Bomber baseball team surges to 9-2

Story and photos by Joe RandlemanStaff Writer
Bomber baseball team surges to 9-2

SLATER — A dynamite hitting display propelled the Ballard baseball team past Perry in a 19-12 slugfest June 9 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.

The Bombers pounded Bluejay pitching for 15 hits, including six extra-base knocks, winning their fifth game in a row to improve to 9-2 overall and 3-1 in the Raccoon River Conference.

Ballard saw a 4-1 lead turn into a two-run deficit after giving up five runs in the top of the fourth inning. But the Bombers came back with four runs in the bottom of the fourth and never trailed again - putting the game away in the fifth with a huge eight-run outburst.

Marcus Chieves and Jonny Luster had spectacular nights at the plate for Ballard.

Chieves went 4-for-5 with two triples, four runs, four RBI and a steal. Luster was 3-for-5 with a home run, steal, three runs and six RBI.

Taylor Roberts also stepped up on offense. Roberts was 3-for-4 with a double, three runs and two RBI. Austin Edwards went 2-for-5 with one run; Kobe Schulze ended up 1-for-3 with a double, four runs, two walks and an RBI and Brooks Fleischmann ended up 1-for-3 with two runs, a walk and an RBI.

Roberts earned the win after giving up five earned runs on two hits with four walks and one strikeout in 1 ? innings of relief. Schulze picked up the save after allowing one hit and striking out one in two scoreless innings and Gannon Manfull allowed two earned runs on three hits with four walks and two strikeouts in 3 ? innings as the Bomber starter.

In addition to the productive hitting night, Ballard also took advantage of six Perry errors. That enabled the Bombers to easily overcome three of their own miscues.

Janier Puente took the loss for Perry after giving up 15 earned runs on 14 hits with five strikeouts and four walks in 4 ? innings.

Ballard 19, Perry 12

P 010 515 0 - 12 6 6

B 013 483 X - 19 15 3

B: Gannon Manfull, Taylor Roberts (4), Kobe Schulze (6) and Clayton Poots.

P: Janier Puente, Adan Medina (5), Alexis Garrido (6).

WP: Roberts.

LP: Puente.

SV: Schulze.

2B: P - Nevitt, Medina, Garrido. B - Schulze, Roberts, Nick Fopma.

3B: B - Marcus Chieves 2.

HR: B - Jonny Luster.

SLATER — A two-out single by Jonny Luster in the bottom of the seventh inning gave Ballard an exciting 8-7 victory over Winterset June 8 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.

The game was a 7-7 tie going into the bottom of the seventh. Nick Fopma opened the inning by reaching on a pinch-hit single just off the glove of Winterset left fielder Nick Nelson and he moved to second on a perfect sacrifice bunt from Brooks Fleischmann.

Winterset pitcher Dan Brookhart then forced Kobe Schulze to ground out to second base for the second out of the inning. Marcus Chieves kept the inning alive for Ballard by drawing a walk to bring Luster up to the plate.

Luster hadn’t reached base in his three previous at-bats. But the No. 3 hitter in the batting order has had a strong start to the season and he rediscovered his groove at exactly the right time versus Winterset.

“I was talking to some of their players and they knew my batting average was up there, so some of (them) told me they were going to try and pitch around me,” Luster said. “Going into that last at-bat I knew he was going to throw me some off-speed pitches - I mean he threw me three curveballs before that. Coach (Nick Steenhagen) told me the pitcher on the mound has kind of been wild all night. I knew I was going to get a curveball. There were two strikes and I didn’t want to strike out so I just put a good swing on it.”

On a 2-2 pitch Luster ripped a sharp grounder up the middle that made its way into the outfield to drive in Fopma with the winning run.

“Coming in here we knew we had to play hard and that’s what we did,” Luster said. “We played the full seven innings. There wasn’t an inning we weren’t in the game as a team. That’s the biggest thing.”

Colin Anderson came up big on the mound for Ballard.

Anderson relieved starter Kai Reinertson with one out in the fourth inning and the score knotted at 7-7 after a solo home run by Winterset’s Colby VanPelt in the fourth. With runners on first and second and one out, Ballard caught Winterset’s Jack Barker trying to steal third and Anderson struck out Conner Morris to get out of the jam.

“It wasn’t too bad of a situation with runners on first and second with one out,” Anderson said. “I just really trust my defense. I give it to them.”

Over the next three innings Anderson held Winterset to one hit. He struck out three more batters without issuing a single walk to keep the Huskies off the scoreboard and set up Luster’s winning hit.

“I barely threw any curveballs - all fastballs,” Anderson said. “It was really getting them good.”

Reinertson allowed six earned runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and two walks in 3 ? innings.

Eight different players got a hit for Ballard on the night. Austin Edwards was the only player with more than one hit as he went 2-for-4 with a steal and a run.

Fopma was 1-for-1 with two runs, Lane Shaeffer went 1-for-4 with two runs and RBI apiece, Chieves went 1-for-3 with two walks and an RBI and Luster finished 1-for-4 with a walk. Fleischmann went 1-for-2 with a walk, run and RBI; Clayton Poots was 1-for-1 with a walk and an RBI and Gannon Manfull ended up 1-for-2 with a walk and a steal.

Taylor Roberts walked twice and also scored two times. Schulze ended up with one walk, steal and RBI apiece.

Brookhart gave up one earned run with five walks and one strikeout in four innings to take the loss. Barker, Morris and Chris Dillinger each drove in two runs for the Huskies.

Ballard 8, Winterset 7

W 204 100 0 - 7 10 1

B 052 000 1 - 8 9 2

W: Jack Barker, Nick Nelson (2), Dan Brookhart (4) and Colby VanPelt.

B: Kai Reinertson, Colin Anderson (4) and Clayton Poots.

WP: Anderson.

LP: Brookhart.

HR: W - VanPelt.