COUNCIL BLUFFS – For the second year in a row, the Essex/South Page Trojan baseball team saw its season end at St. Albert against the host school.

The Falcons earned a 15-0 win, Saturday, July 13, in a Class 1A District Quarterfinal that was called after four innings due to the run-rule.

Essex/South Page starting pitcher Eli Drennen held the Hawkeye 10 Conference’s Falcons to one run in the first inning, but St. Albert added four in the second and 10 in the third to earn the victory.

The Trojans managed three hits against Ethan Bernard, St. Albert’s top pitcher. Daniel Ohnmacht doubled in his final game as a Trojan. Philip Franks and Wesley Johnson also had hits as Essex/South Page’s season ended at 2-14.

Drennen lasted 2 2/3 innings on the mound. He gave up five hits and 11 runs, five earned, while walking two and striking out one. Tucker Hadden came on to pitch in the third and recorded the final out, but not before giving up four unearned runs.

The Falcons improved to 22-13 and advanced to a district semifinal, Tuesday, July 16 at home against AHSTW.

Ohnmacht, Luke Dalley and Jake Gray all played their last game for the Trojans. The two South Page students, Drennen and Mason McClarnon, also played their last game for the program as the baseball season marked the end of Essex and South Page’s athletic sharing agreemen

Additionally, Trojans coach Jay Soderberg coached his final game after serving as the baseball, girls basketball and golf coach at Essex. He left the district at the end of the school year to take a teaching position in Shenandoah.

The win advances the Trojans to a district quarterfinal, Saturday, July 13 against top-seed St. Albert. The Falcons finished in the top half of the Hawkeye 10 Conference this season and were a state tournament qualifier last year, but Soderberg said they’ll give it their best shot.

“We were the only team to have a lead on them and score on them last year (at the district tournament),” said Soderberg. “We’ll go in, play ball and accept the challenge. It’s not a brand new experience being there. We’re excited.”

The district quarterfinal is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start. It follows the district quarterfinal between Logan-Magnolia and Sidney, which begins at 5 p.m.

Thursday, win over Riverside

OAKLAND – Essex/South Page senior Daniel Ohnmacht threw a three-hit complete game shutout and the Trojan bats also performed well in a 10-0 win over Riverside, Thursday, July 11 in a Class 1A District 14 1st round game.

Riverside didn’t have anyone reach third base all game and never put more than one runner on in a single inning. Ohnmacht was perfect in the second and third innings while the offense was building a lead. He struck out eight and his defense was mostly clean behind him.

“I was just trying pick spots,” said Ohnmacht, “and just put it where they couldn’t hit it.”

“I really wanted the shutout for him,” Essex/South Page coach Jay Soderberg said. “I know he doesn’t care about those things, but it’s a cool feather to put in your cap. He limited the runners, threw strikes and worked ahead.”

The Trojans didn’t score in the first inning but took the lead in the second and grabbed control of the game in the third.

Jake Gray singled to open the second inning against Riverside starting pitcher Eddie Vlcek. Philip Franks doubled in a run with one out and would eventually score to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead after two.

The score to give the Trojans a 2-0 lead after two.

Colton Thornburg opened the third frame with a single. He took second on a passed ball, and then stole third and scored on a passed ball. Ohnmacht and Quentin Thornburg walked and then Eli Drennen doubled in two to give the Trojans a 5-0 lead. Drennen would eventually score against relief pitcher Wyatt Hough to make it 6-0 after three.

“That was huge,” Soderberg said on adding some cushion. “Just to put on a couple more makes you feel confident.”

“The runs picked up our confidence early,” Ohnmacht added. “We started hitting better and we fielded great the whole time.”

Gray walked to open the fifth, stole second and third and scored on a passed ball. The final three Trojan runs came in the seventh with Franks adding another hit and RBI.

Franks and Colton Thornburg had two hits each to lead the Trojans with Franks and Drennen driving in two runs each. Drennen and Gray scored two runs each.

Soderberg said it was a great win for the Trojans, who have now won three postseason games over the past two seasons.

“We had Daniel on the mound,” said Soderberg, “and we always have confidence in games that he throws. The defense stepped up, especially Drennen at third base. We were swinging early (in the first inning), but then we had patience and started putting runs on the board.”

Several pictures from the game can be seen at

Tuesday, loss to Stanton

STANTON – Donnie Weis threw a five-inning no-hitter as Stanton completed an undefeated run through the Corner Conference with an 11-0 win over Essex/South Page, Tuesday, July 9.

The Trojans had just three reach base in five innings. Daniel Ohnmacht took a one-out walk in the first inning and reached on an error in the third. Tucker Hadden was hit by a pitch in the second.

Stanton scored all it would need, and a lot more, in the first inning. The first four reached base against Trojan pitcher Wesley Johnson and the Vikings sent 13 to the plate in putting up a seven-run first frame.

Eli Drennen came on to record the final out of the first. He ended up lasting 2.1 innings, giving up the final four runs, three earned.

Carter Johnson, Drake Johnson and Thomas Bates had two hits each as the Vikings finished the regular season with a 16-4 record, 10-0 in the Corner Conference.

Essex/South Page wrapped up the regular season at 1-13 overall, tying for fifth in the Corner Conference at 1-9.

ESSEX – A four-run fourth inning did in the Essex/South Page Trojans in a 5-1 loss to East Mills, Monday, July 8.

This was the completion of a suspended game from Wednesday, July 3 that began in the second inning.

Tucker Hadden kept the Wolverines off the scoreboard through the first three innings, but Trevor Glockel opened the fourth with a single. Nic Duysen followed with an RBI triple to give East Mills the lead. He scored on a sacrifice fly from Jackson Wray. A pair of two-out errors kept the inning alive and Brody Gordon’s single scored both to give East Mills a 4-0 lead.

Jake Gray doubled and scored in the bottom of the fourth for the only Trojan run of the game.

The Trojans had additional opportunities to score. They left the bases loaded in the first inning and left runners at second and third in the fifth.

Daniel Ohnmacht led the Trojans with two hits. Eli Drennen and Philip Franks ended with the other Trojan hits.

Hadden lasted 5.1 innings on the mound in taking the loss for the Trojans. He gave up five hits, four walks and five runs, two earned, while striking out two.

Ohnmacht came on in relief and threw 16 pitches in facing six batters, recording the final five outs.

The loss dropped the Trojans to 1-12 overall and 1-8 in the Corner Conference.

East Mills improved to 9-9 and finished conference play at 5-5.

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