Cardinals score early in win over Raptors

Big third inning helps team roll to easy 22-4 DCABA victory

The Raptors and the Cardinals met on the diamond for a second time this season June 13 at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

The first time the two 12-U Douglas County Amateur Baseball Assn. teams faced off, the Cardinals escaped with a narrow win. This time, the Raptors looked to even the series.

“Last time out we had a very good game with them,” Cardinals head coach Brad Walthall said. “They played us real tight, so we came in knowing we needed to play tough.”

Jamie Mondes de Oca was on the mound for the Raptors, and Nate Bowman pitched for the Cardinals.

In the top of the first the Raptors stranded two men on base on a groundout by catcher Logan Henrichs.

The Cardinals got on the board first with an RBI from center fielder Tucker Fritzell, who later came around to score. Mark Lussier also crossed home plate in the inning, giving the Cardinals a 3-0 lead at the end of the first.

The Raptors went down in order in the top of the second.

Cardinals pitcher Nate Bowman, left, throws the first pitch in a game July 13, between the Cardinals and Raptors of the 12-U Douglas County Amateur Baseball Assn. The Cardinals defeated the Raptors 22-4.

Evan Georgie led off the bottom of the inning with what should have been a single, but fielding errors caused by the windy game conditions allowed Georgie to reach third base. Zach Sauders’ pop fly then led to a double play.

Later, with two outs and a man on third, Dalton Jantz’s single up the middle brought home a run. The next batter up, Dylan Berestrom, was hit in the helmet by a pitch, but shook it off and took his base. The Cardinals stranded Jantz and Berestrom on base after a ground ball to shortstop.

In the top of the third inning the Raptors were able to get on the board with an RBI double from Kenny Ritter, but the offensive production ended with great pitching from Bowman.

In the bottom of the third inning, the first four batters reached base. The Raptors made a pitching switch, but the Cardinals continued scoring. Justin Walthall connected on a single for two RBIs, and Jantz followed up with a triple, driving in two more runs. Fritzell then connected on a pitch to deep left field, knocking in three more runs. The inning finally ended on a called strike three.

Henrichs came home in the top of the fourth inning for the Raptors, but the Cardinals still held a commanding 14-2 lead.

Coach Walthall attributed the Cardinals’ hits to the fact that the kids were ready to play.

“We’ve had so much rain lately that it just felt good to get out on the diamond,” Walthall said.

The Cardinals went down in order in the bottom of the fourth inning thanks to an unassisted double play from Raptors third baseman Kenny Ritter.

The Raptors tried to mount a comeback in the top of the fifth, but Ritter was picked off stealing at second and a close throw at the plate ended the inning.

The Cardinals were not done adding to their lead. After a double from Bowman drove in two runs, the Raptors brought Dylan Scott to the mound. The Cardinals added six more runs before their last out.

Raptors coach Iov Montes de Oca said his team couldn’t even do the basics in the field and at the plate.

“I think they need to learn the basics, which is just catching, throwing and throwing strikes,” he said. “There were balls that we didn’t catch. There were throws that we should’ve made.”

Umpires ended the game at the end of five due to the run rule, as the Cardinals cruised to a 22-4 victory.

“The win gives the kids some confidence,” Walthall said. “We’ve kind of struggled in some games so it was nice to get a good win.”

He said taking the momentum from the big win would be up to the kids.

For the Raptors, coach Montes de Oca said his team needed to move forward and see how they could improve in the next game.

The Raptors and Cardinals are back in action tonight.