Sweet-to-sour fielding costs Senior Legion; Alliance rallies 7-6
     2012-06-07      By Terry Gaston   
Gering Post 36 Platte Valley Companies Senior Legion pitcher Danny O’Boyle had two leads in Tuesday night’s game against Alliance thanks to productive hitting and stellar defensive work.

But then the Seniors’ defense, like the constant 40 mph south wind huffing into the batters’ faces at Oregon Trail Park, let down.
Three errors in the top of the seventh inning and three Alliance runs lifted the Spartans to the 7-6 victory and left Gering looking for more consistent answers with a busy week still ahead.

“We didn’t play with any urgency,” said Gering coach Doug Jones, whose team – which led 3-0 after three innings and 6-4 after a two-run rally in the sixth inning. “We sat back on our laurels and it got to us.”

O’Boyle, making his first start since the season opener after he spent nearly two weeks preparing for Saturday’s Shrine Bowl in Lincoln, had five strikeouts and just two walks through six innings.
And with third baseman Zach Smith sucking in grounders and making outs with pinpoint throws to equally strong first baseman Austin Ferguson through the crosswind, Gering was able to force Alliance into wasting many of its first 10 hits.

Post 36 had allowed the Spartans to come back to take a 4-3 lead in the top of the fifth, but Gering answered with one fifth-inning run and two in the sixth to take a 6-4 lead.

O’Boyle helped his own pitching cause with three runs and two runs batted in on 2-for-2 hitting with two walks. Grant Rimington and Colin Chatterton had two hits and one run apiece, with Rimington adding an RBI.

But in the top of the seventh and neither Alliance nor the wind ready to dissipate, O’Boyle gave up two straight hits and then had two errors during Jeff Heckman’s at bat: a dropped foul ball behind the plate and a missed throw from shortstop brought home the first run. The tying run scored on a groundout.

Another Gering error let Heckman advance to third and left the bases loaded. Kyle Sanders then drove home Heckman for the go-ahead run.
Left-hander Jake Palmer, who relieved right-handed starter Andy Gomez during Gering’s sixth-inning rally, overcame two leadoff walks in the bottom of the seventh and drew three fly outs to nail down the victory.

“We told them after the game, ‘We think we have great stuff and we got it figured out, so we’ll see what tomorrow brings,’” said Jones, who was taking the Seniors to Chappell on Wednesday to play the Buckley Bombers.

Gering (8-5) will then go to North Platte for tournament action starting Friday, when Post 36 takes on Lincoln Southeast at 12:30 p.m. and Fort Morgan, Colo., at 3 p.m. The Seniors then play Hays, Kan., at 9 a.m. Saturday and will wait until Sunday to finish tourney play with a seeded game.

Gering will be back at Oregon Trail Park on Tuesday for a 6 p.m., nine-inning game against Oshkosh.

Heading into Tuesday’s game, the Post 36 Seniors were coming off a 3-3 split of their six games played from Thursday to Sunday, a stretch that included three games against Casper, Wyo., and a win over Alliance in the Chadron Wood Bat Tournament on Saturday.
In a home doubleheader Thursday, the Gering Seniors out-battled Casper 12-11 in the opener but took it to the chin from their Wyoming guests in the nightcap, 14-1 in five innings.
GERING 12, CASPER 11

In rolling the visiting Oilers in the doubleheader opener, Rimington powered Gering offensively by scoring three runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh inning of a game that featured 22 total hits.

The contest was a seesaw battle. After Gering grabbed an early 4-1 lead, Casper began an offensive fourth-inning scoring fest by scoring six runs in gaining a 7-4 lead.

However, Gering powered back in the bottom of the fourth to take a 9-7 advantage. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for the Seniors, and Josh Burgener pushed across the first run after gaining a third walk off Oiler pitching.

Ferguson then hit a bases-loaded double, pushing Gering back ahead 8-7. Ferguson then scored on Seth Holthus’ single for a two-run lead. Post 36 then increased its lead in the fifth inning to 11-7 when Rimington drove home Nate Marquez and scored on Ferguson’s single.

