“Our pitching held up very nicely this week considering the short span of time that we have been able to practice outside under normal condi-tions.”
Rocket head coach
By Todd Rohde~SPORTS CORRESPONDENT
After having their first several games postponed due to the weather and poor field conditions, the Richmond-Burton baseball and softball teams were anxious and ready to get the new seasons started.
Despite posting both some wins and losses in their opening performances, each program showed some positives signs with each game that they played.
The Rockets’ baseball team split their action for the week by posting a 2-2 mark, as they rebounded after falling in their first two meetings to secure victories against their next two opponents.
The Lady Rockets on the other hand were victorious in their season opener, but unfortunately they didn’t come out on the positive side within the next two bouts.
Richmond’s baseball team was on the short end of being dished a tough 3-2 loss in nonconference play at the hands of the Titans in their inaugural contest April 3rd at Rockford Boylan. It was a competitive and well-played game by both teams, which just as easy could have went either way, as each team challenged each other for what they got.
“Our pitching held up very nicely this week considering the short span of time that we have been able to practice outside under normal conditions,” Rocket head coach Mike Giese said. “But our offense lacked coming up with the big hits at pivotal times this week, as we need to get more consistent in the batter’s box so that we can relieve some stress on our pitchers.”
Despite a decent outing, Ryne Blanton took the defeat on the mound for the Rockets. He was responsible for allowing three earned runs on six hits with four strikeouts and no walks over five innings of work.
The Rockets were doubled up by an 8-4 margin in their next nonconference effort April 4th against Rockford Christian at Richmond. The Rockets had just one hit less than the Royals at 7-6, but it was their six errors in the field that proved to be costly and take a tool on them.
Pitcher Alec Jordan suffered the loss for the Rockets, as his defense let him down and opened the door for scoring opportunities. He was touched for four earned runs on four hits in fanning five batters and walking a pair in just under five innings of hurling.
“The weather has presented an extra challenge for us because of our youth, Giese stated. “But we will have to fight through it and try to level off in order to gain some consistency both defensively and offensively.”
On a positive note though, the Rockets were able to notch their first two wins of the season April 5th-6th. The Rockets first got the best of North Boone by a 4-3 difference in BNC play at Richmond, before crushing Rockford Christian 11-2 in nonconference action the following day.
The Rockets outhit the Vikings first 8-3, but it was four miscues in the field by North Boone that added to Richmond’s success. Against Christian, the Rockets exploded for 16 hits and used five errors to bring runners around to score and make a difference.
In just one inning of relief work over the Vikings, Kellen Leshke got his first win of the season by coming in and shutting the door. Blanton evened his mark at 1-1 on the rubber with Christian, as he was dominating by whiffing 15 hitters and walking four with two earned runs on just three hits in his complete-game performance.
Lady Rockets action
The Lady Rockets got off to a great start, as they posted a commanding 25-2 victory in five innings of play over the Vikings in BNC play April 5th at North Boone.
Haylea Hoskins recorded the win pitching for the Rockets, as she gave up just two runs on only one hit with three strikeouts in the complete-game effort.
Leading the way at the plate for the Rockets was Brogan Etten going 4-5 including a double and three RBIs and Stephanie Pedley adding four more hits and knocking in three runs herself.
Just a day later April 6th, the Lady Rockets weren’t as fortunate as they dropped a twin-bill doubleheader. They first fell 23-12 in another high-scoring affair in nonconference play over the Knights at Grayslake North, before also dropping the nightcap by a 12-6 difference.
Hoskins was tagged with the loss in the opener on the mound, as she was responsible for giving up 17 hits and accounting for just a strikeout and a walk.
Pitcher Emma Fionda was hit pretty hard as well by Knights in the second showing, as allowed eight hits as Grayslake capitalized on their chances at the plate.
For the Rockets offensively, Grace Schwegel and Sam Dahlen each had hits in the opener as Taylor Mell homer in the latter bout as Pedley dished in a pair of hits including a double.
“I felt that we have played really well over the past three games,” Rocket head coach Stephanie Rasmussen said. “I was proud that we did not give up during the two losses to Grayslake North, as they had a really good at the plate and found the holes in the field with their timely hits.”