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Bomber baseball team has rough week

Nick Hartman fires a pitch for Ballard during the Bombers’ game with No. 1 North Polk (Class 2A) July 1 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater. Hartman and the Bombers gave a valiant effort, but the Comets won a 1-0 battle.
Nick Hartman fires a pitch for Ballard during the Bombers’ game with No. 1 North Polk (Class 2A) July 1 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater. Hartman and the Bombers gave a valiant effort, but the Comets won a 1-0 battle.
Ballard third baseman Nathan Carlin starts to make a throw after fielding a ball in the Bombers’ close loss to No. 1 North Polk July 1.
Ballard third baseman Nathan Carlin starts to make a throw after fielding a ball in the Bombers’ close loss to No. 1 North Polk July 1.

ADEL – A busy Monday ended with a lackluster performance for the Ballard baseball team as the Bombers were handed an 11-1 loss in five innings by Adel-Desoto-Minburn at Adel.

The game was the second of the day for Ballard. Earlier in the afternoon, the Bombers fell to Bondurant-Farrar by an 8-5 score in a makeup game at Slater.

The Bombers hung tough early against ADM, but struggled in the middle innings. Ballard trailed 1-0 through two innings, but ADM scored three times in the third and four runs in the fourth to increase its margin to eight runs.

Ballard came back with a run in the top of the fifth, but ADM countered with three runs in the bottom of the inning to end the game on account of the 10-run rule. The loss was the Bombers’ fifth in a row as they fell to 11-11 overall and 4-8 in the Raccoon River Conference.

Coy Baker got the start for Ballard and he took the loss after giving up eight runs – just two earned – on five hits with three strikeouts and two walks in three innings. Nick Hartman allowed two earned runs on no hits with 11 walks and five strikeouts in three innings of relief.

Nathan Carlin singled and scored off a single by Lane Volkman for Ballard’s only run. Kenny Randolph, Jacob Nethers, Kobe Schulze and Marcus Johnson each added one hit apiece and Nethers and Baker each walked once.

Ethan Herron struck out five and walked two in five innings to earn the win for ADM. Joe Sloss led the Tigers at the plate as he went 2-for-3 with a double, walk, two steals, three runs and an RBI.

ADM 11, Ballard 1 (5)

B 000 01 – 1 6 NA

ADM 103 43 – 11 5 NA

B: Coy Baker, Nick Hartman (4) and Marcus Johnson

ADM: Ethan Herron and Logan Essy

WP: Herron

LP: Baker

2B: ADM – Joe Sloss

SLATER – One good inning wasn’t enough to get Ballard past Bondurant-Farrar in an early afternoon game with the Bluejays Monday as the Bombers suffered an 8-5 loss at home.

After falling behind 6-0, Ballard scored all five of its runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. But the Bombers could get no closer as they went scoreless the rest of the way and the Bluejays tacked on two runs in the sixth to pull away.

Ballard finished with five hits in the loss. Jacob Nethers was 2-for-4 with one run and RBI apiece and Lane Volkman, Marcus Johnson and Jonny Luster each picked up one hit.

Coy Baker, Mitchell Broer, Patrick Gray and Isaiah Johnson each scored once and Johnson also stole a base for the Bombers. Broer and Spencer Struve both knocked in a run.

Jaden Moody was the losing pitcher. He gave up four earned runs on four hits with three strikeouts and walks apiece in three innings. Kai Reinertson surrendered two runs – one earned – on three hits with two strikeouts and one walk in two innings and Jonny Luster gave up two runs – one earned – on one hit with two strikeouts and walks apiece in two innings of work.

Bondurant-Farrar 8, Ballard 5

B-F 102 302 0 – 8 8 NA

B 000 500 0 – 5 5 NA

B: Jaden Moody, Jonny Luster (4), Kai Reinertson (6) and Marcus Johnson

LP: Moody

PERRY – Too many walks proved costly for Ballard in a 5-1 loss to Perry July 3 at Perry.

Bomber pitchers Nick Hartman, Jaden Moody and Coy Baker combined to strike out an impressive 12 batters on the night. But they also totaled eight walks.

That proved to be a big difference maker. Both teams ended up with four hits, but Perry pitcher Will Whiton only issued three walks.

Perry took a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Ballard pulled within 2-1 in the third, but Perry came back with three runs in the fourth and the Bombers sputtered down the stretch, going scoreless over the final four innings.

Hartman took the loss. He allowed four earned runs on four hits with six strikeouts and walks apiece in three innings.

Moody didn’t allow a hit and he gave up one run with three strikeouts and one walk in one inning of work. Baker struck out three and walked one in two hitless and scoreless innings for the Bombers.

Jacob Nethers doubled in Ballard’s only run and Marcus Johnson went 2-for-3 the Bombers. Jonny Luster added a single, Mitchell Broer walked and scored the lone Bomber run and Lane Volkman also drew a free pass.

Whiton struck out nine in seven innings to pick up the victory. He also homered and drove in two runs to pace Perry on offense.

Perry 5, Ballard 1

B 001 000 0 – 1 4 NA

P 200 300 X – 5 4 NA

B: Nick Hartman, Jaden Moody (4), Coy Baker (5) and Marcus Johnson

P: Will Whiton and Zach Roberts

WP: Whiton

LP: Hartman

2B: B – Jacob Nethers

HR: P – Whiton

WINTERSET – Great pitching and defense weren’t enough to get Ballard past Winterset July 2 at Winterset as the Bombers were dealt a 2-1 loss by the Huskies.

