How the Collins-Maxwell baseball team overcame a slow start to end up second in the ISC South

Joe Randleman
Ames Tribune
Freshman Josef Dvorak came on to hit .358 with three homers and 14 RBIs for the Collins-Maxwell baseball team in 2022. Dvorak helped the Spartans post another winning season at 12-10.

A strong and balanced offense helped the Collins-Maxwell baseball team produce its second-straight winning season in 2022.

Collins-Maxwell finished 12-10 after going 12-8-1 in 2021. The 2022 Spartans took second in the Iowa Star Conference South Division with an 8-6 record, trailing only North Tama (10-3) in the final conference standings.

"We had a good season overall," Collins-Maxwell head coach Jason Hasbrouck said. "We missed out on some of our season goals, (but) I know the boys will work hard to achieve them next year."

Collins-Maxwell opened the season with a 10-0 victory at BCLUW. But then the Spartans dropped four straight, losing to Lynnville-Sully (5-2), Madrid (4-2), Ogden (5-1), Colo-NESCO (6-4) and North Tama (7-3).

A 10-3 victory over GMG June 1 snapped the losing skid. But Collins-Maxwell lost its next game at the hands of Ankeny Christian Academy by an 8-1 score.

After the 2-6 start Collins-Maxwell was in need of a boost. It came with decisive wins over Baxter (12-2) and Grand View Christian (10-0).

The Spartans suffered a 5-2 loss at Colo-NESCO June 10, but they came back to win six in a row. During the win streak they defeated Clarksville (11-1), Riceville (8-3), Colfax-Mingo (14-4), North Tama (5-1), Baxter (14-8) and Pleasantville (7-5).

"I really thought this team was great in supporting each other when things we're going well on the field," Hasbrouck said. "Understanding and working on handling adversity this year will greatly benefit returning players next year. 

Janesville handed Collins-Maxwell a 7-5 loss June 22 to snap the streak. But the Spartans came right back with decisive wins over GMG (14-4) and Dunkerton (14-2).

Traditional power Don Bosco defeated Colfax-Mingo by a 16-3 score June 27 to end the regular season. The Spartans then saw their season end in their 1A district opener, dropping a 10-9 slugfest to Madrid.

For the season Collins-Maxwell scored 161 and posted an impressive team batting average of .352. The Spartans had 42 doubles, eight triples, four home runs and 85 steals as a team.

Collins-Maxwell finished with a 95.1 % fielding average defensively. 

Blake Huntrods hit .394 on offense and made 14 putouts in the field to help Collins-Maxwell finish second in the ISC South and post a 12-10 overall record in 2022.

The Dvorak and Huntrods brothers all had big years for Collins-Maxwell on offense.

Junior Caleb Dvorak hit .446 with 12 doubles, one triple, 24 runs and 17 RBIs. He made 39 assists, 23 putouts and only five errors defensively in the infield.

Freshman Josef Dvorak stepped up to hit .358 with six doubles, one triple, three homers, 15 runs and 14 RBIs. Josef only had one error in 21 chances with four assists in the outfield.

Junior Jace Huntrods led the Huntrods triples with a .403 average at the plate. He hit one double, scored 20 runs, drove in 17, stole seven bases and made 52 putouts and 20 assists with only four errors defensively.

Blake Huntrods posted a .394 average with one double, 19 runs, 12 steals and eight RBIs. He made 14 assists and six putouts in the field.

Luke Huntrods hit .354 with seven doubles, one triple, one home run, 20 runs and 15 RBIs. Behind the plate Luke only had three errors in 168 chances and he threw out five base runners.

Junior Caden Hasbrouck and senior Weston Kahler were also productive on offense.

Hasbrouck hit .388 with three doubles and 18 RBIs. In the field he only made two errors in 19 chances.

Kahler just missed the .300 mark, hitting .299 with five doubles, two triples, 24 runs, 11 steals and 10 RBIs. In the field he had 32 putouts, 12 assists and only three errors.

Senior first baseman Austin Kepple recorded a .263 average with four doubles, two triples, 12 runs and nine RBIs. He tallied just four errors in 76 chances defensively.

Eighth grader Cooper Wierson came on late in the season for the Spartans.

Wierson hit .294 with three doubles, one triple and 13 runs and RBIs apiece. He led the team in steals with 16 and only had five errors with 41 putouts and 20 assists in the field.

The Collins-Maxwell pitching staff gave up 105 runs and posted a 4.12 ERA with 151 strikeouts and 84 walks in 137 2/3 innings.

Kahler logged the most innings on the hill at 38 1/3. He went 2-2 with a team-best 2.92 ERA, 55 strikeouts and 20 walks.

Kepple went 4-2 with one save. He posted a 3.86 ERA with 28 strikeouts and 12 walks in 32 2/3 innings.

Jace Huntrods threw 24 1/3 innings and went 3-3 with a 5.75 ERA, 21 strikeouts and 17 walks. Hasbrouck was 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA, 19 strikeouts and 16 walks in 18 1/3 innings.

Wierson threw 15 1/3 innings and went 0-2 with a 5.48 ERA, 22 strikeouts and 13 walks. Luke Huntrods was 1-0 with a 5.65 ERA in 8 2/3 innings.

Kahler and Kepple will be big losses next season. The Spartans also lose reserve Bradyn Bartleson.

"We'll graduate three seniors off this year's team and will need to have some guys step up and fill their shoes next year, Jason Hasbrouck said. "It really is the toughest part of coaching when you realize your last line-up card was the last time you'll put their name down." 

But with the bulk of its lineup and pitching staff back as the program's original class of eighth graders become seniors Collins-Maxwell will have the opportunity to contend for a South Division title and make a deep postseason run in 2023.

"We have the opportunity to return a lot of kids that played significant minutes this year," Jason Hasbrouck said. "A lot of kids that will be five-year starters in the program.  I look forward to the spring and getting back to work with them."