Under sunny skies with temperatures in the 50s, the Kimball Express kept its winning ways going early in the 2014 Central Valley League season with a 10-1 win over rivals Watkins in a game played at Kimball.
Starting pitcher Ben Johnson could do little wrong on the mound or at the plate as he not only picked up the win but he also stroked six hits in six plate appearances. Among Johnson’s hits were four singles and a pair of doubles. He drove in four of Kimball’s runs.
Johnson, a hard-throwing right hander in his second year with the Express, pitched 4 1/3 innings before giving way to Andy Dingmann who pitched 3 2/3 innings. He was followed on the mound by Adam Beyer who pitched the final frame.
“I thought our middle infield played exceptional defense,” Express manager Tom Marquardt said of shortstop Jordan Joseph and second baseman Brian Marquardt. “They turned three double plays.”
The Express (2-0), spotted the Clippers a run in the first inning and then closed the door the rest of the way.
Kimball catcher Scott Marquardt also had a hot stick for the Express as he went 3-for-6 with a line-drive double of the centerfield fence.
Kimball had its hitting shoes on as the team collected 17 hits on the day. Kimball scored single runs in the second and third before adding a pair of runs in the fourth. The Express put the game away by notching three runs in each the sixth and seventh innings.
Dan Berg and Charlie Ortz each stroked two hits for the Clippers.
In other CVL action:
Offensive explosion sees Rockies upend Luxemburg 19-10
Luxemburg – Both teams scored plenty of runs to win but it was the Cold Spring Rockies (1-0) walking away with a 19-10 victory over the home team.
For the Rockies, David Jones collected five hits and a couple of RBI while teammate Rick Burtzel blasted a three-run home run.
The Brewers (0-1) brought some fire-power of their own as Isaac Matchinsky rapped out three hits including a grand slam to deliver five RBI on the day. Ethan Fruth collected four hits in the losing effort.
Lakers defeat Nicks 6-3
St. Nicholas – The visiting Lakers took advantage of some St. Nicholas fielding woes to grab the win over the Nicks.
The Lakers (1-0) scored four runs in the fifth as the St. Nicholas (0-1) infield had some problems handling some groundballs that would have gotten them out of the inning. The Nicks committed three errors in that frame which led to the pitching loss for St. Nicholas starter Travis Hansen. Hansen pitched the first three innings and left the game with Pearl Lake ahead 2-1.
Tony Garding got the starting nod for the Lakers on the hill and went four innings without allowing an earned run. He gave way to the eventual winning pitcher, Nick Roeder, who hurled three innings while giving up one earned run. Andy Lenzmeier threw one inning giving up a run before yielding to Mitch Denne who pitched a scoreless ninth for the save.
At the dish, Lenzmeier and Tommy Linn each stroked doubles and collected an RBI for Pearl Lake.
Joe Wehlage was 1-for 3 with a double for St. Nicholas, and Jon Hofer was 1-4 with two RBI in the losing cause.
Eden Valley Hawks top
St. Augusta 7-5
Eden Valley – Heath Kramer pitched a solid game going 7 innings as the Hawks picked up their first league win over the Gussies, who fell to 0-2.
Gary Peters collected three hits and plated two runs for the Hawks, and teammates Jeff Haag, Josh Schumacher and Nathan Geislinger each added two hits. Haag had four RBI on the day.
Marcus Lommel, Nate Gwost, David Fritz and Aaron Fruth each had two hits for St. Augusta.
St. Augusta scored two runs in the top of the third only to see that lead vanish when the Hawks responded with four runs in the bottom of that frame. Matthew Pennertz and Nathan Geislinger got back-to-back singles to start the bottom of the third. Chad Hesse bunted to move the runners to second and third. When Gary Peters reached on an error the bases were jammed with Hawks. Jeff Haag singled scoring two, and then Josh Schumacher singled. Heath Kramer then singled to score two more runs.
The Hawks added three more runs in the bottom of the fourth to complete their scoring for the day and take a comfortable lead they would hold even though the Gussies scored once in the fifth and twice in the eighth.
Kramer finished the game giving up eight hits, three runs while walking four and striking out three. John Bautch finished the final two innings for the save surrendering only three hits but giving up two runs.
Zach Laudenbach started for the Gussies and took the loss pitching five innings. He gave up all seven Eden Valley runs on
eight hits. He walked one and struck out three. Adam Benoit came on in relief for St. Augusta giving up four hits but no runs while striking out one.
Express baserunner Ben Johnson puts on the brakes as he’s heading to score while Watkins catcher Dallas Severson receives the throw at the plate. Johnson was caught in a rundown but eventually made it safely back to third. Johnson was 6-for-6 on the day as Kimball beat the Clippers 10-1. Staff photo by Mike Nistler.