BY MIKE URSERY
The weekend was met with winter-like temperatures, but that didn’t stop the Harrisburg Bulldogs from taking the diamond on April 7.
The Bulldogs (0-4, 0-3 Lewis and Clark) hosted the Schuyler County Rams (2-1, 2-0 Lewis and Clark) at Coach Brian T. Simpson Memorial Field. The Rams earned a sweep over Harrisburg, winning 8-2 in Game 1, and 5-2 in Game 2.
Three of Harrisburg’s seven games have been canceled due to rain and snow. Head coach Chris Ackman said that opportunities to hold practice on a baseball field have been limited, as well.
“The frustrating thing for coaches, and that’s across the state, is finding time to get on the field,” Ackman said. “We haven’t a whole lot,but one thing we have done is hit a lot. Whether we’ve gone to Columbia and hit in the cages, or we’ve come out here and hit in our cage, or go inside in the gym and hit in the cage, we work a lot of offense. It’s not coming up just yet.”
The Bulldogs certainly had opportunities to score in Game 1. Harrisburg left the bases loaded in each of the first two innings.
Sophomore infielder Jonah Sandford and senior outfielder Alex Weideman led off the bottom of the first inning with back-to-back singles. Later in the inning, junior infielder Ryan Freeman drew a one-out walk to load the bases.
Schuyler County junior pitcher Cody Amen managed to get out of the first inning unscathed. He got Harrisburg sophomore infielder Charles Strain to strike out swinging, and sophomore catcher Brayden Hudson grounded out to second base.
Senior pitcher Cade Combs made the start on the mound for Harrisburg. He allowed three runs in the first, but didn’t any damage beyond that. He struck out 10 hitters over five innings, while giving up five hits and four walks.
“Cade threw really well for us,” Ackman said. “He had a bad first inning. A couple of errors hurt us, but he did a really good job. His pitch count got up because he was striking people out, so we had to take him out after the fifth inning.”
Schuyler County senior infielder Riley Veatch stole home in the top of the first inning to score the first run of the game. Amen scored on an error, and junior infielder Carson Tallman added an RBI-single.
Schuyler County led 3-0 after one inning.
In the bottom of the second, the Bulldogs again loaded the bases. With one out, Amen escaped another jam. He got Weideman to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Harrisburg managed to get on the scoreboard in the bottom of the third inning. Combs led off with a triple, and was driven in on an RBI-single by Strain.
Sanford drove in Harrisburg’s second run of Game 1 with an RBI-groundout in the bottom of the sixth inning. He hit a groundball to second base that allowed sophomore infielder Dustin Gipson to score from third. This made the score 6-2.
Schuyler County scored two more runs in the top of the seventh, and then closed out the bottom of the seventh inning for the first win of the day.
Freeman made the start in Game 2. He pitched five innings, allowing four runs.
The score was tied 1-1 before Schuyler County scored three runs in the top of the fifth inning.
The Bulldogs hosted New Bloomfield at Coach Brian T. Simpson Memorial Field on April 9. New Bloomfield won the game 8-3.
Harrisburg returns to action on April 11, when they take a short trip down the road to New Franklin for a game against the Bulldogs. The game is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. at New Frankln High School.