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Wellington Daily News - Wellington, KS
  • Crusader baseball season opens, home again Monday

  • The 2014 baseball season started off Thursday afternoon with the Wellington Crusader bats remaining as cool as the breeze blowing through Sellers Park until the sixth inning of the first game when they answered Wichita Collegiate’s 8-0 lead with six runs of their own. That would do it for the Dukes however and Collegiate held on to the 8-6 victory in game one.
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  • By Karl Younkman
     
          The 2014 baseball season started off Thursday afternoon with the Wellington Crusader bats remaining as cool as the breeze blowing through Sellers Park until the sixth inning of the first game when they answered Wichita Collegiate’s 8-0 lead with six runs of their own. That would do it for the Dukes however and Collegiate held on to the 8-6 victory in game one.
         The Crusaders had two on base in the home half of the seventh inning but were unable to push them across the plate. Max Moxley got the win for Collegiate while Jalen Macias was tagged with the loss for the Dukes.
          Crusader Head Coach Jesse Dale pointed to the fielding breakdown as the culprit for the loss. “We were not good defensively in the first game,” said Dale. “But after being down 8-0 I give the guys credit for fighting back in the sixth. And we were threatening in the seventh.”
         In the nightcap Jerrod Huck took the mound for the Dukes against Collegiate’s Brett Waddell in a matchup of senior pitchers.
         The fielding errors kept coming at the Dukes and by the third inning they found themselves down 3-0 , committing three errors with Collegiate getting only three hits total. In the bottom half of the third Wellington’s Connor Phelps led off with a walk and after a steal and a passed ball Parker Daugherty delivered a sacrifice fly to score Phelps and put the Dukes in the scoring column.
        In the fourth, Huck notched a 1-2-3 inning to hold the score at 3-1 going to the home half.
        Trevor Nance, already with a single in the second inning, came to the plate and unloaded a triple off the right field wall. Jaden Hines picked Nance up with an RBI groundout and the Crusaders went to the fifth inning after closing the gap to 3-2.
          Huck got the first out and after a single promptly caught the Collegiate runner leaning toward second, resulting in a rundown out. After a throwing error the next Collegiate runner found himself picked off as well for the third out.
         The fifth inning was big for the Dukes. Macias started the charge with a two-out double and after Connor Burden coaxed a base-on-balls out of the third Collegiate pitcher of the game, Nance came to the plate and crushed a 3-run homer over the left-field wall to give the Crusaders their first lead of the night.
    Page 2 of 2 -      After Hines was hit by a pitch and advanced to second by a balk, Ben DeJarnett singled him home to up the score to 6-3. A walk and stolen base by Houston Sober and three more walks and a wild pitch gave the Dukes a 7-3 lead with still, only two outs.
        Then, it seems that with the construction of the new light standards taking shape at Hibbs-Hooten, someone had unhooked the on-off switch and a delay of about 30 minutes occurred until the hookup happened.
        After the third Crusader out of the fifth Nance took the hill to pitch the sixth. “We ran Trevor out there after the delay,” said coach Dale. “And in his defense with the basketball season just ending he really has not had the work on his mechanics that he needs yet.”
        Nance did strike out four batters in the inning, but three passed balls or wild pitches depending on your scorekeeping, sandwiched around two balks and Collegiate pushed across two more runs. Macias recorded the third out with a putout to first after a dropped third strike.
         In the bottom of the sixth pinch-hitter Wesley Gilmore led off with a double and the floodgates opened. After a Nance walk, a Hines double, a DeJarnett single and an error and a walk the Dukes kept lighting up the scoreboard. Austin Dunn’s single accounted for three RBI that pushed the score to 15-5 and kicked in the run-rule to give the Dukes the win.
        Coach Dale was proud of the way his players kept battling. “We obviously had better offense in the second game and the fielding was a bit better,” coach Dale said. “What I’m most proud about is the way the guys came back after the delay. They came back locked in and ready to play.”
       Huck earned the win for the Crusaders in the second game with Root taking the loss for Collegiate.  Trevor Nance missed hitting for the cycle in the shortened game needing only a double for the landmark. He also recorded 3 RBI and scored 3 runs. Ben DeJarnett went 3-4 with a run scored.
         The Crusaders host Rose Hill for a doubleheader next Monday at Sellers Park.
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