The Imperial PeeWee team handled Hershey’s squad on Wednesday, June 19, with a 16–4 victory in five innings.
A narrow strike zone initially gave the Imperial team some trouble and they fell to a 2–0 deficit in the first, as both of Hershey’s runs walked in. Bryce Zuege replaced Jorge Cervantes as pitcher and allowed one more in the second making it 3–0.
Then Imperial started using the zone, taking anything questionable, driving the pitch count up and finding pitches they could hit.
Imperial scored four runs in the third, followed by eight in the fourth, highlighted by Zach Space’s three-run in-the-park homer, and added four more in the fifth.
Zuege sent pitches across the center of the plate, forcing Hershey to hit and get put out by good infield plays. Imperial kept Hershey scoreless for two innings then allowed just one more on a walk and multiple steals in the bottom of the fifth, ending the game due to the 10-run rule.
“We got more infield action than we have had all season,” said Coach Larry Peterson, who was pleased with the team’s play as well as the focus at bat and the speed of the base runners.
On Sunday evening, Ogallala Orange came to Imperial to make up a rained-out May 29 game.
Pitcher Jack Bauerle held Ogallala scoreless in the top of the first, then Imperial got busy, scoring seven runs before the first out.
Ogallala changed pitchers to stop the onslaught, but Imperial got one more and stranded two before the inning was over.
The rest of the game was much closer. Imperial managed four runs on three hits, three walks and an error, while Ogallala scored seven on eight walks and an error off Imperial pitchers Austin Laird, Caleb Weiss and Bryce Zuege
But the first inning held up for a 12–7 win for Imperial.
“Ogallala knew that two of our ‘stars’ were playing in an all-star game in Omaha and tried to sneak one by us,” said Coach Larry Peterson, referencing Zach Space and Jorge Cervantes.
“But they forgot that a few of our other guys can hit, too, and by the time they figured it out it was too late.”
On the season overall, Peterson said, “We’re getting better. We still have to work at throwing strikes and holding runners on, but if we don’t have a wreck we should be sitting well come time for the tournament.”
Wins last week put their recored at 5-1.
The PeeWees play next at Hershey 1 Wednesday this week. Wallace comes to Imperial on Friday evening, then Imperial visits the Paxton 1 team next Monday.