PREP BASEBALL: No room to run
Wabasso drops doubleheader matchup to Springfield
WABASSO – The offensive woes for the Wabasso baseball team continued in Tuesday night’s doubleheader with Springfield as the Rabbits were shut out in back-to-back games and were held without a hit in the second contest that ended 10-0 in favor of the Tigers after six innings.
Heading into the matchup, coach Chad Olson anticipated a tough challenge from a loaded Tigers squad, but came away disappointed with their inability to drive in any runs in the doubleheader.
“We knew coming in that Springfield’s having a nice season. They’ve got a lot of good kids on their team,” said Olson. “We knew it would be tough, but to get blanked twice in a row that’s a little disheartening. We had some good at bats, we just couldn’t put enough of them together to get base runners to score runs so we got some work to do in that department.”
It didn’t take long for the Tigers to show off their offensive firepower in the first inning as leadoff hitter Decker Scheffler opened up the scoring with a solo home run to take a 1-0 lead. Springfield would add a second run in the frame thanks to an RBI single by Isaac Fink to push the lead to 2-0, where it would remain into the third inning.
After threatening to score in the second, the Tigers all but put the game away in the top of the third with a seven-run inning that began with an RBI double by Mitchell Leonard to make it 3-0 before Scheffler added his second home run, this time a grand slam, to make it 9-0. Soon after, starting pitcher Ryan Liebl was pulled in favor of Ty Altermatt to close out the inning.
In assessing the work of the pitching staff throughout the series, Olson would have liked to see a better command of the strike zone.
“I would like to see us having better command of things and being able to locate off the plate a little bit consistently where you start getting some calls, and we just didn’t know when we were throwing strikes,” said Olson. “We couldn’t do it when we needed to and that’s why the games just kind of got out of hand on us today.”
At the plate, the Rabbits picked up their first hit of the game in the bottom of the third as Luke Wagner picked up a single and Sam Rabenberg followed suit in the fifth inning. Unfortunately, they were unable to capitalize on either opportunity as Wabasso would end the contest without a run in a 12-0 final after five innings of play.
The Rabbits opened up the second game with a much stronger start as Wagner delivered a 1-2-3 inning in the bottom of the first to keep the game scoreless heading into the second. However, without any run support to keep pace, the Tigers seized control with a three-run second frame and added another run in the third to take a 4-0 lead after three.
With Springfield starting pitcher Fink continuing to stymie the Rabbit hitters, the Tigers went back to work in the fourth inning with their shutout still intact and extended their lead to 7-0 in the bottom of the frame. The offensive surge was highlighted by a two-run home run by Scheffler for his third of the doubleheader.
After stepping up to the mound in relief of Wagner in the fourth, Carter Benz delivered one of only two scoreless innings for the Rabbits in the bottom of the fifth inning, but a three-run sixth marked the end of the game in a 10-0 final.
The Rabbits will return to action on Monday when they host Red Rock Central/Westbrook-Walnut Grove at 4:15 p.m. Looking ahead, Olson is hoping some fielding reps in practice leading up to the game will help his team loosen up in their next contest.
“I think we just have to get outside and get a lot of reps in and hopefully that will get us more comfortable,” said Olson. “We didn’t look real comfortable. We looked a little overwhelmed.”
Springfield 12, Wabasso 0 (5 innings)
Springfield 207 12 — 12 14 0
Wabasso 000 00 — 0 2 2
HITTING: Wabasso (Wagner 1-1; Rabenberg 1-1).
PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-BB-K): Wabasso (Liebl 2.1-8-9-9-7-2; Altermatt 2.2-6-3-3-0-1).
Springfield 10, Wabasso 0 (6 innings)
Wabasso 000 000 — 0 0 1
Springfield 031 303 — 10 11 0
HITTING: Wabasso (None).
PITCHING (IP-H-R-ER-BB-K): Wabasso (Wagner 3.0-3-4-3-3-0; Benz 1.2-3-2-1-1-2).