The Blue Demon baseball team split with the Keokuk Chiefs on Monday night in Keokuk. Albia won 5-1 and lost the second game 4-3 in extra innings. “Our pitchers did an incredible job,” said Coach Robbie D’Amato. “They allowed zero earned runs in 15 total innings of work and they put us in excellent position to win two games.”
Elijah Smith tossed a complete game four-hitter in the opener allowing one run while striking out two and walking three. The defense played errorless ball as well to collect their third win of the season.
Albia scored one run in the second inning as Smith walked and went to second on a passed ball. He scored on an RBI single by Jaden Hugen. In the third inning Nathan Wynn doubled to start the frame and went to third on a single by Ashtin Brand. Wynn scored on a ground out by Luke Bossard. Gage Wilson then tripled to score Bossard. Wilson was thrown out at the plate on a ground ball by Nathan Crall. With Crall at second Jameson Robertson’s RBI single made it 4-0.
After a scoreless fourth inning when Wilson doubled and stole second to no avail, Keokuk was able to uses a hit, two walks and a ground ball to score their only run of the game in the fifth inning. Albia added a run in the sixth as Smith reached on an error and advanced on a bunt by Hugen, scoring on a ground ball by Hunter DeMoss.
“We were able to execute some timely hitting in game one,” said Coach D’Amato, “but came up a little short at the plate in game two and had some errors in the field in key situations.”
Exta inning loss
Game two had Albia falling behind early. The Chiefs scored three runs in the second inning on two errors, two base hits and a walk. Albia struggled at the plate striking out seven times in the first four innings with Jaden Hugen breaking up the perfect game with a single in the fourth.
The Keokuk ace tossed seven innings, striking out 12 in all but Albia was able to score twice in the fifth as Wilson singled and Crall followed with a hit. Robertson flied out to third but an errant throw sent Wilson home and a single by Hugen scored Crall. Albia threatened in the sixth as Brand and Wilson each singled but were stranded.
Albia tied the game in the seventh as Tein Thiravong singled, Hunter DeMoss reached by error which ended up scoring Thiravong.
Albia threatened in the eighth inning as Wynn singled and went to second on a passed ball. After a strike out and a fly ball, he then stole third. Wilson was hit by a pitch and stole second but a fly out ended the inning. The Chiefs scored the winning run in the bottom half on a single, an error and a bunt filled the bases. With the bases full Albia threw out the winning run at the plate and Catcher Hunter DeMoss grabbed a bunt to stepped on the plate for out number two but a ground ball scored the winning run with two outs.
“I think competing in close games that come down to thew wire is going to help us when the post season gets here in a couple of weeks,” said the coach.
Luke Bossard threw three innings allowing three runs on two hits striking out four and walking two. Gaige Rankin came in relief going four and two thirds innings allowing one run on four hits striking out four and walking three..
The Blue Demons returned home with a 3-14 record and will host Knoxville on Thursday and host Chariton for a double header on Friday.