Imperial Crush falls in final regular season games
By Russ Pankonin
The Imperial Republican
The Imperial Crush baseball team dropped their final two regular season games last weekend, falling to Scottsbluff in a double header.
They will take a 3-6 record into the Nebraska Baseball Association Class B district tournament being played here this weekend.
The Crush comes in as the number three seed and will face Sidney’s Clausen Bros., who bring in a 3-3 record at the time of seeding.
The Haxtun Bombers come in with a current record of 8-1. They will face Kimball whose record is 1-4.
Crush will open tournament play at 4 p.m. Saturday. The first game of the tournament begins at 2 p.m.
Four games will be played on Saturday, Aug. 8 with the remainder being played on Sunday, Aug. 9.
Local organizer Matt Jablonski said they are still seeking volunteers to help run admission gates during the tournament.
Admission will be $2 for adults with kids under 12 free.
In the first contest at Scottsbluff Saturday night, Aug. 1, the Crush found themselves down 4-0 after the bottom of the first.
Pitcher Alex Sharp gave up just one hit but errors hurt the Crush.
After three scoreless innings, the Crush got three runners around the bases.
Matt Jablonski led the inning off with a single, followed by a double by Lance Milner, a single by Darrin Schultz and another double by Jerrel Fortkamp.
After retiring Scottsbluff in order in the bottom of the fifth, the Crush gave up three hits in the bottom of the sixth. That brought in two more runs, giving them a 6-3 margin.
That’s how the game ended in a seven-inning affair.
Milner and Jablonski went 2-3 at the plate while Fortkamp was 2-4.
Sharp went the distance, giving up only five hits and three walks while striking out five.
The second game of the double header came on Sunday afternoon, Aug. 2.
The Crush battled Scottsbluff to a 0-0 tie after four and half innings.
With one down in the bottom of the fifth, Scottsbluff loaded the bases and some costly errors opened the flood gates.
Before the Crush could get out of the inning, Scottsbluff had sent 20 batters to the plate and scored 15 of them to end the game after five innings.
Scott Way and Jablonski got the only two singles for the Crush.
Schultz went four and a third, giving up 13 hits, after allowing just two in the first four innings.
Sharp gave up four hits in two-thirds of an inning. Both recorded one strike out.
Defensively, the Crush faltered, committing a total of 12 errors.