First week promises exciting season for Gering Legion baseball
     2012-05-31      By Brian Hale    brianhale@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Sheila Weber/for the Citizen
Gering’s Grant Rimington slides into home safely during the PVC tournament last weekend in Gering. Gering won the contest against Sidney 7-2, and went on to defeat North Platte, 11-6 and Chadron, 11-10 giving them a 3-1 record for the tourney.
 
Fans who frequented Oregon Trail Park this weekend witnessed some exciting baseball action as Gering PVC earned victories over Chadron, Sidney and North Platte.

The Gering Platte Valley Companies’ Senior Legion baseball team has already banged out 55 hits and scored 62 runs enroute to their strong 5-1 start to the 2012 season.

Gering went 3-1 in the tournament this weekend, defeating Sidney on Friday before falling to the Buckley Bombers from Chappell, 11-8 on Saturday. The boys in blue bounced back however, scoring two big wins on Sunday, first over North Platte, 11-6, then over Chadron 11-10 in a seven inning thriller.

Prior to the PVC tournament, Gering had just opened their season on the road last Wednesday with a win over an experienced Chadron team, 15-4, behind the pitching of Danny O’Boyle and Zach Smith. O’Boyle got the victory giving up four runs in five innings, while teammate Smith held Chadron hitless, striking out three.

The Gering combo also knocked in five runs on six hits, while scoring five runs of their own on the way to the double-digit win.
This game would be O’Boyle’s only one prior to reporting for duty at the West Nebraska All-Star Game.

Despite not having O’Boyle for the tournament, Gering hitters quickly showed their support for Grant Rimington on Friday as the team scored first and never looked back on their way to the 7-2 victory over Sidney.

Rimington struck out 10, allowed only one earned run on six hits and had just one walk. He also helped his own cause by driving in three, despite being hitless, while teammate Walker Britsch went 2-3 driving in two and scoring twice.

Saturday’s tournament game proved to be a different story for Gering Platte Valley Companies as they found themselves down by five runs going into the bottom of the fourth inning. Despite the loss, Austin Ferguson nearly hit for the cycle, doubling in the first, tripling in the fourth and getting on with a single in the sixth inning. Gering committed five errors and were out-hit by the visiting Bombers from Chappell, accounting for Gering’s first loss of the season, 11-8.

Coach Doug Jones said he was most proud of the way the kids bounced back on Sunday after the loss to Buckley. Despite being up late on Saturday night and having to play a tough North Platte team early Sunday morning, Gering was able to take the lead in the third inning behind the two-run double by Josh Burgener, scoring Reggie Reyes and Bryce Burkhardt and hold on for the victory, 11-6.

Burgener had three RBIs on two hits, while Austin Ferguson doubled twice knocking in two more runs while scoring another. Zach Smith earned the complete game victory over North Platte, striking out eight while walking none.

The afternoon game on Sunday against Chadron was a rematch from their season opener on the road. In Chadron, Gering dominated, but this time it would be different as Chadron out-hit Gering 13-11.
Despite the improvement at the plate for Chadron, Gering foiled their plans for revenge, 11-10 by taking it to the wire.

The game saw 11 lead changes as Gering jumped out in the first 1-0 but that didn’t last long as Chadron scored four in the top half of the second inning. Their momentum didn’t last very long either as Gering responded with five runs of their own in the bottom half of the third inning. Again, like clockwork, Chadron tallied two more runs in the fourth and three more in the fifth to take the lead, 9-6.

Gering rallied in the bottom half to take the lead 10-9 after five, while the sixth inning proved to be the only scoreless inning of the game as neither team could muster a run before the final stanza. Chadron tied it up in top of the seventh, but it was the RBI single by Reggie Reyes, scoring Bryce Burkhardt in the bottom half that ended the game and secured the win for Gering.

Nate Marquez picked up the win on the mound for Gering, allowing four runs in three innings and striking out two against no walks and four hits. Collin Chatterton started the game and pitched four innings, giving up six runs on nine hits before yielding to Marquez.
Overall for the tournament, Gering won three and lost one, scoring 37 runs on 37 hits, improving their record at that point to 4-1 overall and 1-0 in league play.

In their second league game of the year Tuesday night in Gering, it was over fairly quickly as Sidney was shelled for eight runs in the Gering half of the third inning. Gering went on to win the contest easily in five innings by the 10-run rule, 10-0.

Grant Rimington pitched near perfect ball, striking out 10 and allowing only 2 hits in the shortened five inning shutout.
Walker Britsch went 2-2 with two doubles and scored twice, while eight other Gering players also scored. The win extends the Gering Platte Valley Companies record to 5-1 on the season.

Gering PVC is scheduled for a doubleheader against Casper, Wyo. Wednesday in Gering, then will play in a weekend tournament in Chadron June 2 and 3 before returning home for a league game against Alliance June 5. On Wednesday, June 6, Gering will get a chance to avenge their earlier loss to the Buckley Bombers in a road game at Chappell.

Season Batting Leaders
Batting Average; Zach Smith .500, Walker Britsch .471, Reggie Reyes .455. Hits; Grant Rimington 8, Walker Britsch, 8, Zach Smith, 7, Josh Burgener, 7. Runs Batted In; Josh Burgener, 8, Grant Rimington, 7. Runs; Nathan Marquez, 10, Walker Britsch, 8, Grant Rimington, 8, Reggie Reyes, 7. On Base Percentage; Reggie Reyes .684, Nathan Marquez .667, Zach Smith .611.

Season Pitching Leaders
Wins; Grant Rimington, 2. Strikeouts; Grant Rimington, 20, Zach Smith, 11. Earned Run Average; Grant Rimington, 0.58, Zach Smith, 1.56.



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