Regional Baseball: Kewanee 9, Bureau Valley 2
MANLIUS — The Bureau Valley Storm’s postseason ended almost as soon as it began on Monday afternoon, falling 9-2 to the Kewanee Boilermakers in the first game of the Princeton 2A baseball regional.
Kewanee (8-13) scored their nine runs from 11 hits, with their base runners able to take advantage of some critical BV fielding errors. Winning pitcher Zak Shimmin was in for the duration, allowing only five Storm hits.
“Did we play a perfect game by any means? No,” Boilermaker coach Cody Butler said. “But we did what we had to do to win the game, and this time of year, survive and advance.
“We get Hall on Wednesday, and we’re gonna show up and give it our best effort.”
BV (6-19-1) got on the board first, with Andrew Petros sending Robert Rouse home on a sacrifice fly to give the Storm their first and only lead of the game, 1-0. The Storm could get only five hits off of Shimmin in the game.
“Yeah, we had our opportunities early,” BV coach Ryan Schisler said. “Had a couple of miscues on the bases, but the bottom line is, they hit the ball better than us today.”
BV would not score again until the sixth inning, with Tyler Gustafson crossing the plate thanks to an RBI single from Colton Novotny.
“First thing, they get a couple guys on and we really limited the damage,” Butler said. “It could’ve gotten worse than two runs. Zak got in a groove and rode it through the rest of the game.”
The boys on the hill for Bureau Valley were not as fortunate, with starter Tyler Gustafson tagged with four runs in the second inning, and reliever Spencer Marquez another three runs in the third. Fielding errors also contributed to Kewanee grabbing a 7-1 lead by the top of the fourth inning.
“A day like today, you just have to tip your cap to them,” Schisler said. “Our pitchers threw strikes, and they hit the heck out of the ball. That made the difference in the game for us.
“They capitalized on some opportunities, and in postseason baseball, you force people to make plays and see what happens. They did that today, and we weren’t able to do enough of it.”
The Storm were able to shut down the Boilermaker bats until the seventh inning, with Petros on the mound for BV, when Steven Earthely and Logan Zarvell were sent home as insurance runs to bump up Kewanee’s advantage to 9-2.
A chance for BV to rally in the bottom of the seventh ended as quickly as it began with a double play followed by a pop to first base to finish the game, and the season, for the Storm.
Looking to next year, Schisler said, “We had a good group of seniors that will be hard to replace, just from what they brought to the program and the way they competed.
“We have a good group of sophomore kids that will help us build the program for next year.”