The Abilene Rebels Senior Babe Ruth team and the Abilene Bandits Junior Babe Ruth team both won the 4th Annual Salina Scorpions tournament this past weekend in Salina. Both teams went undefeated in the two-day tournament and won the Championship Games on Sunday morning.
The Rebels had a couple of battles on their hands on Saturday, winning their opener Saturday morning 6-2 over Minneapolis and following that game, winning 14-12 over Salina. The Rebels would again play Minneapolis in the Championship Game, and win 12-2 in five innings.
In the tournament opener against Minneapolis, the Rebels would have to come from behind as Minneapolis took the early 2-0 lead in the top of the third inning. The Rebels would tie it up with two runs of their in in their half of the third inning as Bryce Riekeman and Glen Friederich would cross the plate. Abilene would tack on four more in the fourth inning with Trenton Jurgensen, Alex Fetters, and Trey Hoerner all getting hits. Riekeman then followed up with a three-run homer over the left field fence to finish off the scoring for the game and the 6-2 victory.
On the mound for Abilene, Fetters went the distance striking out 12, walked three, allowed three hits, and two earned runs. Offensively for Abilene, Riekeman led the way going 1-3 with two runs scored, was hit by a pitch, and three RBI. Noah Wildman, Jurgensen, Fetters, Hoerner, Friederich, and Keaton Hocker each had a hit in the contest.
The following game was a wild one versus Salina. The Rebels have faced Salina four times previously in the young season, and won each game fairly easily. The Rebels plated a run in the first inning, two in the second, one in the third, and one in the fourth inning before Salina would get on the scoreboard. Salina started their scoring in the fourth inning with one run to make the score 5-1 after four. Abilene would not score in their half of the fifth inning while Salina would add four runs on three hits and a walk to tie the game at five as Abilene made a one-out pitching change.
In the sixth inning, the Rebels would take the lead back with three runs on two hits, including a triple by Bret Ambrosier, a walk, and a sacrifice. But Salina would come right back to tie the game with three runs of their own on three hits and three walks. Abilene did make another pitching change after the three runs. Two walks and three strikeouts followed the change to get out of the inning. The score was again tied, this time at 8-8.
Abilene would come up in their last at-bat and score six runs on four hits, three walks, and a hit-batter. It looked like Abilene was in control now, but Salina would not go down quietly. They would get a lead-off double to start things, and a couple of walks followed. With the bases loaded, another Abilene pitching change was made and the next two batters struck out. With Salina at the bottom of their lineup, the batter smacked a grand slam home run over the left-field fence to make the score 14-12, still in favor of Abilene. The lead-off hitter then came to the plate and struck out to end the game.
Offensively for Abilene, Adam Osland was 2-2. Trevor Deters went 1-1 with two runs scored, a walk, and a RBI. Fetters was 1-1 with a run scored. Ambrosier went 2-3 with two runs scored, a stolen base, and was hit by a pitch. Roman Sanchez was 2-3 with two runs scored, and a stolen base. Hoerner went 2-3 with a walk and a RBI. Jurgensen, Riekeman, Friederich, and Hocker all had a hit. 12 of the 13 Abilene players who got in the game had at least one hit. On the mound for the Rebels, Osland got the start and went four and a third innings striking out eight, walked three, allowed seven hits, and five earned runs. Deters pitched two-thirds of an inning striking out none, walked one, and three hits, and three earned runs. Wildman went one inning striking out three, walked four, allowed one hit, and three earned runs. Jurgensen tossed an inning striking out three, walking none, allowed one hit, and one earned run.
The Championship Game on Sunday saw Abilene get the early lead against Minneapolis and not look back. Minneapolis would get a lead-off double in their first at-bat but he would be stranded at third base. The Rebels would get a lead-off triple from Wildman. He would score as Jurgensen, the next batter, hit a sacrifice fly to left field. Abilene would add two more runs in the second inning as Friederich led off with a double, Hocker singled and stole second, Cade Mills sacrificed to bring in a run, and Sanchez also sacrificed one in for the 3-0 lead after two.
In the third, Minneapolis would get a lead-off single, then came a strikeout, then came a groundball to the Abilene shortstop for a possible double-play, but the ball got into the outfield. That was followed by another strikeout, but then came a single to drive in two runs. The Rebels would come right back with a big half to their third inning by scoring eight runs on six hits, two walks, and a hit batter. Abilene would add a run in the fourth inning as Hoerner walked and later crossed the plate on a sacrifice by Friederich. Minneapolis wouldn’t score in their half of the fifth inning and the game ended by run-rule at 12-2 in five innings.
On the mound for Abilene, Friederich went the distance striking out eight, walked none, allowed five hits, hit a batter, and allowed one earned run. Offensively for the Rebels, Jurgensen went 1-1 with a run scored, a sacrifice, a walk, and a RBI. Friederich went 2-2 with two runs scored, a sacrifice, and two RBI. Hocker was 2-3 with two runs scored and two stolen bases. Mills went 1-2 with a run scored, a sacrifice, and two RBI. Wildman, Fetters, and Riekeman each had a hit in the game.
“We were tested in these games, and that was good for us,” said Abilene coach Billy Hansen. “We have to continue to get better and be ready to play each and every time we take the field, no matter who we are playing. We did a lot of good things this weekend, but there are some things we can work on too. We have a bit of a break now, and that will be good for us I think.”
The Abilene Rebels, now 11-0, will next be in action Friday back at home to face Hillsboro with the double-header beginning at 6pm.