By Logan Lawson
After recording four wins over the past week, the O'Neill Pinnacle Bank Irish Juniors continued their hot start to bring their record to 11-0 on the year.
According to a press release, the week started with a double-header against Plainview on Tuesday, continued Friday against Bloomfield/Wausa, and wrapped up Monday against Ord.
In game one against Plainview, Wyatt Liewer threw a great game on the mound for the win. Liewer was dominating in his five-inning appearance, recording 11 strikeouts and giving up just three hits. Esteban DeLaO came in and threw the final two innings of effective relief to get the save. Liewer only gave up one hit and one run. The Irish bats were led by a 3 for 4 performance from Justin Appleby and Cole Gaughenbaugh added two hits of his own. Others with big hits for the Irish were Shayne Campbell, Pete Blumenstock, Blake Krysl, Tye Hilker and Eddie Rodriguez. O'Neill plated three big runs in the bottom of the fifth to break open a close game.
In game two, the Irish dominated from the first pitch and cruised to an easy 18-1 victory. Pete Blumenstock got the start on the mound and got the win with Francisco Perez coming in to throw the final inning. Both pitchers combined to throw a one-hitter on the night. The Irish bats pounded out ten hits and the Plainview defense committed six errors to aid the Irish. Jacob Wiese, batting in the nine-hole, had two hits to lead the Irish. Other with hits for the Irish were Liewer, Appleby, Fran Perez, Jacob Long, DeLaO, Grady Semin, Krysl and Rodriguez.
On Friday, O’Neill traveled to Wausa to take on Bloomfield/Wausa, winning 15-2. Eddie Rodriguez was outstanding in his three innings on the mound, giving up two runs and three hits. Blake Krysl finished things off with two good innings of relief. The Irish defense was solid behind the pitchers and made many good plays throughout the game. Alex Thramer led the offense, going 3 for 4 and Esteban DeLaO went 2 for 3 to pace the offense. The first five Irish batters in the game scored to give O’Neill a comfortable cushion early. Appleby, Thramer, and Perez all pounded doubles to the fence in the first inning to spark the Irish offense. Others with hits for the Irish on the night were Pete Blumenstock, Grady Semin and Tye Hilker.
On Monday, the Irish nine traveled to Ord in a rematch with the Chanticleers. The Irish were short-handed, with just nine players as six players were injured or gone to football camp, but it made no difference to the Irish nine as they pounded out a 10-4 win over Ord. Esteban DeLaO was dealing on the mound and controlled the pace of the Ord hitters as he threw five great innings, giving up four runs - three unearned - and five hits. DeLaO also fielded his position expertly in helping his own cause. Pete Blumenstock came in and closed the final two innings of scoreless relief. O’Neill again started out strong, scoring three runs in the first inning and scored in all innings except the second and sixth. DeLaO, Jacob Wiese and Cole Gaughenbaugh each went 2-4 to pace the offense. Blake Krysl also recorded a hit and showed great defense at shortstop for the Irish nine.
The Irish are again busy in the next week as they host Ainsworth on Thursday, travel to Atkinson on Friday for a battle of Holt County, and then travel to Pierce for the Pierce Baseball Backers Tournament. The Irish play Pierce at 10 a.m. on Saturday, then play Hartington at 2 p.m. on Sunday and Columbus Lakeview at 4 p.m. on Sunday. The Irish then travel to Creighton next Tuesday for a tough league battle.