Special to Reflector-Chronicle
MARION - The Abilene Rebels Babe Ruth Baseball team traveled to Marion for a double-header on Monday night and lost both games. Abilene had a brief lead in the opener, but fell 6-3 and lost the nightcap 17-0.
In game one, Abilene got off to a nice start in their first at-bat as Chase Stalder led off by walking, stole second, Nolan Berry walked, Alex Friederich reached on an error, James Villalpando singled to drive in a run, and Chad Beetch hit into a fielder’s choice to score a run.
Marion tied the game in their half of the first inning after a couple of two-out walks, a couple of stolen bases, then a hit ball, that got under the glove of Abilene shortstop Matt McClanahan as he tried to backhand it going to his right, scored two and tied the game at two after one inning of play.
Neither team would do much offensively in the second, third, or fourth innings.
The fifth inning saw Abilene get a lone base runner as Chris Cease reached on a walk but he would be stranded. Marion came to bat and scored three runs, after the first two hitters were put out, on a hit-batter, a stolen base, two errors, and a double for a 5-2 lead.
The sixth inning saw the Rebels go down in order and Marion tacked on another run in their half of the inning after a walk, a single, a fielder’s choice, and a sacrifice.
In the seventh inning, Abilene got leadoff single from Beetch, a sacrifice from Colton Mills, and Wyatt Youtsey sacrificed to score Beetch but that would be it for the Rebels for the 6-3 final.
“We just weren’t very good defensively when we needed to be in this game, especially with two outs,” Abilene Head Coach Billy Hansen said. “Nolan pitched well enough (only allowed three hits) for us to get the win but we just made some silly mistakes and I wasn’t real happy with our effort…this was a game that we believe we should have won,” Hansen continued.
On the mound for the Rebels, Berry went the distance striking out six, walked three, hit a batter, allowed only three hits, and one earned run.
Abilene had five errors in the game that led to five runs. Offensively for Abilene, Beetch went 1-3 with a run scored and a RBI, Villalpando was 1-3 with a RBI, McClanahan went 1-3 with a stolen base, Stalder had a run scored, a walk, and a stolen base, and Berry had a run scored and a walk.
With weather threatening, and some hail even failing during the game, game two was not much of a contest. Marion scored two runs in the first inning, went down in order in the second inning, and scored 15 runs in the third inning. Marion scored 17 runs on 11 hits, one walk, one hit-batter, and had three sacrifices with four Abilene errors.
“This was one of those games that you just try to get through and not look bad doing it, but we still didn’t look very good at times,” Hansen said. “We are still trying to get healthy for the post-season and don’t always have our best pitchers on the mound, but the ones that we have put out there are throwing strikes for the most part. We need to help them some behind them and have some faith in each other,” Hansen continued.
Offensively for the Rebels, Stalder was 1-1 with a walk, and McClanahan went 1-2.
On the mound for Abilene, Cease struck out two, walked one, hit a batter, allowed 11 hits, and 13 earned runs.
Abilene, now 8-7, will be on the road again this Thursday for a double-header at Herington beginning at 6 p.m.