Shelton/Gibbon advances to state
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Imperial’s Junior Legion baseball team won their opener in the C7 area tournament but couldn’t overcome Shelton/Gibbon or Ainsworth in their next two outings to bow out of the tournament.
Imperial defeated Overton in their tourney opener 23-14 on Friday. They faced top-seeded Shelton/Gibbon Saturday in their second game, falling 11-2.
In an elimination game interrupted by rain Sunday, the Juniors fell to Ainsworth 3-0 to fall from the tournament.
This year’s tournament was held in Imperial on Ron Milner Field in Campbell Park, with five teams competing.
The other game in the opening round Friday pitted second seed Ainsworth against third-seeded Hershland (Hershey/Sutherland).
Hershland won that game 9-0, sending Ainsworth to the loser’s bracket. Hershland advanced to play Shelton/Gibbon in the winner’s bracket of the double elimination tournament.
Ainsworth kept their state tournament hopes alive by eliminating Overton in the first elimination game of the tournament, 14-3,on Saturday.
On Sunday, they defeated Imperial in a rain-delayed affair.
From there, they faced Hershland, who had suffered their first loss of the tournament, falling to Shelton/Gibbon 5-0.
Hershland set up a rematch with Shelton/Gibbon after bouncing Ainsworth from the tournament Monday with a 11-1 victory.
In the rematch Tuesday night, it was all Shelton/Gibbon as they punched their ticket to the state tournament with a 7-2 win over Hershland.
Imperial 23, Overton 14
Imperial’s opener in the tournament turned into a scoring fest with Imperial putting up 23 runs to Overton’s 14.
In the top of the first, Imperial sent 14 batters to the plate, scoring eight of them. Seven runners got walks to get to first.
Ryan Moline got a lead-off single and Destyn Milner added another to bring in a pair of runs.
Overton stranded one lone runner in the bottom of the inning to trail 8-0.
Both teams added a run in the second. Imperial picked up another run in the top of the third for a 10-1 lead.
But Overton came back with three runs in the bottom half of the third to make the score 10-4.
Imperial exploded for 12 runs in the top of the fourth, sending 15 batters to the plate.
Jake Lueth collected a pair of singles in the rally but it was Travis Luhrs who cleared the bases with a home run over the left field fence.
Despite Imperial’s 22-4 lead, Overton answered with their own rally in the bottom of the fourth.
They too sent 15 batters to the plate, scoring nine runs to narrow the Imperial lead, 22-13.
From there, Overton added one in the bottom of the sixth while Lueth collected a double and later scored to make the final 23-14.
Imperial 2, Shelton/Gibbon 11
In Imperial’ second game, Moline got another lead-off single followed with Luhrs, who drew a walk.
However, the next three batters would go down in order, stranding Moline and Luhrs.
Shelton/Gibbon picked six runs on four hits for a 6-0 lead.
In the second, Bryson Fisher drew a walk, stole a base and scored on a wild pitch. Shelton/Gibbon added another run to make the score 7-1.
Imperial’s only other run came in the top of the third when Lueth got a one-out single and later rounded home plate.
Shelton/Gibbon added three more in the third and one in the fourth to go up 11-2.
After Luhrs got hit by a pitch in the top of the fifth, Imperial had already substituted for their entire bench. leaving no one to come into play.
As a result, Imperial ending up forfeiting the game because they had no more subs to bring in.
Imperial 0, Ainsworth 3
In the elimination game Sunday, a rain delay halted the game for nearly two hours as workers and volunteers got the field playable again.
Moline picked up a pair of singles while Carlos Chavezsingled to account for Imperial’s only hits of the game.
Imperial stranded seven runners over the course of the game, including bases loaded in the third.
Ainsworth got two of their three runs in the bottom of the first and added one more in the bottom of the second to account for the only scoring in the 3-0 game.
Hershland 9, Ainsworth 0
Imperial 23, Overton 14
Shelton/ Gibbon 11, Imperial 2
Shelton/Gibbon 5, Hershland 0
Shelton/Gibbon 7, Hershland 2
Ainsworth 14, Overton 3 (eliminated)
Ainsworth 3, Imperial 0 (eliminated)
Hershland 11, Ainsworth 1 (eliminated