Special to Reflector-Chronicle
MINNEAPOLIS - The Abilene Rebels Babe Ruth baseball team traveled to Minneapolis on Sunday for a double-header and came away with a sweep in winning game one 15-0 in four innings and game two 9-6.
Nolan Berry pitched a no-hitter in the opener and recorded all 12 outs by strikeout.
In game one, Abilene got on the board in their first at-bat as the Minneapolis starting pitcher had a tough time throwing strikes to start. Chase Stalder led off with a walk and later scored, Matt McClanahan also walked and later scored, James Villalpando walked, Alex Friederich hit into a fielder’s choice that ended up scoring two runs, Chad Beetch walked and scored, Colton Mills was hit-by-a-pitch and later scored, Wyatt Youtsey was hit-by-a-pitch to bring in a run and later scored, Weston Riffel was hit-by-a-pitch to bring in a run and Logan Meuli was walked to bring in a run. Minneapolis got the bases loaded on two walks and a hit-batter but they would be stranded.
The second inning saw Abilene get another run as McClanahan singled, stole a couple of bases and later scored on a single by Friederich. Minneapolis went down in order on three strikeouts in their half of the inning. In the third inning, the Rebels tacked on six more runs as Mills walked, stole second and later scored, Riffel again was hit-by-a-pitch, Meuli walked and later scored, Stalder walked and later scored, McClanahan singled to bring in two, Berry was hit-by-a-pitch and scored, Villalpando walked and later scored and Friederich doubled to drive in three runs. Minneapolis again went down in order, all by strikeout. Abilene led 12-0 after three innings.
The fourth inning saw the Rebels put three more runs across the plate as Mills walked and later scored, Youtsey singled and later scored, and Riffel singled to drive in a run. Abilene left the bases loaded in the inning. Minneapolis would also load the bases in their half of the inning on two walks and a hit-batter. Abilene won the game due to run-rule at 15-0 in four innings.
“What a nice pitching performance out of Nolan,” Abilene Head Coach Billy Hansen said. “Other than the six base runners that he allowed on walks and hit batters, that was still as nice of a pitching performance as I’ve seen in a while. We needed a complete game out of him due to our injury situation, and he delivered. We were also very patient at the plate as their pitchers struggled at times to find the strike zone.”
On the mound for Abilene, Berry went the distance striking out 12, walked four, hit two batters, allowed no hits, and no earned runs. Offensively for the Rebels, Riffel was 1-1 with a run scored, and was hit-by-a-pitch twice, McClanahan went 2-3 with three runs scored, two RBI, a walk, and two stolen bases, Friederich was 2-4 with a run scored, six RBI, and three stolen bases, Youtsey went 1-2 with a run scored, a RBI, and was hit-by-a-pitch, Mills had three runs scored, two walks, and was hit-by-a-pitch, Villalpando had a run scored, two walks, and was hit-by-a-pitch, Stalder had two runs scored and three walks, Berry had a run scored, a walk, and was hit-by-a-pitch twice, and Meuli had a run scored, two walks, and a RBI.
In game two, the Rebels got an early lead and then had to hold on for the victory. They scored two runs in their first at-bat as Stalder walked and later scored on a passed ball and Berry was hit-by-a-pitch and also later scored on a passed ball for the early 2-0 lead. Minneapolis wouldn’t do too much in their half of the inning. The second saw Abilene tack on another run, as Meuli was hit-by-a-pitch and later scored when Berry was hit-by-a-pitch after Stalder and McClanahan had walked. Minneapolis got a lone single in the inning.
In the third inning, the Rebels got a run as Beetch doubled and later scored on a single by Mills. Minneapolis got a run in their half of the inning on a walk, a single, and an error but Abilene still led 4-1. Abilene got three more runs in the fourth inning as Stalder walked and later scored, McClanahan singled and later scored, Berry singled to drive in a run, and Beetch doubled to score two. Minneapolis matched Abilene’s fourth inning with three runs of their own three hits and a couple of errors to cut the lead to 7-4.
The fifth inning saw Abilene get two more runs as Meuli singled, Stalder walked, McClanahan singled and Berry singled driving in two. Minneapolis would get a one-out walk, but a nice 6-4-3 double play ended the inning. The Rebels stranded a couple of runners in the sixth inning as Friederich reached after being hit-by-a-pitch and Mills singled. Minneapolis did get two runs on the board in the sixth inning after three walks, a hit-batter, and a couple of wild pitches but Abilene held on for the 9-6 victory as the game ended due to a two-hour time limit.
“We got another nice starting pitching performance out of Chad (Beetch) in this one,” said Hansen. “He doesn’t do anything fancy on the mound but they didn’t really start figuring him out until about the fourth inning and we needed that. Jovany Garcia came up from our younger team and helped us out with a little pitching too. We were again patient at the plate and there were a lot of hit-batters in this one and we just didn’t need anyone else to get hurt,” Hansen continued.
On the mound for Abilene, Beetch went four innings striking out three, walked one, hit-a-batter, allowed six hits, and two earned runs. Garcia went two innings striking out none, walked four, hit-a-batter, allowed no hits and two earned runs. Offensively for the Rebels, Berry went 2-2 with two runs scored, was hit-by-a-pitch twice, and had four RBI, Beetch was 2-2 with a run scored, a walk, and two RBI, McClanahan went 2-2 with a run scored, a sacrifice, and a walk, Mills was 2-4 with a stolen base, and a RBI, Meuli went 1-2 with two runs scored and was hit-by-a-pitch, and Stalder had three runs scored and four walks.
Abilene, now 12-7, will be at home this week for it’s last regular season double-header playing Chapman. The opener begins at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Ted Power Field in Abilene.