In 6-1 victory in Central Valley League playoffs
A new job as an accountant in West Des Moines, Iowa, has made Adam Theis’ trek home for a little amateur baseball infrequent.
Theis, in fact, hadn’t played for the Kimball Express since June 15, which coincided with starting his new job after he graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville.
The four-plus-hour drive to Kimball was definitely worth it Sunday, July 21.
Theis pitched the Express to a 6-1 Central Valley League South Division playoff victory over the Eden Valley Hawks.
“It’s a big game to go to regions so I came up for it,” said Theis, a St. Cloud Cathedral graduate.
Theis struck out five, walked one and scattered seven hits. While he wasn’t overpowering, he was aided by three double plays, including two unconventional ones.
“He got his four games in after he graduated from college, from Memorial Day weekend to
June 15,” Kimball manager Tom Marquardt said. “We ain’t seen him since.”
Eden Valley saw plenty of him Sunday. And while the Hawks got their hits, they couldn’t string anything together for multiple runs.
“Our hitters hit him,” Eden Valley manager Birdie Geislinger said. “We hung in there.
“But he’s definitely a good pitcher.”
The victory assures Kimball (16-8) a berth in the Region
15C tournament in Cold Spring. The Express have a divisional seedings game Saturday. In the meantime, they get to see who wins between Luxemburg and Eden Valley on Wednesday, July 24.
Those two play at a site to be determined. It’s Luxemburg’s call and it needs to be at a lighted field, which Luxemburg doesn’t have. Luxemburg beat St. Nicholas 11-1 Sunday, July 21. The Luxemburg-Eden Valley winner earns a berth in Region 15C.
The loser still has a chance to play in the regional, but must beat the third-seeded team from one division of the Corn Belt League at 4 p.m. Saturday, July 27, in
Kimball had cruised to the Central Valley South title with a 12-3 record, but two of those losses had been to Eden Valley. The Hawks, in fact, had beaten Kimball five times in a row dating to last season. The Express won the one that mattered most Sunday, July 21, getting 13 hits.
Brooks Marquardt, Scott
Marquardt, Jordan Joseph and Theis all had two hits. Of the
13 hits, there were three doubles and a triple by Joseph.
Kimball took a 2-0 first-inning lead and built it to 3-0 after two. The Express added single runs in the fifth, sixth and eighth innings off Heath Kramer, who went the distance, striking out one, walking four and allowing four earned runs.
The Hawks made four errors and probably ran themselves out of a big inning in the fourth, when they scored once. After Joe Thiel’s lead-off walk, Mike Arnold hit a mammoth shot to right-center field that Brooks Marquardt made a nice running catch on. Thiel was almost on third when the catch was made and was doubled off first.
Kimball third-baseman Ben Johnson also had a nice diving catch in the fifth on a line shot by Thiel. Johnson then tagged out Gary Peters, the runner on third, though Peters disputes he was out.
“Defense is definitely key to making it in the playoffs,” Theis said. “I don’t think we had an error and we definitely made some nice plays.”
“There are three things you need this time of year,” he said. “You can’t make errors. You have to play good mental ball. And sometimes, a little luck helps, too.
“I felt that we hit the ball very well, but we didn’t have the other parts (physical and mental errors and luck).”
Theis said the decision to come back for the playoffs wasn‘t hard.
“I’ve been playing with these guys four or five years now,” he said. “The drive’s worth it.
“I’m good friends with all these guys. That makes it worth it.”
EDEN VALLEY – Dan Sargent 2-4 3B, Joe Thiel 1-3 BB, Josh Schumacher 1-3, Heath Kramer 2-3, Matthew Pennertz 1-3 RBI BB, Gary Peters 1-3 2B; LP-Kramer IP-8 H-13 R-6 ER-4 BB-4 SO-1.
KIMBALL – Ben Johnson 1-4 RBI SF, Brooks Marquardt 2-5 R 2B, Adam Beyer 1-5 R, Scott Marquardt 2-3 R RBI BB-2 SB-2, Brian Marquardt 2-4 2B RBI-3 SF, Jordan Joseph 2-4 3B, Adam Theis 2-4 R-2 2B, Austin Ruehle 1-3; WP-Theis IP-7 H-7 R-1 ER-1 BB-1 SO-5, Joseph IP-1 H-1 R-0 ER-0 BB-0 SO-1, Johnson IP-1 H-0 R-0 ER-0 BB-1 SO-2.
Adam Theis had a four-plus-hour commute back to his new home in West Des Moines after pitching a winning game for the Kimball Express against the Eden Valley Hawks in the CVL playoffs Sunday, July 21. The Express, in their brand-new, engine-red uniforms, will next play Saturday, July 27, in the 15C tournament in Cold Spring. Staff photo by Anton Matua.