Zephyrs thwart Gering's early rally, win 12-2
     2013-06-27      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
PVC's early 2-run lead erased by Westco's 3-run rally, Z's roll to 5-inning victory

SCOTTSBLUFF — Most sports coaches, players and fans would agree that their game or competition cannot be won in the first period of action, but sometimes it can be lost.

Gering Platte Valley Companies jumped ahead of the Westco Zephyrs with two quick first-inning runs Sunday at Cleveland Field, but the Zephyrs responded in the bottom of the inning with three runs and set themselves up for taking a 12-2 victory in five innings.
Westco took advantage of two walks issued by Gering PVC pitcher Elijah Timblin, who also hit batter Beau Lofink, to score the three-run rally that Zephyrs coach Mark Moran said was key in turning the game’s early momentum.

“Gering put the two runs up there in the first, and I thought it was really big when our kids came back and got three in the bottom, so we got the lead and had the advantage,” Moran said.

Gering PVC was limited to one hit and suffered 19 strikeouts to Westco right-hander Eric Moreno in the Zephyrs’ 2-0, eight-inning win June 11 at Oregon Trail Park.

On Sunday afternoon — in a game postponed from Saturday after thunderstorms rolled into the area and heavy rain and pea-sized hail left the field unplayable for the night — the Senior 36ers got two hits off Moreno in the first inning.

Taylor Winkler gained first on a one-out infield single hit to Westco shortstop Jackson Hinze and advanced to second when Austin Ferguson drew a two-out walk. Caleb Geary then doubled to left, scoring Winkler and Ferguson for the Gering PVC‘s first-inning runs.
“We came out and jumped on them, and we’ve had a lot of bad things happen that the kids were kind of sick of happening,” Gering PVC coach Rick Kinnaman said. “So we kept working hard and got the early lead, but then we made some mistakes, and everything that was close just kind of tipped in their favor.”

Westco’s answering rally began when Timblin walked leadoff hitter Ty Benson, who was put out on a fielder’s choice hit by Tharyn Curtis. Austin Murphy then drew a walk and Ty Wilson’s short single to left, with Benson scoring on the throw from Dillon DeMott for the Zephyrs’s first run.

Timblin plunked Lofink to load the bases, and Ty Dunkel’s infield single to shortstop brought home Murphy for the tying run. Wilson then scored on Jacob Schmid’s fly-out to give Westco the lead.
“We then had the momentum, compared to if they’re ahead 2-0 after one, they have all the momentum,” Moran said. “So that was big in us getting the three back in the first inning.”

The Zephyrs’ freshly minted lead also allowed Moreno to settle into the dominant form he enjoyed against the Senior 36ers. Moreno retired Gering PVC in order with two strikeouts and a groundout on 14 pitches in the second.

Westco responded by adding another run for a 4-2 lead. Hinze led off the inning by drawing a walk, and he scored from third on a bases-loaded double play started by Murphy’s grounder to shortstop.

Moreno then needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side in the top of the third inning. He allowed just two more hits the rest of the way, finishing with four hits surrendered, and he completed the game with 11 strikeouts and just one walk.

“Eric had another excellent outing,” Moran said. “He’s really pitching well right now and came up big for us again.”
The Zephyrs added two more runs in the third inning, when Dunkel — who drew a leadoff hit by pitch — scored on an error. Schmid, who also was hit by a Timblin pitch, scored on Hinze’s sacrifice fly for a 6-2 Westco lead.
The Zephyrs then doubled their score and finished the game via run rule with six runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. Lofink led off with a single and scored on Rogelio Gurrola’s single. Dunkel, who gained base on a walk, came home on the ensuing throw from right field.
Gurrola then scored on Hinze’s double for a 9-2 Westco advantage, and Hinze crossed home on Curtis’ single. Murphy then drew a walk, Curtis scored an infield Gering PVC error, and Murphy closed out the scoring by stealing home.

The Zephyrs had a 7-4 advantage in base hits, and no player had more than one hit in the contest. Gurrola and Hinze had two RBI apiece for Westco, while Geary had both of Gering PVC’s RBI with his first-inning double.
Both teams began busy weeks with games Tuesday night.
The Senior 36ers (7-15) were at home to play the Alliance Spartans, while the Zephyrs (20-10) traveled to Gillette, Wyo. On Wednesday, Westco was scheduled to play two games at Rapid City Post 22 before entertaining Sidney on Thursday at Cleveland Field, a game that will be followed with Fireworks Night.

Gering PVC then makes its own trip north to Rapid City for the three-day Festival in the Hills Tournament beginning Friday. The Senior 36ers will then entertain Sidney on Tuesday at Oregon Trail Park.
The Zephyrs will be off after Thursday’s game until Monday, when they will play at Laramie, Wyo. That action was postponed one day because of a scheduling conflict in Laramie.

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