Ballard pitchers Jonny Luster and Kai Reinertson combined to hold Winterset to just three hits. But Ballard only mustered four hits off Winterset ace Andy Lambert, who finished with an impressive 13 strikeouts against just one walk, going the full seven innings.

Ballard gave up two runs in the second, then held the fort until the seventh. In the top of the seventh inning the Bombers plated their only run to put a scare into the Huskies, but they couldn’t finish the job, falling to 11-8 on the season and 4-5 in the Raccoon River Conference.

Luster took the loss after giving up both Winterset runs – just one earned – on one hit with three walks and two strikeouts in four innings. Reinertson limited Winterset to two hits with two strikeouts and no walks in two scoreless innings of relief.

Lane Volkman doubled in the seventh inning and scored Ballard’s only run. Kenny Randolph drove Volkman in and he ended up 1-for-3 on the night.

Marcus Johnson and Jacob Nethers both singled once to account for Ballard’s other hits. Mitchell Broer picked up Ballard’s only walk of the game.

Brandon Herr singled and scored, Allen Shahan crossed the plate once and Cullen Donahoe drove in a run for Winterset.

Winterset 2, Ballard 1

B 000 000 1 – 1 4 NA

W 020 000 X – 2 3 NA

B: Jonny Luster, Kai Reinertson (5) and Marcus Johnson

W: Andy Lambert and Colby VanPelt

WP: Lambert

LP: Luster

2B: B – Lane Volkman

SLATER – The little things made the difference when Ballard took on No. 1 North Polk July 1 at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.

The Bombers collected four hits to the Comets’ two and totaled more base runners and fewer errors. But base running mistakes and the inability to execute with runners on base doomed Ballard in a 1-0 loss to their non-conference rivals from down Highway 69.

“North Polk is an outstanding team – they’re No. 1 for a reason,” Ballard head coach John Cisna said. “I’m proud of the kids and the way they played. The pitching was good and we outhit them, but we made some absolute bonehead moves on the bases. When you play a team of this caliber, you’ve got to play all seven innings – you can’t play six. We missed some things on the bases, but other than that it was a great ball game.”

North Polk scored the game’s only run in the top of the second inning without picking up a base hit.

The Comets took advantage of Ballard’s only error when Wyatt Johnson reached on an errant throw with one out. Austin Hillebo and Grant Schiltz each drew a walk to load the bases with two outs and then Johnson scored on a wild pitch just before Nick Hartman struck out Reed Smith for the final out of the inning.

North Polk only threatened one other inning.

Two walks, followed by a bloop single by Chris Flynn, loaded the bases with one out in the top of the fourth. But Bomber relief pitcher Jaden Moody forced Smith to hit into a force play at home and then coaxed Russell Greene to fly out to right field for the final out.

Ballard had its first good scoring opportunity in the bottom of the third when Mitchell Broer hit a one-out double to right field. But Broer was left stranded as Comet starter Zach Brecht struck out the next two Bomber batters to get out of the inning.

The Bombers had another opportunity in the fifth when Moody reached second base on an error to start the Ballard half of the inning. Ballard put two runners on base in the inning when Broer drew a walk with two outs, but Brecht picked up a big strikeout to get out of the inning.

In the bottom of the sixth Ballard had its best chance to break through. Nathan Carlin hit an infield single to lead off the inning and Jacob Nethers singled with one out to put runners on first and second.

North Polk then brought in ace pitcher Cole Jackson to close out the game. But Ballard’s Lane Volkman ripped a two-strike Jackson pitch deep to center field.

The ball looked as if it was headed for a sure double to score at least one run, but Comet center fielder Matt Cox made a great play to nearly come up with the ball before it hit and bounced to the fence. Cox’ effort forced the Bomber base runners to hold up and by the time they realized the ball had landed, they were only able to move up one base.

That left the bases loaded with two outs. Jackson forced Matt Poots to fly out to him on the mound for the final out of the inning.

Coy Baker retired North Polk in order in the top of the seventh, picking up two strikeouts along the way. Baker then walked to lead off the bottom of the seventh and pinch runner Patrick Gray moved to second on a sacrifice bunt from Spencer Struve, but Jackson struck out Carlin to end the game.

“It was a good game,” Cisna said. “They are good and deserve to be No.1, but that’s closest we’ve played them in three years. We’re getting better and that’s what we’ve got to keep focusing on. The next two weeks are huge for us in the (Raccoon River Conference). Then we get ready for districts.”

Hartman took the loss after striking out five and walking four with no hits allowed in two innings. Moody struck out five, walked two and hit one batter and he allowed one hit in three innings of scoreless work and Baker struck out four and surrendered one hit in two innings.

Broer, Nethers, Volkman and Carlin each ended up with one hit apiece for the Bombers, who fell to 11-7 with the loss.

North Polk improved to 20-4. Brecht picked up the victory as he threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing three hits and one walk with five strikeouts.

Jackson earned the save after striking out three and giving up one hit and walk apiece in 1 2/3 innings. Hillebo and Flynn each singled once and Schiltz drew three walks for the Comets.

North Polk 1, Ballard 0

NP 010 000 0 – 1 2 2

B 000 000 0 – 0 4 1

NP: Zach Brecht, Cole Jackson (6) and Grant Lang

B: Nick Hartman, Jaden Moody (3), Coy Baker (6) and Marcus Johnson

WP: Brecht

LP: Hartman

SV: Jackson

2B: B – Mitchell Broer

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