On Wednesday June 4 the Trojan baseball team travelled to Slater to face the Ballard Bombers in their fourth game of a five game stretch. It was busy week for the STC sluggers as they faced Grundy Center twice on Monday, travelled to PCM on Tuesday, hit the road again on Wednesday and finished things out with a home game against Gladbrook-Reinbeck on Thursday.
With a packed schedule stretching the pitching staff to full capacity, the Trojans looked to junior Damon Whitebreast to guide the team on the mound. In his first appearance for the Trojans Whitebreast kept the game close through seven innings as he struck out four and allowed only three earned runs.
Starting for the Bombers was senior Nick Hartman. Hartman lasted only two and a third innings as Ballard went with a pitcher by committee approach for the rest of the game. STC would face four different Bomber pitchers in total.
Second baseman Logan Flammy grounds out to Trojan first baseman Cody Kellogg on Thursday June 5.
Chronicle Photo/Allison Graham
The teams traded runs nearly every inning after Ballard got on the board with two runs in the bottom of the second. The Trojans responded with two runs in both the second and third innings to take a 4-2 lead.
The middle of the Trojan lineup hit the ball well on Wednesday as Grant Koch, Cody Kellogg, Dalton Doyle and Mitch Thede combined for all six of the Trojans hits. Kellogg (1B) led the way for the Trojans with two hits, two RBIs, and a walk. In his first year with the STC varsity team Kellogg has provided some crucial support both at the plate and on the mound.
The Bombers wouldn't go away however and chipped away at the Trojan lead to knot the score at 4 runs each at the end of seven innings. The top and bottom of the Bomber order provided most of the run support for Ballard. Though several players contributed at the plate for Ballard, third baseman Nathan Carlin was the stand out performer with two hits, one run, and a RBI.
Going into extra innings for the first time this season the Trojans had an opportunity to snatch a win but junior relief pitcher Landon Manfull held the Trojan batters in check and the Ballard offense squeaked in the deciding run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Ballard came away with a close 5-4 victory.
The Trojans baseball team closed out their week on Thursday June 5 at home against the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Rebels.
The Rebels who are currently leading the NICL west, have had a good start to their season and are currently 6-1, a vast improvement from their 2-3 record last year at this time.
Through seven innings the Trojans recorded seven hits and scored one run. STC got their bats going early against the Rebel's starting pitcher Camden Kickbush as the first three batters (Smith, Frakes, and Kellogg) all hit singles to load the bases. After starting catcher Dalton Doyle hit into a double play, Frakes scored the Trojans lone run from a balk by Kickbush. Unfortunately, the Trojans couldn't keep the momentum going as the inning ended after sophomore outfielder Bailey Chyma grounded out to the pitcher. Chyma, a return player from last year's squad, made his first appearance at the plate on Thursday as he's been recovering from an arm injury that occurred during the track and field season.
The Rebels responded in a big way by scoring seven unanswered runs across the next five innings. Gladbrook-Reinbeck got significant production from the back half of their lineup as the seven through nine batters combined for six hits and three runs. Starting shortstop Cameron Murphy, who batted eighth, lead the way for the Rebels with a triple and four RBIs.
Kickbush went the distance for the Rebels while fanning four Trojan batters and allowing only one run. Starting for the Trojans was Colson Frakes who also recorded four strikeouts and only two earned runs through seven innings.
In the bottom of the seventh inning eighth grade center fielder Colton Vest led off and got on base by hustling down to first after the Rebel's catcher Bryce Ehlers dropped the third strike. Though only credited with one hit, Vest managed to get on base in each of his three at bats. A seventh inning comeback would not be in cards however as Kickbush and the Rebels defense forced the final three Trojan batters into consecutive outs. The final score, 8-1 Rebels.
The Trojans will have a chance at redemption in a few weeks when they will travel to the Rebel home field on Monday June 23 for a varsity double header.