Special to Reflector-Chronicle
The Abilene Rebels baseball team moved their record to 4-1 with a split of a double-header with Salina LDA on Sunday in Abilene. The Rebels won the opener 2-1 in a thriller and dropped the second game, after having a big lead, 12-11.
Game One saw a great pitcher’s duel as there were only four hits, four walks, and three hit batters in the game and solid defense by both clubs. Neither team would get on the scoreboard until the third inning when Abilene scored a run as Weston Riffel walked, stole second, and later scored on a sacrifice by Chase Stalder.
Salina tied the game in their half of the fourth inning after a walk, a hit-batter, and a single. The game moved through the fifth inning with not much offensively at of either team.
In the sixth inning, Salina went down in order. The Rebels got a lead-off single by Stalder, Matt McClanahan walked, Nolan Berry walked, and Stalder scored on an errant throw by the catcher for the 2-1 lead. Things would get interesting in the seventh inning with one out. Salina got a double when Abilene right-fielder Chad Beetch looked like he had a line drive in his site to be caught but lost it in the sun. Salina then get a single and followed that with a hit-batter. With the bases loaded and one out, Salina hit into a game-ending double-play as Rebel shortstop McClanahan scooped up a hard hit ball up the middle, touched second, and threw to first.
“What a great ball game and a good win for us against a very good team who I believe came into today 6-0,” said Abilene Head Coach Billy Hansen. ”We got a tremendous pitching performance out of Alex Friederich and our defense was very solid with a big double-play to end the game,” Hansen continued.
On the mound for the Rebels, Friederich went the distance striking out four, walked one, hit three batters, allowed just three hits, and one earned run. Offensively for Abilene, Stalder was 1-2 with a sacrifice and Riffel had a run scored, stolen base, and a walk.
Game Two saw Abilene get out to a big lead at 10-1, then still up 11-4 before Salina had a big seventh inning to win the game.
The Rebels scored one in the first inning as Stalder would cross the plate. In the second inning, Salina tied the game after the batter was hit-by-a-pitch and later scored on a passed ball. For the Rebels in their half of the second, Friederich led off with a double and later get caught in a run-down, James Villalpando reached on a fielder’s choice and scored, Hunter Combes reached on an error and scored, Riffel was hit-by-a-pitch and later scored, Chris Cease singled to drive in two and later scored, Stalder walked and later socred, Berry doubled to drive in three, and Beetch reached on an error and later scored.
The third inning saw Abilene add a couple of runs as Riffel walked and later scored, Stalder walked and later scored, McClanahan sacrificed, and Berry singled to drive in two runs. Salina added three runs in the fifth inning on three singles, a fielder’s choice, and two errors. The Rebels would get a run on the scoreboard in their half of the fifth inning when Stalder walked again, and later scored on a double by Berry. Neither team did much offensively in the sixth inning.
Salina had a big seventh inning and came all the way back to take the lead by scoring eight runs on three hit batters, three hits, two walks, a sacrifice, and three errors. Abilene was unable to at least tie the game in their last at-bat for the 12-11 final.
On the mound for Abilene, Berry went six innings striking out two, walked three, hit five batters, allowed 10 hits and seven earned runs. Cease tossed an inning striking out one, allowed one hit, and no earned runs.
Offensively for the Rebels, Berry went 3-4 with two doubles, was hit-by-a-pitch, and had six RBI, Villalpando was 2-4 with a run scored, and a RBI, Stalder had four runs scored, four walks, and was hit-by-a-pitch, Beetch, Cease, and Friederich all had a hit in the game.
Abilene, now 4-1, will play a double-header at Chapman this Wednesday beginning at 6 p.m.