The Abilene Rebels traveled to Hesston last Sunday afternoon for a Babe Ruth League double-header. This would be the third consecutive road-trip for Abilene, and they would get another sweep in taking the opener 8-3 and Game Two 11-5.
In Game One, Abilene would get off to a much slower start offensively from what they have been doing lately. Neither team would get on the scoreboard through three innings of play. The Rebels would open up the scoring in their half of the fourth innings as Trenton Jurgensen led off with a single which was followed by a single from Alex Fetters. Back-to-back two-out walks to Glen Friederich and Cade Mills pushed Jurgensen across for the 1-0 lead. Hesston would strand base runners in each of their first three at-bats, but went down in order in their half of the fourth.
Abilene would extend their lead in the fifth inning when Wildman reached on a two-out walk and stole second base. Jurgensen then knocked in Wildman with a single. Fetters doubled down the right-field line and then Trey Hoerner doubled to left-center to bring in two for the 4-0 lead. Hesston again would go down in order in their half of the inning. In the sixth inning, the Rebels would strand runners at second and third while Hesston went down in order for the third consecutive inning.
The seventh inning is when the scoring really picked up. With one out, Fetters hit into a fielder’s choice which saw Jurgensen, who reached on an error, put out a second base. Hoerner then singled, Keaton Hocker doubled to deep left field to drive in two, Friederich singled in a run, Cade Mills had a RBI double, and Roman Sanchez singled in the inning. Abilene now led 8-0, and things looked pretty good for an Abilene shutout. But Hesston would score three runs on two outs after a hit-batter, two errors, and a single. A strikeout ended the game as the Rebels would win 8-3.
“Bret (Ambrosier) came out and pitched a nice complete game for us. I was happy with his performance, other than the three hit-batters, as he threw well and our defense was really good until that last inning,” said Abilene coach Billy Hansen. “We were not real sharp offensively to start but it came around. I gave the boys a little more time off than I usually like to, and I think it showed.”
On the mound for the Rebels, Ambrosier went the distance striking out eight, walked one, hit three batters, allowed three hits, and no earned runs for his second win of the season. Offensively for Abilene, Friederich went 2-3 with a run scored and a RBI. Jurgensen was 2-4 with two runs scored and a RBI. Hoerner and Hocker each went 2-4 with a run scored and two RBI. Fetters was also 2-4 with two runs scored. Mills, Sanchez, and Ambrosier each had a hit in the contest as Abilene belted out 13 hits total.
In Game Two, the Rebels would get back to having a quick start in their first at-bat as Wildman led-off with a single, Hocker followed with a double to drive in Wildman, and Fetters singled to bring in Hocker. With one out, Riekeman was hit-by-a-pitch and stole second base. Friederich then walked, Mills singled to drive in a run and stole second, Sanchez then hit a rocket for a double to the left-center fence to drive two in. Wildman had another single in the inning, this one to drive in a run as Abilene would score seven runs in their first at-bat. Hesston would get right on the board in their half of the inning with a run after a hit-batter, a walk, and two singles.
Abilene would add another run in their half of the second inning as Hoerner ripped a one-out triple to the right-center fence and would score on a sacrifice fly from Riekeman. Hesston went down in order in their half of the second. In the third inning, the Rebels would get singles from Richie Clemente and Wildman, but they would be stranded. Hesston would close the gap in their half of the third with four runs on three hits two walks, and two errors.
The Abilene half of the fourth inning would see them scratch across another run as Hoerner was hit-by-a-pitch, stole second, and later scored on an error for the 9-5 lead. Neither team would score in the fifth inning, though Hesston did strand a runner at third after a double and a stolen base on a questionable call at third. The sixth inning, and what would be final inning due to time-limit, would see the Rebels add to their lead. Fetters got things going with a single up the middle, Jurgensen then followed with a single, and Riekeman doubled to drive in two for the 11-5 final.
“We got the win, but we lost our composure a couple of times in this game,” said Hansen. “We have to be mentally tough and play a little smarter if we want to continue to win…especially this post-season, which will be here in about a week. We continued to pound out some hits, but we made some silly errors…both performance-based and mentally.”
Offensively for the Rebels, Clemente went 2-2 and was hit-by-a-pitch. Wildman was 3-4 with a run scored and a RBI. Riekeman went 1-2 with a sacrifice, was hit-by-a-pitch, a stolen base, and three RBI. Hoerner was 1-2 with two runs scored and a stolen base. Fetters went 2-4 with two runs scored, a stolen base, and a RBI. Sanchez was 1-3 with a run scored and two RBI. Hocker, Jurgensen, and Mills each had hits as Abilene again knocked out 13 hits in the contest. On the mound for Abilene, Adam Osland got the start going two and two-thirds innings striking out five, walked three, hit a batter, allowed five hits, and four earned runs. Sanchez tossed three and a third innings in relief striking out one, walked one, allowed two hits, and no runs.
Abilene, now 18-1, was scheduled to play at Salina on Monday but the games were cancelled due to wet conditions at Dean Evans Stadium. Those games will not be made up. The Rebels next action will be their regular-season finale at home against the Junction City American Legion team on Sunday, July 1 beginning at 2pm in Abilene.