Zephyrs blow past Gering PVC Senior 36ers: Gering Juniors take advantage of Express miscues, score run-rule victory of their own
     2015-06-11      By Terry Gaston    sports@geringcitizen.com
Photo by Angie Hernadez/for the Citizen - Gering’s Brenden Brester leads off with a hope of stealing second against ready first baseman Andy Van Amburg during Tuesday night’s battle against the Scottsbluff Zephyrs. The Zephyrs downed Gering 14-4. 
Fifteen minutes after watching his Gering Platte Valley Companies Senior American Legion baseball team drop a 14-4, five-inning decision Tuesday night at Oregon Trail Park to the Westco Twin Cities Zephyrs, Gering coach Rick Kinnaman said his team was already taking positives from the loss.

“We got ourselves in a hole, and we kept fighting; you’ve got to give our kids credit for that,” said Kinnaman, whose team (7-7) fell behind 10-0 but took advantage of two Zephyr errors and two walks to score all four of its runs in the bottom of the third inning.

“We got better already after this game. We’ve already talked about some things we can do to get better. We just ran into a team that quite a bit better than us tonight as far as work on the mound and hitting the ball. They had it going tonight.”

Gering PVC was held to four hits – including a pair of singles by Austin Abbott – while the Zephyrs had 12, including five extra-base hits.

Leadoff hitter Jackson Hinze – who was taking a break from early preparations for Saturday’s West Nebraska All-Star Football Game in Scottsbluff – went 3-for-4 against Gering PVC, scoring twice and driving home four runs – including a pair on a fourth-inning triple.
Hinze then scored on Traceten Halley’s single to close out Westco Twin Cities’ scoring.

Halley entered the game as a reliever in the third inning. He replaced Ty Benson, who had come in from center field to relieve Zephyrs starter Trevor Garcia. However, Benson tweaked his elbow during warmup pitches, and Halley – coming off a broken foot injury of his own, jumped in nicely.

“We’re just getting him back healthy, and he pitched well and had a good swing,” Westco Twin Cities coach Mark Moran said of Halley. “We had some good at-bats, we hit the ball hard so it was a good night for us offensively.”

Garcia, despite allowing all four Gering PVC runs before he was taken off the hill, still got the pitching victory after he also walked four 36ers and allowed two of their hits.

Garcia had a three-run home run in the off Gering PVC starter Esai Hernandez that capped the Zephyrs’ six-run rally in the top of the second inning.

Jason Amateis joined Hinze with three hits, going 3-for-3 with a two-run double in the second inning and scored all three times he reached base.

Robbie Cantril and Cooper Buchhamer both were 2-for-4 with doubles and Buchhammer scored on Amateis’ double after he had a leadoff single in the second inning.

“We hit the ball pretty well tonight,” said Moran, whose team improved to 7-8 with the win – its fifth over the Senior 36ers since the teams revived their Post 36 rivalry in 2013.
“We ran the bases OK, not great, and then we were fine defensively except in that third inning where we lost our focus a little bit.”
Hernandez took the pitching loss for Gering PVC after he allowed 10 runs in 2-1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out four before giving way to Austin Reynolds, who had two strikeouts in his 2-2/3 innings of work while allowing the Zephyrs’s final four runs.
The Senior 36ers started a busy weekend on the road Wednesday with a doubleheader at Hershey against the Hershland Legion. Gering PVC then will play in the Crete Tournament Friday through Sunday, starting with action Friday against Malcom.
Gering then plays Wilbur on Saturday at 9 a.m. and Lincoln Luthernan at 11:30 a.m., then will be in placement action Sunday. The Senior 36ers return home Tuesday with a 7 p.m. contest against Torrington before heading to Chadron on Wednesday.

“We have a lot of things coming on us right now and this just helps us get better,” Kinnaman said.

Gering Juniors slow down Express

The Gering B&C Steel Junior 36ers remained unbeaten in the Post 36 Series, rolling to a 10-2 win over a Westco Twin Cities Express team that entered the game having won seven of its last eight games.
“They gave us opportunities and we capitalized on their walks they issued,” said B&C Steel coach Patrick O’Boyle, whose team succeeded despite netting just three hits. “Our kids played good defense and they pitched well tonight, and those were the keys to the ball game and that’s definitely what set the tone.”
The Junior 36ers (3-4) took command with a five-run rally in the second inning and then adding four more in the third, the latter flurry answering the Express’s two-run rally in the top of the third frame.
A steal of home by Mike Gutherless during the first inning got B&C Steel going. In the second, a sacrifice fly by Lance Garcia, a walk by Chris Palomo, a walk by Dylan Radzymski, and a two-run error gave the Junior 36ers a 6-0 advantage.

On the mound, Palomo held Westco Twin Cities (11-6) to five hits while he struck out six and overcame five walks in gaining the complete-game victory.

Palomo worked his way out of a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the fourth inning, keeping the Express off the board and maintaining B&C Steel’s eight-run lead needed to end the game by run rule after five frames.
Palomo also took care of another bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the third, drilling a three-run triple to center field that concluded the Junior 36ers’ scoring Gunnar Buchhammer was charged with the loss for the Express. He allowed six runs in 1-2/3 innings, walked five and struck out one. Jackson Hohnstein had two of Twin Cities’ five hits, and Paul Panduro had a double.
“When you hold a team to three hits, you don’t expect 10 runs on the board,” Express coach Mike Jones said. “But you have to give Gering a lot of credit for finding ways to get on base.
“We walked them eight times and hit them twice, so we gave them 10 opportunities without needing to play any defense. Free bases always kill you, but that’s the way the game is and we still have plenty of chances to overcome it and play better than what we did.”
The Junior 36ers began a four-game home series against Casper, Wyo., with a Wednesday night twin bill and will finish the series today (Thursday) with a 3 p.m. doubleheader.

B&C Steel then travels to Hastings for tournament play beginning Friday with games against Columbus at 3:15 p.m. and Hastings at 5:30 p.m. On Saturday, the Junior 36ers play Columbus at 9:30 a.m. and Creighton Prep at 11:45 a.m. Placement action will take place on Sunday.

The Gering Juniors then play host to Torrington at 5 p.m. on Tuesday before they travel to Chadron for a 5 p.m. game Wednesday.
“We have nine games in the next three or four days, so we have to keep pushing to keep improving every day,” O’Boyle said. “Defense is something we’ve been working on and it definitely showed tonight. We just have to keep making strides in the right direction.”

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