Juniors split with Sidney in opener
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Imperial’s Junior Legion team split a pair of games with Sidney to open the season Sunday afternoon.
The Juniors dropped the first game 24-12 but came back with a 10-5 win in the second contest.
Coach Jerel Fortkamp said he was happy with the team’s performance in their first outing of the season.
Offensively, the boys hit the ball well, collecting four doubles in the first game of the doubleheader.
He said they played good defense overall but have to work on stopping the opponents’ running game on the bases.
There were a lot of walks in the games, primarily due to a tight strike zone.
He said pitchers will adjust at the season progresses.
The Juniors gave up three runs in the top of the first but answered with five of their own.
They went up 10-3 after two with another five-run inning in the second, despite leaving bases loaded.
That seemed to jinx the Juniors as they were only able to get two more runs in. Meanwhile Sidney put up 11 runs in the fourth, two in the fifth and six more in the sixth for the 24-12 win.
Tyler Oxford, Ryan Moline and Kelton Fisher all got time on the mound.
Moline went 2-2 at the plate including a double. Sam Haarberg went 2-3 with his own double.
Kale Gockley and Darin Knobbe went 2-4 each with a double and Kevin German was 2-4 at the plate.
In game two, the Juniors gave up just two runs in the top of the first before sending five runs home in the bottom half.
Sidney added two more in the top the second and again the Juniors notched another five runs for a 10-4 lead.
The game was called after the top of the third when Sidney could only add one more run, making the final score 10-5.
Oxford led the Juniors with a 2-2 effort at the plate, including a double.
Knobbe, Haarberg and Gockley all got some time on the mound.
The Juniors will travel to Ogallala Friday with first pitch set for 5 p.m.
The boys will be off through next week before heading for the Sidney tournament June 16-17.