism won us games. Our biggest weakness was we fell back into old habits at times and there were some instances that we felt we were overmatched by our opponents."
Nevada set the school record for steals (149) and triples (10) as a team. Senior Gavin Melohn set the school record for triples in a season (7) and career (12), Karter Beving threw a five-inning no-hitter and racked up single-game strikeout totals of 16 and 14 and senior James Edwards also tossed a five-inning no-hitter.
The Cubs hit .288 and scored 176 runs on offense.
In addition to his triples record Melohn hit .427 with six doubles, one home run, 30 runs, 18 RBIs and 24 steals in 25 attempts. He made 54 putouts and only had two errors in the outfield.
Beving hit .367 with three doubles, one home run, 19 steals, 18 runs and 24 RBIs. He made 29 assists and putouts apiece defensively at shortstop and on the mound.
Senior William Carsrud hit .338 with five doubles, 10 runs and eight RBIs. He made 11 assists and nine putouts on defense.
Seniors Cael Franzen and Christian Hawbaker hit .294 and .293 respectively. Franzen had 26 runs, 24 steals, two doubles, one triple and nine RBIs and Hawbaker 20 runs, 21 steals, six doubles and nine RBIs.
Franzen made 41 assists and 29 putouts in the infield and Hawbaker 43 putouts and three assists in the field.
Connor Schnettgoecke and Colin Memmer were two more productive seniors for Nevada.
Schnettgoecke hit .261 with five doubles, 10 runs and 22 RBIs. He had 151 putouts and nine assists in the field.
Memmer hit .254 with three doubles, one triple 23 steals, 18 runs and nine RBIs. He made 29 putouts and 26 assists in the infield.
Freshman Anthony Eaton hit .229 with four RBIs and he threw out 10 runs and only made six errors in 168 chances at catcher. Ty Dittmer scored nine times and drove in seven runs and Caleb Kooiker hit two doubles and picked up four RBIs.
The Nevada pitching staff gave up 241 runs and posted an ERA of 5.85. The Cubs racked up 172 strikeouts and 130 walks in 182 innings.
Franzen and Beving were the team's top pitchers.
Franzen went 4-5 with a 2.53 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 18 walks in 55 1/3 innings. Beving was 5-2 with a 3.47 ERA, 59 strikeouts and 23 walks in 34 1/3 innings.
Edwards finished 1-2 with a 6.48 ERA, 16 strikeouts and 14 walks in 27 innings. Memmer went 2-3 with a 5.32 ERA, 23 strikeouts and 17 walks in 26 1/3 innings.
Junior Colton Leslie threw 15 1/3 innings and went 0-1 with a 7.30 ERA and Carsrud threw 11 2/3 innings and went 1-2.
Glenn's first senior class was a large and productive class.
"These seniors had an outstanding senior season in athletics," Glenn said. "We started eight seniors and had another play a huge role off the bench. We will have a lot of holes to fill in our lineup."
But the Cub coach is optimistic the returning and upcoming players can build off this season's growth and be more successful in 2023.
"I feel we are in a great position headed into next year," Glenn said. " Yes we lose 8 starters, but our JV went 13-7-3 including a 4 game winning streak to end the season. Our junior high went 13-3, with only losses coming to 4A schools. I think we will have some good competitions for the starting spots. We may be pretty young in some positions, but I am confident that we will be just as competitive, if not more than we were this year."