C-N rallies past Tripoli, BCLUW

Joe Randleman Staff Writer
Colo-NESCO’s Kaleb Ruffcorn fires a pitch in his first varsity start during the Royals’ game with Pleasantville at the Colo-NESCO Invitational Saturday in Zearing.

ZEARING - The Colo-NESCO baseball team came up short against both Pleasantville and Gladbrook-Reinbeck at the Colo-NESCO Invitational Saturday.

The Royals suffered a 6-3 loss to Gladbrook-Reinbeck in the semifinals of the four-team tournament. In the second game, they played well for 3 ½ innings, but fell apart in the bottom of the fourth against Pleasantville, losing 22-6 in four innings.

Despite the two setbacks, Colo-NESCO head coach Brandon Frohwein wasn’t disappointed. Outside of a brutal 19-run fourth inning by Pleasantville, the Royals were competitive during the day.

“We played one bad inning,” Frohwein said. “For the first 11 innings, we played pretty good baseball.”

In the loss to Gladbrook-Reinbeck, the Royals were tied 2-2, then gave up three runs in the sixth and couldn’t recover. Kelly Gray walked two times and scored twice, Andrew Grover walked and scored, Spencer Hansen singled twice and drove in two runs and Brighton Clatt and Trevor Burg both singled.

Burg was the losing pitcher in relief. Colo-NESCO was hurt by five errors in the loss.

In the Pleasantville game, Colo-NESCO jumped out to a 6-3 lead before things fell apart in the bottom of the fourth.

Gray walked and scored on a double from Hansen, Kaleb Ruffcorn drew a bases-loaded walk and Colo-NESCO picked up a run off a balk in a three-run first inning against the Trojans. Luke Hill drove in a run in the third after Clatt and Jack McKinney both singled, and in the top of the fourth, Gilbert doubled and scored, Hansen singled, Clatt was hit by a pitch and the Royals picked up another run off a balk.

In the bottom of the fourth, control problems and errors plagued Colo-NESCO. Ruffcorn, Kaleb Gray, Ben Rouse and McKinney combined to give up six walks and hit four batters, and the Royals totaled five errors in the inning.

Pleasantville also had five hits in the inning. Cael Lester closed out the scoring for the Trojans with a three-run home run to left-center field, ending the game on account of the 15-run rule put in place after four innings.

“Every guy that pitched in the second game, it was their first varsity appearance ever,” Frohwein said. “I thought Kaleb Ruffcorn pitched really well.”

Ruffcorn took the loss after allowing seven runs on eight hits with four walks and three hit batsmen in 3 ⅓ innings. Jeremy Colboth got the win for Pleasantville after working two innings in relief.

Colo-NESCO fell to 5-3 with the two losses. The Royals were on a roll heading into Saturday, having won four in a row, including a 21-13 comeback win at Tripoli on Friday.

“We’ve been competing,” Frohwein said. “Three big wins this week and four really well-played games. It’s just this last one was one bad inning. I told the guys I’m disappointed in that inning, but to be proud of the rest of the day and the rest of the week and move on. We’ve got a game Monday (at home against North Tama) for first place in the conference.”

Webster City won the Colo-NESCO Invitational with a 11-1 victory over Gladbrook-Reinbeck in the championship game.

Gladbrook-Reinbeck 6, Colo-NESCO 3

GR 100 013 1 - 6 4 0

CN 000 020 1- 3 4 5

GR: William Kiburis, Ethan Geinger (5) and Jackson Kiburis.

CN: Spencer Hansen, Trevor Burg (4) and Ka. Gray.

WP: Geinger.

LP: Burg.

Pleasantville 22, Colo-NESCO 6 (4)

CN 301 2 - 6 7 5

P 120 (19) - 22 11 2

CN: Kaleb Ruffcorn, Kaleb Gray (4), Ben Rouse (4), Jack McKinney (4) and Kenny Cutler.

P: Kaydin Dyer, Jeremy Colboth (3) and Cael Lester.

WP: Colboth.

LP: Ruffcorn.

2B: CN - Spencer Hansen, Shawn Gilbert.

