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Bombers struggle against hot-hitting Toreadors

Ballard shortstop Kobe Schultze tries to get a double play at first.
Ballard shortstop Kobe Schultze tries to get a double play at first.
Second baseman Mitchell Broer flips Kobe Schultze the ball to start the double play.
Second baseman Mitchell Broer flips Kobe Schultze the ball to start the double play.
Jonny Luster fires a pitch during the Bomber’s game with Boone on Friday night.
Jonny Luster fires a pitch during the Bomber’s game with Boone on Friday night.

Ballard losing skid reaches 9 games

HUXLEY – The Ballard baseball team ran into a hot-hitting Boone squad Friday at Nite Hawk Field in Slater.

Boone pounded out 18 hits, including three home runs, and a struggling Bomber team never stood a chance in a 14-4 loss.

“That was a plain hitting clinic,” Ballard head coach John Cisna said. “I don’t know how many hits they had, but three of them we can’t find. They hit the ball and we’re just on a skid obviously.”

Ballard hung tough early. After spotting Boone a 3-0 lead the Bombers scored twice in both the second and third innings to take a 4-3 lead.

In the bottom of the second Spencer Struve hit a two-run bloop single after Kenny Randolph singled and Marcus Johnson reached on catcher’s interference. In the third inning Lane Volkman and Randolph hit back-to-back RBI singles after Nathan Carlin hit a one-out single and Jacob Nethers followed with a walk.

But Boone scored twice in the fourth to go back on top. In the fifth inning, Alex Davis hit a three-run home run to give the Toreadors an 8-4 lead.

The Toreadors plated five runs in the sixth – highlighted by a grand slam from Brett Slight. Boone put Ballard away in their half of the sixth.

The loss was Ballard’s ninth in a row as the Bombers fell to 11-14 overall and 4-10 in the Raccoon River Conference. But Cisna is optimistic his team can turn it around before the start of 3A district play this Friday.

“We’re not playing badly,” Cisna said. “We’re not making a ton of errors. We’ve got to hang in there. Nothing matters until Friday. We just have to forget the skid we’re on and mentally get ready for Friday.”

Randolph was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI, Volkman was 1-for-3 with an RBI and a steal, Struve was 1-for-2 with two RBI and Carlin singled and scored for the Bombers against Boone. Johnson also ended up with a hit, Nethers walked and scored and Patrick Gray crossed the plate once.

Nick Hartman was the losing pitcher as he gave up five runs on five hits with four strikeouts and walks apiece in 2 2/3 innings of relief. Jonny Luster gave up three runs on seven hits with one walk in 2 1/3 innings as the Bomber starter, Kai Reinertson allowed six runs on three hits with three walks and one strikeout in one inning.

Struve tossed one scoreless inning for Ballard.

Davis went 4-for-5 with three runs and four RBI, Slight was 3-for-5 with four RBI and Ryan Sunstrom ended up 3-for-6 with a home run and one RBI as the top hitters for Boone. Sunstrom was the winning pitcher as he went the distance and struck out seven with two walks.

Boone 14, Ballard 4

Boo 210 235 1 – 14 18 1

Ball 022 000 0 – 4 5 3

Boo: Ryan Sunstrom and Nolan Newcomb

Ball: Jonny Luster, Nick Hartman (3), Kai Reinertson (6), Spencer Struve (7) and Marcus Johnson

WP: Sunstrom

LP: Hartman

HR: Boo – Sunstrom, Alex Davis, Brett Slight

CARROLL – Ballard couldn’t capitalize on a hitting advantage against Carroll July 10 as the Bombers suffered a 6-4 loss to the Tigers at Carroll.

Ballard trailed 3-1 after three innings. The Bombers tied the score in the top of the fourth, but Carroll came back with a run in the bottom of the inning.

Ballard again tied the score with a run in the fifth. The score remained 4-4 until the bottom of the sixth when Carroll plated two runs.

The Bombers were unable to answer in the top of the seventh as they suffered their eighth-straight loss.

Ballard ended up losing despite picking up 10 hits to Carroll’s five. Coy Baker threw a solid game in defeat as he gave up six earned runs on just five hits with eight strikeouts and six walks in 5 1/3 innings.

Nick Hartman threw the other 2/3 of an inning for Ballard and he struck out one and didn’t allow a hit.

Kenny Randolph was 2-for-2 with a home run and Jacob Nethers went 2-for-4 with a double, two steals and two RBI to lead Ballard offensively. Kobe Schulze went 2-for-4 with a run, Mitchell Broer was 2-for-3 with a run, Lane Volkman finished 1-for-4 with an RBI and a steal and Nathan Carlin picked up a single and a walk for the Bombers.

Kyle Christensen went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI, Mason Millard was 2-for-2 with a walk, two steals and two runs, Anthony Beyerink walked three times, stole three bases and scored twice and Peyton Reinning knocked in two runs for Carroll. Cooper LaRue was the winning Tiger pitcher as he gave up four earned runs with eight strikeouts and two walks in seven innings.

Carroll 6, Ballard 4

B 100 210 0 – 4 10 NA

C 102 102 X – 6 5 NA

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

C: Cooper LaRue and Kyle Christensen

WP: LaRue

LP: Baker

2B: B – Jacob Nethers; C – Christensen

HR: B – Kenny Randolph

PELLA – One good inning wasn’t enough for Ballard in a 9-6 non-conference loss to Pella July 9 at Pella.

The Bombers broke out of a batting slump in the fifth inning with a five-run outburst to take a 5-3 lead. But Pella had the answer for Ballard in the sixth as the Little Dutch plated six runs in the bottom of the inning to regain control.

Ballard scored once in the top of the seventh, but the Bombers couldn’t get any closer.

Ballard finished with nine hits on offense. Jacob Nethers was 3-for-3 with a triple, walk and two runs and Lane Volkman went 1-for-4 with four RBI.

Mitchell Broer and Isaiah Johnson both singled and scored and Nathan Carlin, Marcus Johnson and Kai Reinertson each picked up one hit for the Bombers. Matt Poots walked, scored and drove in a run and Marcus Chieves scored once for the Bombers.

Reinertson took the loss after giving up five runs on five hits with three strikeouts and one walk in 2 2/3 innings. Jaden Moody allowed two runs on three hits with three strikeouts and walks apiece in 31/3 innings, Nathan Carlin gave up two runs and Spencer Struve threw one scoreless inning allowing one hit and walk apiece with two strikeouts.

Grant Judkins was 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI, Tanner Wood went 2-for-4 with a run and two RBI and Ethan Butler was 2-for-2 with two runs and a walk to lead Pella on offense. Wood was the winning pitcher as he went all seven innings and allowed five earned runs with six strikeouts and three walks.

Pella 9, Ballard 6

B 000 050 1 – 6 9 NA

P 000 306 X – 9 11 NA

B: Jaden Moody, Kai Reinertson (4), Nathan Carlin (6), Spencer Struve (7) and Marcus Johnson

P: Tanner Wood and Jason Morgan

WP: Wood

LP: Reinertson

2B: P – Grant Judkins, Tyler Hillman

3B: B – Jacob Nethers

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