NEVADA – A monster fourth inning allowed the Ballard baseball team to make short work of Nevada in a non-conference rivalry game Tuesday at Billy Sunday Field.
The Bombers torched Nevada for 11 runs in the fourth en route to a 16-1 victory in four innings.
Ballard (9-3) built a 5-1 lead after two innings. Isaiah Johnson hit a two-run single in the first inning and Kenny Randolph belted a long two-run single off the fence in the second.
In the fourth inning everything came together as Ballard pounded out eight hits – including three doubles – to break the game open.
Ballard finished the game with 13 hits. Pitchers Spencer Struve and Kai Reinertson combined to hold Nevada to two hits and the Bombers only had one error in the field.
"We hit well, the pitching is coming together and we’re fielding well," Ballard head coach John Cisna said. "It’s coming together now, it really is."
Quality depth has been a huge reason Ballard has achieved so much early success. The Bombers have had several different players step up at different times this season.
"I dress 19 people and I’ve never dressed 19 people," Cisna said. "That’s because I can use all 19 people in a game. It’s kind of exciting. We’re playing well right now."
Pitching has especially benefited from the improved bench. The Bombers have the deepest bullpen they’ve had in years – constantly throwing three or four pitchers a night.
"We’ve got five or six pitchers we can use at any given time and we use them a lot," Cisna said. "We throw three or four pitchers at a time and we throw them every other game. That’s a huge advantage; they only have to throw two or three innings, so they can let it go and don’t have to worry about holding back."
Southpaws Struve and Reinertson were tough for Nevada to figure out. Struve fanned four batters and then Reinertson struck out the side in the fourth.
At the plate Randolph continued his hot 2014 campaign.
The Bomber designated hitter came into the game with an incredible .600 batting average after compiling 18 hits in 30 at bats. Against Nevada he was 3-for-4 with five RBI.
"I just go out there and do my job," Randolph said. "When I hit that big bomb to left field (in the second inning), it got my adrenaline pumping and I kept hitting the ball."
Randolph recorded three consecutive hits after popping out his first at-bat.
Lane Volkman hit two doubles and drove in three runs in Ballard’s big fourth inning; he finished the game with three hits. Jacob Nethers hit two RBI singles and Nick Hartman doubled in the fourth for Ballard.
Nevada fell to 4-9 with the loss. It was the Cubs’ fifth setback in their last six games.
Patrick Stephenson reached on an infield hit and scored on a single by Bennett Thompson in the bottom of the first for Nevada’s only offense all game. Brandon DeGroot was the losing pitcher as he finished with three strikeouts and five walks in three innings.
Ballard 16, Nevada 1 (4)
B 320 (11) – 16 13 1
N 100 0 – 1 2 2
B: Spencer Struve, Kai Reinertson and Isaiah Johnson
N: Brandon DeGroot, Cam Shill (4) and Macade Matuska
2B: B – Lane Volkman 2, Spencer Struve, Nick Hartman
SLATER – Ballard countered its only bad pitching stretch with its best offensive inning to earn a 7-3 Raccoon River Conference victory over Adel-Desoto-Minburn Monday in Slater.
The Bombers took a 2-0 lead into the sixth inning, only to see ADM find some rhythm at the plate at just the right time with three runs in the top of the sixth. But Ballard came through with five runs in the bottom of the inning and Coy Baker slammed the door on the Tigers in the seventh as the Bombers improved to 4-1 in the RRC.
Marcus Johnson went 3-for-3 with a double and a triple and Matt Poots went 1-for-2 with a walk and three RBI to lead Ballard offensively. Pinch runner Patrick Gray scored three runs; Spencer Struve was 1-for-4 with a run and two RBI; Nathan Carlin singled, walked and picked up one run and RBI apiece and Nick Hartman doubled for the Bombers.
Lane Volkman and Kenny Randolph both added a single, Mitchell Broer walked and scored and Jacob Nethers walked twice and drove in a run.
Baker gave up two runs – one earned – on two hits with four strikeouts and one walk in two innings to get the victory in relief. Hartman started the game and he allowed one run on just one hit with six strikeouts and one walk in five innings.
Ballard 7, ADM 3
ADM 000 003 0 – 3 3 NA
B 010 105 X – 7 9 NA
B: Nick Hartman, Coy Baker (6) and Marcus Johnson
2B: Hartman, Johnson
SLATER – An offensive drought resulted in a 6-2 loss for Ballard versus Perry June 12 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.
After taking a 2-1 lead through two innings, Ballard failed to score over the final five innings of play, suffering its first Raccoon River Conference loss. Perry went ahead to stay with four runs in the top of the fifth and the Bluejays added an insurance run in the sixth.
Jonny Luster took the loss in relief as he gave up three runs on two hits with one strikeout in 1/3 of an inning. Landon Manfull gave up one run on one hit with one strikeout and walk apiece in 2/3 of an inning.
Coy Baker allowed one run on one hit with three strikeouts and two walks in two innings. Nick Hartman got the start for Ballard and he allowed one run on three hits with six strikeouts and one walk in four innings.
Ballard totaled eight hits on offense. Hartman was 2-for-2 with a walk, double and RBI; Baker went 1-for-3 with one run and RBI apiece; Spencer Struve finished 2-for-4; Marcus Johnson hit a double and Isaiah Johnson scored once for the Bombers.
