SHABBONA – The Indian Creek baseball team finally connected with a runner in scoring position just as the skies opened up.
Zack Bogle hit a two-out double to push the Indian Creek lead to 5-1 over Serena on Monday. Two pitches into the next batter, the rain forced a suspension of the game, to be concluded Tuesday before the regularly-scheduled conclusion of the Little 10 series between the two undefeated-in-conference squads.
The teams stranded a combined 14 runners through the first three and a half innings. Indian Creek (2-4 overall, 2-0 Little 10) had the bases loaded in the first with no outs, but the next two batters were retired by Serena starter Ivan Stafford.
But Kyle Bngert followed with a walk, then a Stafford wild pitch plated a second run. In the second inning, IC loaded the bases with no outs, but Stafford escaped the jam without giving up a run.
“It’s nice to get the runners on base, but we do want that clutch hit,” Indian Creek coach Kevin Poterek said. “I think we started the first two innings with the bases loaded and no outs. We like to have a hit every time. We know it’s not going to happen every time. If we start getting those hits in we’ll get our pitchers more breathing room.”
The Huskers (4-5, 4-0) scored their first run in the top of the second on a two-out RBI single by Connor Holdiman.
In the third, down 2-1, the Huskers loaded the bases with no outs, but this time Indian Creek starter Brennan McNally escaped the jam without allowing a run.
The teams are a combined 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position, including 1 for 7 for the Huskers.
“We got bases loaded, no one out, we got to get the ball on the ground through the infield,” Serena coach Chad Baker said. “We had two chances to do that, didn’t. I hate to try to press the situation and lay down bunts, especially with bases loaded, but if we continue to struggle with runners on third, less than two outs, we might have to start doing stuff like that just to manufacture something.”
The Timberwolves pushed the lead to 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth when Bangert tripled to deep center and scored on a groundout.
In the fourth, IC scored again when Kaleb Helgesen walked, McNally doubled and then a wild pitch scored Helgsen. Bogles’ double brought home McNally and chased Stafford from the game.
Bangert had an 0-2 count with Dylan Cartwright on the hill when the game finally was called.
“We just got to capitalize on some offense,” Baker said. “We had a couple chances there and didn’t get anything accomplished. Stafford will be done, obviously, and we’ll see what we can do when we pick it up where we left off.”
There was no official start time set for the games tomorrow. Originally, the single game was set to begin at 4:30 p.m.
“A lot can change with a rain delay, but I think we’re good,” Poterek said. “We were energetic today. I like that. Everybody was involved in the game.”