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Westminster Christian Warriors Baseball

hampshire 12 10
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Warriors outlast Whip-Purs

Hampshire's Bo Price slides into third base as Westminster Christian's Brandon Weingartner takes the throw on Thursday at Hampshire. Karen naess | for the courier-news


HAMPSHIRE -- Hampshire and Westminster Christian gave a whole new meaning to ugly baseball on Thursday.

While the Class 1A Warriors did come back from deficits of six runs and four runs to post a 12-10 non-conference win over Class 3A Hampshire, the game itself was a coach's nightmare. The teams combined for 13 errors -- eight by Hampshire -- five balks, six hit-batters and one ejection.

"We kind of embarrassed ourselves a little bit in some situations but I guess at the end, the scoreboard's what counts -- a win's a win," said Westminster coach Jeff Moeller. "We're a lot better team than what we showed. It was so hard to sit and watch from the dugout."

Added an irate Hampshire coach Steve Ream: "We got what we deserved. I don't know where our heads were today but we were just not ready to play baseball. If we keep playing like that we might as well cut the season short and go home."

Hampshire (5-5) held a 10-6 lead heading into the sixth inning before Westminster (5-3) scored four unearned runs on three fielding errors to tie the game at 10. Brandon Weingartner and Brandon Siewert each reached base on errors before Joe McGannon got his team to within two runs at 10-8 when he roped a single to left off Hampshire reliever Bo Price. After another error, Kevin Elder and Steve Berglund each hit sacrifice flies to tie the score.

Elder, a hard-throwing right-handed Westminster freshman, came in and put the Whips down in order in the bottom of the sixth.

Westminster had runners at second and third with no outs in the top of the seventh and didn't push across any runs until McGannon shot a two-out, two-run single to left, giving the Warriors their first lead of the game.

Price (3-for-3, 3 stolen bases, 3 RBIs, 2 runs) got a single to start the seventh, but Elder (2-0) stayed composed and struck out the Whips' 2, 3 and 4 hitters to preserve the win.

"He throws hard and has got some nice stuff," Moeller said. "For a freshman he shows so much poise and he hit his locations today."

A two-run double from senior Matt Kuefner gave the Whips a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Westminster cut the lead to 2-1 in the top of the third off Hampshire starter Ryan Burke (3 innings, 4 strikeouts, 0 ER), who was relieved by Ryan Meyer in the fourth because of a high pitch count.

The Whips then looked to be in cruise-control after putting up five runs in their half of the inning to take a 7-1 lead. That's when the wheels started to fall off. The Warriors got an unearned run in the fourth and four more unearned runs in the fifth off three more fielding errors, cutting the deficit to 7-6. Berglund had the big blow in the inning, a two-run double to left-center.

The Whips plated three runs in the fifth to go up 10-6. Price had an RBI single and scored on an error before Zach Crinigan scored on a balk.

"I don't know what to think of it," Ream said. "Pitchers couldn't throw strikes, defense couldn't make plays, batters couldn't put the bat on the ball and we blew a 7-1 and 10-6 lead. We scored 10 runs but they had some errors too and gave us some runs. We just gave them more."