CARLISLE - The Ballard baseball team played good defense and got solid pitching against Carlisle Friday, but the Bombers had trouble at the plate in a 5-2 loss to the Wildcats.
Ballard finished with just two hits off Carlisle hurlers Isaiah Henrichs and Seth Curry, falling to 9-7 overall and 4-3 in the Raccoon River Conference.
The Bombers scored a run in the second inning and another in the fourth. Isaac Schafbuch doubled and drove in a run, Cody Wolfe singled and walked, pinch runner Nic Edwards scored twice and Jack Luster, Kade Reinertson, Gannon Manfull and Tanner Brock each drew a walk.
Wolfe was the losing pitcher. He gave up four runs on five hits and four walks with two strikeouts in four innings. Luster surrendered one run on four hits with two strikeouts in two innings.
Isaiah Henrichs struck out six and walked five in 6 ⅔ innings as the winning Carlisle pitcher. Dylan Berg was 2-for-4 with a solo home run, Max Goodhue finished 2-for-2 with walk, run and two RBIs and Nic McCay ended up 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI for the Wildcats.
SLATER - Things were looking dire for Ballard in the top of the seventh inning versus Winterset June 19 at Nite Hawk Field.
The Bombers were holding on to a one-run lead, but Winterset loaded the bases with no outs after Gavin Milledge singled, Brady Porter walked and Jacob Dick reached on a bunt single.
Ballard pitcher Colin Anderson had been dynamite heading into the seventh, giving up just one run on five hits and one walk. So the Bombers weren't about to give up on him, and the senior — with the help of his defense — made sure not to disappoint.
Anderson got Logan Hall to ground into a force out at home after a heads-up play by shortstop Gannon Manfull, then fanned Conner Van Pelt for a huge second out without any runners advancing. Casey Young stepped into the batter's box and hit another grounder to Manfull, who initially bobbled the ball, but calmly recovered in time to get a force out at second and finish off a 2-1 Bomber victory.
“You've really got to work and trust the defense,” Anderson said. “You've just got to throw strikes and give yourself a chance to get out of the inning. My defense did a great job there at the end.”
Anderson ended up allowing seven hits and two walks, striking out five. He showed tremendous poise and senior leadership when things got tough in the seventh.
“It's a lot of pressure,” Anderson said. “But pressure makes things interesting, so it makes it a little bit more fun.”
The Bomber defense was tuned in behind Anderson. Ballard didn't commit an error all night.
Manfull's two big plays in the seventh were especially crucial.
“The bases were loaded and we had to get that out at home because we were only up one run,” Manfull said of getting the second out. “(The last out) I was just trying to keep everything in front of me and get it to whatever bag is closest.”
Both of Ballard's runs came on ground outs during the first two innings.
In the bottom of the first, Jack Luster reached on an infield hit and Reece Huen sacrificed him over to second. A wild pitch moved Luster to third and he scored on a grounder to short by Kade Reinertson.
In the second inning, Nolan Payne walked, stole second, took third on a single by Manfull and made his way home on a grounder to second by Tanner Brock.
“We've just got to trust each other,” Manfull said. “Make sure we get base hits and get the next person up — that's the only way you're going to score runs really unless you're going to hit home runs. You've got to figure out how to get people on, then get them in.”
Manfull, Luster, Reinertson, Cody Wolfe and Clay Estrem each had a single. Reinertson and Payne each walked once and Payne and Estrem stole one base apiece.
Winterset's only run came in the top of the fourth when Tolik Bartz singled and scored on a single by Eric Shortt. Shortt went 2-for-3 with an RBI and Easton Holder was 2-for-3 with a double for the Huskies.
Casey Young was the losing pitcher. Young went all six innings for Winterset and gave up two earned runs with nine strikeouts and two walks.
Ballard 2, Winterset 1
W 000 100 0 - 1 7 1
B 110 000 X - 2 5 0
W: Casey Young and Easton Holder.
B: Colin Anderson and Kade Reinertson.
2B: W - Holder.