Juniors split with Hershland
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Imperial’s Junior Legion team split with Hershland in a double header played here Tuesday, June 24.
Hershland (Hershey-Sutherland) won the first one 14-3 in seven innings with Imperial coming back to win the nightcap 11-0 on the 10-run rule.
Coach Carl Zuege said it was a tale of two games. The first game slowly got away from them while the juniors dominated them in the second game.
In the first game, Zuege said walks and fielding mistakes put Hershland runners on base. They scored at least one run in each inning except for the fifth.
The Longhorns got their first run in the second to trail just 2-1. They stranded a runner in both the third and fourth before going down in order in the fifth.
Meanwhile, Hershland added two in the third and three in the fourth.
The juniors added one each in the sixth and seventh against three and four respectively for Hershland, making the final score 14-3.
Zuege used three different pitchers including Carlos Chavez, Caleb Weiss and Destyn Milner. They gave up a total of nine hits against 11 walks. Chavez struck out two and Milner one.
In the nightcap, it was a different story with the juniors pouncing on the Hershland pitching for six hits.
Jorge Cervantes led the way with homers in both the first and second innings. Milner and Weiss added back-to-back doubles in the third.
Imperial scored two in the first, four in the second, four in the third and one in the fourth.
They retired Hershland in order in the top of the fifth to end the game on the 10-run rule.
At the plate, Will Kuenne went 3-3 with Cervantes and Zac Space going 2-3.
The big difference came on the mound with Ryan Moline going all five innings.
With just 54 pitches, of which 42 were strikes, Moline struck out five, allowed just one hit and walked only one.
Zuege said the defense tightened up behind his pitching, which aided the effort.
He said Moline turned in a great performance on the mound. To throw 42 strikes with just 54 pitches was quite an effort, Zuege added.
Four regular season games left
The juniors have just four regular season games remaining.
They will travel back to Hershey Sunday for a doubleheader and will play host to Ogallala for a doubleheader Monday night beginning at 5 p.m.
The team takes a 3-4 mark into the final stretch. Zuege said they’ve lost six games due to weather.
The Area C7 tournament begins July 11 at Overton and runs through July 16.