“I just don’t see us having games late in the year where we’ll commit four errors.” -Panther Coach Kraig Terpstra
By Ken McKenzie
The SPASH Panthers baseball team earned a split in a Saturday non-conference double-header with Green Bay Preble, downing the Hornets 13-4 in the opener before losing 7-6.
Panther Coach Kraig Terpstra said some shaky defensive plays are evidence of growing pains of breaking in some new starters but was quick to note that he really likes his team.
“We play to win on weekend games but mostly to build our depth,” Terpstra said. “Today’s mistakes are correctable and mostly the result of a lack of game experience. In practice you can never totally simulate the way things will come at them in a game.”
Preble got off to quick start in game one, vaulting to 4-0 lead in first two innings but the Panthers answered with a four spot of their own to tie the game in the bottom of the second.
SPASH then opened up their offensive arsenal in the third, scoring seven times and coasting the rest of the way to 13-4 advantage. Noel Winch and Nathan Olds split pitching duties, with Winch getting the win on 4 innings of work, with four strikeouts, four hits and four earned runs. Olds pitched the final three innings with two strikeouts, no runs on two hits.
SPASH leading hitters in the Preble opener included TJ Schrank, who was 2X4 with three runs batted in; Brady Erickson at 2X4 with a double and twin RBI’s; Andrew Ruzek with a double on 2X4 hitting; Trev Anderson, 2X3 with two RIB’s, Jacob Ligenza with a triple on 2X4; and Ted Kearney’s 2X3 as the Panthers amassed 16 hits.
In the nightcap game, SPASH moved to a 3-0 advantage in their first two at-bats, but Preble stung the Panthers for four runs in the third to take the lead. SPASH came right back to take the lead with a pair of runs in the third with Preble again knotting the score in the fourth at 5-5.
Preble added solo runs in both the fifth and sixth to gain a 7-5 advantage, with SPASH getting one back in the sixth and threatening in the seventh as Ruzek singled, Noel Winch sacrificed him to second and he took third on a ground out but a fly out to center left the Panthers just short on the scoreboard.
Anderson worked three innings of hill duty in game two with four strikeouts while yielding four hits but no earned runs, as errors proved costly in this game. Austin Reed came on to pitch the next three innings with one strikeout and two walks while yielding four hits and three runs (two earned) with Olds again earning the closer duty in the seventh; yielding only one hit but no runs.
Game two saw Ruzek again go 2X4; with DJ Drohner at 2X4; Jacob Dufresne at 2X3 with a double and Ted Kearney going 3X3 as SPASH had ten hits total but with four errors in the field blemishing their effort.
SPASH now plays Wausau West twice in the upcoming week, traveling to West on Tuesday and hosting the Warriors on Thursday in 4:30 PM games. West is 3-1 on the young season, including 2-1 in WVC play.