But Casper erased the deficit with four sixth-inning runs and had a go-ahead base runner in the seventh. However, he was left stranded at third base.

Rimington got the game-winning rally going by drawing first base on an error and Burgener followed with a single. An intentional walk to Bryce Burkhardt loaded the bases, but the move backfired on the Oilers when Rimington scurried home on a wild pitch for the game-winner.

Ferguson was 2-for-5 with a double, scored a run and had four runs batted in. Walker Britsch was 2-for-4 with a double, two runs scored and four RBI. Marquez and Reggie Reyes each scored twice, following Rimington’s three runs.

Collin Chatterton earned the win in relief after he allowed no runs or hits with two strikeouts in the seventh inning. He was Gering’s fourth pitcher of the slugfest.
CASPER 14, GERING 1

The Oilers gained redemption for its missed opportunities in the first game by striking early and often in the second contest, scoring eight runs in the second for a 10-0 advantage.
Casper built a 13-0 lead in the fourth inning before Gering got its lone run, when Burkhardt scored on a single by Holthus.
Gering scrapped out five hits in the five-inning game, with Marquez going 2-for-3. Bret Orozco, who had a single, was the losing pitcher.
GERING 4, ALLIANCE 2

Post 36 began the Chadron Wood Bat Tournament by gaining a win after scoring three fifth-inning runs to break a 1-all tie.
Marquez got the win on the mound, allowing six hits over five innings with one strikeout and four walks.
Burgener led Gering offensively by going 2-for-3. Gering had seven hits with four errors, and Alliance had more hits with nine but also committed three errors.
CASPER 3, GERING 2

In Gering’s second game Saturday, the Seniors played much better than they did in their second-game loss Thursday but still could not overcome Casper’s 3-0 lead after five innings. Gering scored twice, with a run in each of the sixth and seventh innings, but got no closer.

The Oilers outhit the PVC Seniors 10-4, although Rimington was 3-for-3 for Gering with one RBI and a double. Orozco had Post 36’s other hit, while Ferguson and Orozco scored the two runs. Chatterton was dealt the pitching loss.
GERING 10, VALENTINE 5

The Seniors returned to the field Sunday and downed Valentine 10-5 in the first game. Burgener got the complete-game victory for Gering, scattering 10 hits while giving up five hits while striking out seven and walking four in his six-inning outing.

Post 36 scored twice in the first inning before Valentine took a 4-2 lead in the top of the second frame. However, Gering rallied with two runs to forge a 4-all tie after two innings.

After Burgener silenced the Valentine bats in the top of the third inning, Gering struck with a five-run rally in the bottom of the third. Each team added a run in the fourth inning.

Rimington went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI. Marquez was 2-for-3 at the plate, with a double, two runs and one RBI. Ferguson added a two-run double, while Burkhardt and Britsch had an RBI each.
CHADRON 7, GERING 5

After having lost to Gering twice at Oregon Trail Park, Chadron used its home field to its advantage and struck with all seven of its run through the first three innings.

Gering scored three in the sixth inning to close within two runs but were shut out in the seventh.

Chadron also had a 7-5 advantage in hits. Smith led the Seniors’ offense by going 2-for-4 with a triple, two RBI and a run scored. Rimington suffered the pitching defeat, allowing seven runs on seven hits with five strikeouts over six innings.

Chadron, which had three players with two hits apiece, thus finished the tournament with a 4-0 record. Gering and Casper finished with 2-2 records and Alliance and Valentine went 1-3.

Through Sunday, The Seniors’ season leaders included Rimington, who is 2-1 with a 1.56 earned run average – 1.06 with hitters in scoring position — and 25 strikeouts.

Offensively, Gering has Rimington hitting .480 in all 12 games with 16 hits, and Smith hitting .455 on 10 hits in nine games, with Marquez scoring 16 runs on 10 hits, Rimington with 14 runs and Britsch with 11 hits; Rimington with 15 RBI, Burgener with 12 and Ferguson with 11 hits and 13 runs. The first home run awaits.

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