Coup strikes out 14 in the opener, Keener swings hot bat

HILLSOBORO — The Abilene Rebels Senior Babe Ruth baseball team opened its season Wednesday night on the road at Hillsboro, and came away with a split.

The Rebels opened their 2019 campaign with an 8-2 win over Hillsboro. In game two Abilene lost 4-2.

In game one, Kaden Coup was the story for Abilene on the mound. Coup threw a complete game two-hitter, walking two, and striking out 14 while allowing two earned runs.

After a lead-off home run by Hillsboro, Coup settled in and was in control. The Rebels took the lead in the second inning, and didn’t look back. Abilene scored five runs in the second inning, one in the third inning, and one in the fifth and sixth innings.

Offensively for Abilene, Robbie Keener went 2-3 with a run scored and a walk. Jayshaun Jones was 1-2 with two runs scored.

Others with a hit included Bryce Riekeman, Roman Sanchez, Serh Hokanson, Kaleb Becker, and Camden Meeks.

In the nightcap, Abilene again got down early 1-0 after a passed ball, and then 2-0 in the fifth on a balk. The top of the sixth saw the Rebels fight back to tie the game in the sixth inning after three hits, including a single by Hokanson that drove in two. But Hillsboro came right back with two of its own in its half of the sixth inning. Abilene was unable to get anything going offensively in its last at-bat, and the final ended up 4-2 Hillsboro.

Offensively for Abilene, Keener was 2-3 with a run scored, and Coup, Glen Friederich, Hokanson, Kaleb Becker and Jones each had a hit.

On the mound for the Rebels, Becker was the losing pitcher going five innings, striking out four, allowed five hits, two earned runs. Roman Sanchez tossed the final inning.

With two outs, Hillsboro scored two runs.

“We played pretty well tonight...not too many mental mistakes. That was good to see,” said Abilene coach Billy Hansen. “Kaden was really locked in on the mound. We had some chances in that second game, but all in all, it was good. A nice way to start off the season.”

Abilene, 1-1, was scheduled to have its home opener Thursday but Salina did not have enough players in the age group and cancelled. This will also effect other scheduled games for the Rebels.

Hansen will provide updates when available.

Contact Ron Preston at

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