HESSTON – The Abilene Rebels Senior Babe Ruth baseball team was on the road again last Tuesday as it traveled to Hesston for a league double-header. Behind solid defensive play and hot bats, the Rebels came away with a sweep. Abilene won the opener 15-3 and took game two 9-0.
Hesston took a 3-1 lead after the first inning but the Rebels blew the game open in the third inning by scoring eight runs on six hits. Camden Meeks led off the inning with a single and stolen base. Kaden Coup followed with a single to drive in Meeks. Bryce Riekeman, who drove in Abilene’s first inning run, was hit by a pitch before Robbie Keener drove in Coup with a double to deep centerfield. Glen Frederich followed with a triple to score two. Roman Sanchez and Kaleb Becker followed with back-to-back walks and they scored on bases-clearing double by Seth Hokanson. Hokanson scored on an RBI single by Jayshaun Jones.
The Rebels sealed the game in the fifth with six more runs. Keener and Friederich had back-to-back triples to drive in runs for Abilene.
“The way this one started, I thought it was going to be a back-and-forth scoring contest,” Abilene head coach Billy Hansen said. “Hesston came out and hit the ball well, but we were pretty solid defensively. They only struck out three times, so we were making plays.”
Offensively for the Rebels, they pounded out 12 hits. Friederich went 2-3 with three RBI, Keener was 2-3 with two runs scored and an RBI. Becker and Jones both went 2-3. Riekeman was 1-1 after being hit by the pitcher twice and he had an RBI. Coup and Camden Meeks went 1-2 as did Hokanson.
On the mound, Keener went the distance striking out three, walking one allowing two earned runs on five hits.
In game two, Abilene kept the offense rolling. The Rebels scored three times in the first and added two in the fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth, Carter Taplin walked, Riekeman doubled, Keener had a sacrifice RBI, Friederich singled home a run and Sanchez singled to drive in a run.
Hesston did not score in its last at-bat as the Rebels played good defense for the 9-0 final.
“Our defense was really good tonight,” Hansen said. “We had some really nice plays tonight all over the diamond. Keener at third, Meeks at second, Riekeman behind the plate and Becker with another nice throw from right field, but everyone contributed. That was nice to see. Our two pitchers tonight aren’t strikeout pitchers, but they threw strikes and that is what is important. They gave us a chance to make plays behind them and we did. Offensively we were pretty locked in too. We still have some things to work on and get better at, but this was a good night.”
Abilene, now 3-1, will host Junction City American Legion Tuesday for the home opener. The double header gets underway at 6 p.m. at Ted Power Field in Abilene.