The Ritzville Adams County Journal - Eastern Adams County's Only Independent Voice Since 1887

By Al Stover 

Odessa takes 14-11 nonleague win from the Broncos

 

March 29, 2018

CAMDEN SMITH tags an Odessa runner to earn the out for the Broncos during Lind-Ritzville/Sprague’s March 22 nonleague game against Odessa. -Journal photo by Al Stover

The Lind-Ritzville/Sprague Broncos baseball team continued their season on March 22 with a 14-11 nonleague loss to Odessa at Bob Heider Memorial Field.

LRS’ offense struggled in the first inning as the Tigers jumped to a 4-0 lead. The Broncos answered with two runs in the second inning after Camden Smith’s single brought Garrett Frederick and Carson Ayers to home plate.

In the third inning, the Broncos went on a five-run rally, which included a two-RBI single from Bryce Hansen, to lead the game, 7-5.

Odessa scored three runs in the fourth inning for a 8-7 lead, then added three more insurance runs in the fifth inning.

LRS scored three runs in the sixth inning to cut the scoring gap to 11-10. The Tigers responded with three more runs in the seventh inning to secure a 14-10 lead.

The Broncos’ comeback was limited to one run in the bottom of the seventh.

Out of LRS’ 12 hits, Smith who was 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Hansen who went 2-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

Easton Nelson was 3-for-5 at the plate, Spencer Miller was 3-for-3 with two RBIs and Cole Cameron was 2-for-5.

Head Coach Jason Aldrich said the Broncos hit, particularly Miller, who had zero hits before the Odessa game.

Starting pitcher Frederick took the loss on the mound. Aldrich said Frederick struggled at the beginning of the game as he faced good, experienced Odessa batters who were making solid contact with the ball.

Hansen relieved Frederick in the fourth inning while Nelson closed the game.

Aldrich referred to Odessa as a solid ball club and one of the top teams in the 1B classification. He noted the Broncos performed well against a highly competitive team, especially with how they rallied in the third inning.

“I thought we were evenly matched, but in a close game, it comes down to who has the hits and who makes the plays,” Aldrich said. “They (Odessa) did a better job, but it was a good step up in competition for us.”

Although LRS had zero fielding errors, Aldrich said the Broncos did not field the ball and make routine plays as well as they normally do. He added the team will focus on improving their infield defense during practice.

Aldrich said the team will also focus on bringing base runners to home plate. He explained LRS left 11 runners on base during the course of the game.

Prior to their game against Odessa, the Broncos played Connell’s JV team on March 20.

Aldrich explained the Connell game was an opportunity to provide both the JV and varsity players some time on the field, particularly the bullpen. He said the Broncos had seven pitchers on the mound during the game.

Aldrich said the varsity’s defense performed well, as did the LRS offense, which scored seven runs in the first two innings en route to a 9-3 win.

The Broncos will begin NE 2B League play with a home doubleheader against Asotin on March 31.

The Panthers won their first four games before their 8-3 nonleague loss to Freeman March 24. Aldrich expects Asotin to be a solid opponent for LRS when the two teams meet on Saturday.

He added the Broncos’ bullpen will focus on improving their arm strength as well. Aldrich is hoping to have starting pitchers Hansen and Frederick throw up to 80 pitches when the Broncos play Asotin.

 

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