HR: P - Lester.

TRIPOLI - Colo-NESCO outslugged Tripoli, 21-13, for an Iowa Star Conference victory Friday, thanks to a fantastic rally.

The Royals fell behind 7-0 after two innings. They surged ahead with a huge eight-run third, but Tripoli came back with three runs in the bottom of the inning and two more in the fourth to go back on top, 12-8.

Colo-NESCO put up a run in the fifth, then turned in its second big inning with five runs in the sixth to take a 14-12 lead. The Royals then erupted for seven runs in the top of the seventh to put the final nail in Tripoli’s coffin and improve to 4-1 in the Iowa Star Conference.

Shawn Gilbert was 4-for-5 with a double, two runs and three RBIs to lead Colo-NESCO’s offensive charge. Jack McKinney finished 2-for-5 with three runs, an RBI and a steal; Kelly Gray doubled, scored three times and drove in five runs; and Kaleb Gray was 1-for-3 with three RBIs.

Spencer Hansen singled and drove in two runs, Trevor Burg singled and scored twice and Luke Hill walked three times and scored three runs. The Royals drew 12 free passes as a team.

Gilbert was the winning pitcher. He allowed four earned runs on eight hits and two walks with four strikeouts in five innings. Hansen surrendered three runs with one strikeout and walk apiece in one inning and Burg allowed one unearned run with three strikeouts and a walk in one inning of work.

Colo-NESCO 21, Tripoli 13

CN 008 015 7 - 21 10 NA

T 343 200 1 - 13 12 NA

CN: Spencer Hansen, Shawn Gilbert (2), Trevor Burg (7) and Kaleb Gray.

WP: Gilbert.

2B: Gilbert, Kelly Gray.

ZEARING - Strong pitching from Brighton Clatt and a good start at the plate carried Colo-NESCO to a 10-1 home victory over Baxter June 5.

Clatt fired a four-hitter and struck out seven with five walks, going the distance to get the win. He benefited from a big lead early, with the Royals going up 5-0 after two innings, thanks to a four-run first.

Clatt, Shawn Gilbert and Spencer Hansen each had two hits and Kelly Gray, Trevor Burg, Jack McKinney and Kaleb Gray one apiece for Colo-NESCO.

Clatt drove in four runs and stole three bases; Gilbert stole a base, scored a run and picked up three RBIs; and Hansen picked up a run and a steal plus two RBIs. Kelly Gray stole four bases and scored three times and Burg had one run, steal, walk and RBI apiece.

Colo-NESCO 10, Baxter 1

B 000 010 0 - 1 4 NA

CN 410 104 X - 10 10 NA

CN: Brighton Clatt and Kaleb Gray.

WP: Clatt.

ZEARING - Colo-NESCO outlasted BCLUW, 7-6, in a wild nine-affair for a non-conference home win June 4.

The Royals trailed 4-3 going into the bottom of the seventh, then put a run on the board to tie the game and force extra innings. Neither team scored in the eighth, but BCLUW came up with two runs in the top of the ninth.

Facing defeat, Colo-NESCO dug down and found a way to push three runs across in the bottom of the ninth to score the dramatic victory.

Kelly Gray was 3-for-5 with four steals and two runs and Brighton Clatt went 1-for-4 with three RBIs, two runs and a steal for Colo-NESCO. Spencer Hansen was 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI, Kaleb Ruffcorn and Kaleb Gray both singled and drove in a run, Jack McKinney singled, scored and swiped three bases and Shawn Gilbert and Trevor Burg each picked up a single.

Hansen got the win in relief, allowing two unearned runs with three strikeouts and two walks in 1 ⅓ innings. Kelly Gray surrendered three earned runs on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts in seven innings as the starting pitcher and Gilbert threw a scoreless ⅔ of an inning.

Colo-NESCO 7, BCLUW 6 (9)

BCLUW 001 100 202 - 6 5 NA

CN 011 001 103 - 7 11 NA

CN: Kelly Gray, Shawn Gilbert (8), Spencer Hansen (8) and Kaleb Gray.

WP: Hansen.