Zach Roberts went 3-for-4 with a double and two RBI and Will Whiton was 2-for-4 with a double, three steals and two runs and RBI apiece to lead Perry. Tyler Thompson picked up the win for the Bluejays as he threw all seven innings and struck out three with two walks.
Perry 6, Ballard 2
P 100 041 0 – 6 7 NA
B 020 000 0 – 2 8 NA
P: Tyler Thompson and Zach Roberts
B: Nick Hartman, Jonny Luster (5), Landon Manfull (5), Coy Baker (6) and Marcus Johnson
2B: P – Roberts, Will Whiton; B – Hartman, Johnson
SLATER – A pair of five-run innings lifted Ballard to a 12-3 Raccoon River Conference victory over Winterset June 11 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.
The Bombers plated five runs in the third inning to take a 5-2 lead. After increasing their edge to 7-2 through four innings, they added five more scores in the sixth to break the game open.
Ballard totaled 12 hits on offense. Kenny Randolph went 4-for-4 with a double, two runs and two RBI; Matt Poots turned in a 3-for-3 night with a double and three runs; Nathan Carlin was 1-for-2 with two walks, two runs and three RBI and Lane Volkman homered and knocked in three runs to lead the Bombers.
Jacob Nethers went 2-for-4 with a double, run and two RBI; Spencer Struve finished 1-for-3 with one run and RBI apiece and Coy Baker and Patrick Gray both scored once for the Bombers.
Nick Hartman was the winning pitcher. He allowed two runs on three hits with five strikeouts and three walks in three innings.
Parker Klimesh took the loss for Winterset after giving up seven runs with two walks and one strikeout in three innings. Colby VanPelt went 2-for-4 with a double, home run and two RBI for the Huskies at the plate.
Ballard 12, Winterset 3
W 200 001 0 – 3 7 NA
B 005 205 X – 12 12 NA
W: Parker Klimesh, Cullen Donahoe (4), Colton Patterson (5) and Colby VanPelt
B: Nick Hartman, Jaden Moody (4), Landon Manfull (5), Coy Baker (6) and Marcus Johnson
2B: W – VanPelt; B – Jacob Nethers, Kenny Randolph, Matt Poots
HR: W – VanPelt; B – Lane Volkman
SLATER – Brilliant pitching by committee resulted in a 7-0 shutout victory for Ballard over Woodward Academy June 10 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.
The Bombers used four pitchers and they combined to hold Woodward Academy to two hits to get a convincing non-conference victory.
Kai Reinertson got the start and earned the win for Ballard as he struck out four and allowed just one hit and no walks in three innings. Nathan Carlin struck out three and gave up one hit with no walks in two innings and Landon Manfull and Jaden Moody combined for three strikeouts after throwing one inning apiece of hitless ball.
Ballard produced all the offense it needed in the second inning with a five-run outburst. The Bombers finished with 12 hits as a team and they also took advantage of Woodward Academy’s control problems, picking up seven walks.
Nathan Carlin, Kenny Randolph, Jacob Nethers and Lane Volkman each collected two hits for Ballard in the win. Carlin also walked, stole a base and scored once, Randolph drove in one run, Nethers doubled, walked, scored and knocked in a run and Volkman picked up one walk, run and RBI apiece.
Reinertson doubled in a run and scored in his only at-bat. Manfull singled and scored, Matt Poots was 1-for-4 with a run and C.J. Poots doubled in a run.
Ballard 7, Woodward Academy 0
WA 000 000 0 – 0 2 NA
B 050 110 X – 7 12 NA
WA: Hector Espinoza and Owen Spicer
B: Kai Reinertson, Landon Manfull (4), Nathan Carlin (5), Jaden Moody (7) and Marcus Johnson, C.J. Poots (4)
2B: B – Reinertson, Jacob Nethers, Poots
BONDURANT – A late surge helped Ballard get past a winless Bondurant-Farrar team in extra innings June 9 as the Bombers prevailed by a 7-4 score in eight innings.
Ballard trailed 4-3 going into the sixth inning. But the Bombers put a run on the board in the top of the inning and pitcher Coy Baker blanked Bondurant-Farrar over the next two innings to force an extra frame.
In the eighth inning Ballard came up big by scoring three runs in the top of the inning. Baker kept the Bluejays off the board in the bottom of the inning to close out the comeback win.
Baker struck out six batters and walked two in 3 1/3 innings of hitless and scoreless relief to earn the victory. Nick Hartman allowed three runs on three walks and one hit with two strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings and Jonny Luster gave up just one run with four strikeouts in three innings of work.
Baker was also 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI at the plate. Jacob Nethers finished 2-for-4 with two runs, two steals and an RBI and Spencer Struve, Nathan Carlin, Lane Volkman and Hartman each drove in a run for Ballard.
Hunter Kennedy gave up three runs with five walks and two strikeouts in 2/3 of an inning to take the loss for Bondurant-Farrar. Jarrid Clark led the Bluejays offensively by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, one home run and three RBI.
Ballard 7, Bondurant-Farrar 4 (8)
B 300 001 03 – 7 7 NA
B-F 120 010 00 – 4 6 NA
B: Nick Hartman, Jonny Luster (2), Coy Baker (5) and C.J. Poots
B-F: Carter Brandt, Hunter Kennedy (8), Tay Ramus (8) and Tucker Ksiazek
2B: B – Baker; B-F – Jarrid Clark 2
HR: B-F – Clark