Juniors take two against McCook B, record at 2-3
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Imperial’s Junior Legion picked up their first two wins of the season Saturday, defeating McCook’s B Juniors 17-8 and 18-15.
The pair of wins came after the juniors dropped a 6-0 loss to Ogallala Wednesday, June 18. The two wins give the juniors a 2-3 mark before returning to Imperial Tuesday night for their first home game of the season.
Coach Carl Zuege said the juniors got the bats going against McCook. “They started hitting the ball and getting the feel,” he said.
They collected 19 hits in the first game and 20 hits in the second game. Both games got called early due to the two-hour time limit. The first game went five innings with the second going four.
Zuege said the hitting offset the juniors’ pitching and fielding, which weren’t up to par.
In the first contest, McCook went up 2-1 in the bottom of the second inning but Imperial came back with two in the top of the third and never relinquished the lead.
They added five runs in the fourth and nine runs in the fifth to put the game away.
Caleb Weiss led the way, going 4-5 at the plate.
Jorge Cervantes, Ryan Moline, Destyn Milner, Jacob Christensen, Will Kuenne and Bryce Zuege each added two singles with Bryson Fisher adding a single and a double.
Cervantes went 4 and a third on the mound, striking out four, allowing six hits and 11 walks.
Carlos Chavez came in on relief to finish the game.
In second game, Imperial jumped to a 5-0 lead in the first inning but gave four back in the bottom half of the inning.
After two, the score was tied 8-8. The juniors scored five in the top of the third while holding McCook to two, taking a lead 13-10 lead.
The juniors added five more in the top of the fourth. Their three-run margin built in the third made the difference with McCook adding five as well in the bottom of the fourth.
Weiss, Cervantes, Fisher and Chavez all had three hits, including doubles by Weiss and Fisher. Moline added two hits including a triple. He was joined by Kuenne and Zuege who also added two hits.
Moline and Chavez each pitched two innings. Moline struck out five, gave up seven hits and four walks. Chavez struck out one and gave up 10 hits and 11 walks.
The juniors couldn’t get the bats going against Ogallala. They were hitless going into the top of the seventh before breaking up a no-hitter with two outs.
Back-to-back singles by Zac Space and Chavez got a pair of runners on but they got stranded to give Ogallala the 6-0 win.
Five games this week
The juniors take to the diamond for five games. They played a double header at home again Hershland Tuesday and traveled to Cambridge to play Alma Wednesday.
They travel to Overton Sunday for a double header where they will play both Overton and Loup City in a three-team round robin.