By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
Imperial’s Junior and Senior Legion baseball team kicked off their season Sunday, playing host to Holdrege.
The juniors fell 9-2 while the seniors fell 19-6. Despite that, both teams were in it until giving up some big innings late, Coach Carl Zuege said.
Zuege said it looked like a typical first game for both teams against Holdrege teams that already had five games under their belt.
He felt the teams got off to a good start in their first outing.
He said both teams will need to develop their pitching depth. Plus, he said it will take a few games to get players in the positions they best belong along with where they hit in the batting order.
Pitchers for the juniors include Jorge Cervantes, Jack Bauerle and Duncan Rector, who came up from Wauneta to play with the juniors. Nolan Spady will also see some action from the mound.
The senior pitching corp will include Ryan Moline, Carlos Chavez, Jake Lueth and Curtis Laird.
Busy week for teams
Both teams will play three home games over seven days. The first one was Wednesday, June 3 against Ogallala.
On Friday, June 5 they play host to Gothenburg and on Tuesday, June 9 McCook comes to town. Both nights the juniors kick off the action at 4:30 followed by the seniors at 7 p.m.
Zuege said some of the older junior players will play up on the senior team as well. Legion rules allow five juniors on the senior roster.
Team members for the juniors include: Duncan Rector, Will Kuenne, Jorge Cervantes, Zac Space, Bryce Zuege, Trevor Peterson, Jack Bauerle, Scott Wheeler, Landis Beverly, Noah Griffin, Francisco Barrientos, Braden Space, Austin Laird and Kadin Vrbas.
Members of the senior squad include: Ryan Moline, Trey Milner, Jake Lueth, Cursti Laird, Carlos Chavez, Jacob Christensen, Travis Luhrs, Nolan Spady, Darin Knobbe and Calen Griffin.
Juniors vs. Holdrege
In the third, Braden Space got on base and scored the first run. Kuenne followed up with the juniors’ only other run in the game.
After three, the juniors trailed just 3-2 but game up two runs in the top of the fourth and another four in the top of the fifth. The juniors were not able to answer, falling 9-2.
Seniors vs. Holdrege
The seniors gave up four runs in the top of the first but came right back to score three of their own to trail by just one, 4-3.
Holdrege got another two in the top of the second with the juniors answering in the bottom of the third to pull within one, 6-5.
In the fourth, Holdrege added two more along with four more in the fifth against a lone run in the fifth for the seniors.
Holdrege added seven more in the sixth to end the game after six on the 10-run rule, 19-6.