By William /

CANTON – It appears the Canton/Galva baseball program could be revitalized by the appearance of a pair of solid opening day wins on Friday over Lindsborg Home School.

In game one the Eagles hung on for a 4-3 victory before pounding out a dominating 11-2 win in the nightcap.

“It wasn’t pretty by any means but sitting at 2-0 feels really good to start,” explained Seth Moddelmog, the Eagles first-year head coach. “The guys played hard, and the energy was solid throughout both games. I feel like a solid foundation was set as a team, but there is still a lot of work to be done. This team has a lot of potential and it is up to us coaches to help this group unlock that and continue to develop.”

The Eagles scored a run in each for the first four innings in game one and after they gave up three runs in the third to Lindsborg Home School, they held on and earned the final 4-3 win.

Combining to throw on the mound for Canton/Galva were Garrett Maltbie and Ryder Norstrom, and they held Lindsborg to just one hit.

Opening game jitters may have hindered the Eagles as they could only muster up five hits, though one of them came on a triple pounded out by John Burrill. The team was able to steal six bases although the Eagle defense committed three errors.

When reflecting on the season opener, Moddelmog added, “it was rather simple in game one, we could not get the bats going. Garrett (Maltbie) and Ryder (Norstrom) pitched well and really shut down the Lindsborg offense. Our defense and pitching are what got us the win.”

In the second game, the Eagles scored one run in the first and after giving up a pair of runs to Lindsborg in the top of the third, pounded across six runs in the bottom of the third to take a huge 7-2 lead before pushing across four more runs in the fourth to gain the final 11-2 victory.

Andrew Huxman and John Burrill, two of the co-op players from Elyria Christian School, did the pitching for the Eagles as Huxman threw the first two innings and Burrill finished out the final three. The combo held Lindsborg to just two hits as Burrill got credit for the win.

Coming alive in the second game was the Eagle offense as they hammered out 10 hits that included three doubles, with one each coming from Xavier Westbrook, Garrett Maltbie, and Noah Collins. Westbrook’s three hits led the team while Dylan Cherry had a pair of hits as well. Ryder Norstrom scored three times and both Cherry and Westbrook came across twice.

Canton/Galva wore the Lindsborg defense and pitchers down by stealing a whopping 12 bases in the four innings they were at the plate, with Norstrom leading the way with four swipes and Westbrook stole three.

Moddelmog was able to conclude his opening day reflections by saying, “In game two the bats woke up a little bit which enabled us to pull away and get the win. Again, in game two – pitching and defense led the way, though offensively we found ways to put pressure on the Lindsborg defense which led to more hits, stolen bases, and getting runs on the board. Andrew (Huxman) and John (Burrill) pitched really well for us and kept Lindsborg in check.”

The first full week of the 2022 season gets under way on Tuesday, March 29 when the Eagles travel to Remington before going on the road again on Thursday, March 31 with a trip to Little River.

GAME 1:                   1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – R- H – E

Lindsborg H.S.         0 – 0 – 3 – 0 – 0 – X – X – 3 – 1 – 2

EAGLES                      1 – 1 – 1 – 1 – X – X – X – 4 – 5 – 3

CANTON/GALVA EAGLE PITCHING (IP-H-R ER-SO-BB): Garrett Maltbie 2.1-1-2-1-2-6; Ryder Norstrom 2.2-0-1-0-1-2. Team Totals: 5.0-1-3-0-2-8. WP: Maltbie.

CANTON/GALVA EAGLE HITTING (AB-R-H-RBI-BB): Ryder Norstrom 2-0-1-1-1; Andrew Huxman 2-1-0-0-1; Garrett Maltbie 2-1-1-0-0; Dylan Cherry 2-0-1-0-0; Ross Burrill 2-0-0-1-0; Xavier Westbrook 2-0-0-0-0; Noah Collins 2-1-1-0-0; Gavin Robertson 1-0-0-0-1; John Burrill 2-1-1-0-0. Team Totals: 17-4-5-2-3. LOB: 4. 3B: J. Burrill – 1. SB (6): N. Collins, Maltbie – 2; Norstrom, Huxman – 1.

Lindsborg Home School Pitching (IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB): 4.0-5-4-3-3-6.

Lindsborg Home School Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI-BB): 16-3-1-1-3-6. LOB: 1.

GAME 2:                   1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6 – 7 – R – H – E

Lindsborg H.S.         0 – 0 – 2 – 0 – 0 – X – X – 2 – 2 – 2                     

EAGLES                      1 – 0 – 6 – 4 – X – X – X – 11 – 10 – 3  

CANTON/GALVA EAGLE PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB): Andrew Huxman 2.0-1-2-0-2-3; John Burrill 3.0-1-0-0-0-3. Tam Totals: 5.0-2-2-0-2-6. WP: J. Burrill

CANTON/GALVA EAGLE HITTING (AB-R-H-RBI-BB): Ryder Norstrom 1-3-1-0-2; Andrew Huxman 3-0-0-0-0; Garrett Maltbie 2-1-1-3-0; Dylan Cherry 3-2-2-1-0; Ross Burrill 3-0-0-1-0; Xavier Westbrook 3-2-3-1-0; Noah Collins 3-1-1-1-0; Landon Kauffold 3-0-1-1-0; John Burrill 2-1-1-0-0. Team Totals: 23-11-10-8-2. LOB: 3. 2B (3): Westbrook, Maltbie, Collins – 1. SB (12): Norstrom – 4; Westbrook – 3; J. Burrill – 2; Cherry, Maltbie, Collins – 1.

Lindsborg Home School Pitching (IP-H-R-ER-SO-BB): 4.0-10-11-7-2-6.

Lindsborg Home School Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI-BB): 18-2-2-1-2. LOB: 4.

(William is a free-lance writer covering McPherson County Activities – he can be reached at