Kyler Borden takes first on a walk against Pateros. (Stephanie Stibal photo)
By Joel Harding
Empire Press Correspondent
The Waterville/Mansfield baseball team opened its season at Pateros March 17 with a 7-6 loss.
The contest was a see-saw affair, but the home team scored one more run to emerge the winner. Nolan Ruud pitched three and a half innings for Waterville/Mansfield and Lakin Thomsen relieved him and finished the game. The top half of the Shocker batting order hit well. Ruud had three hits in four at bats.
In the first inning, Thomsen slammed the ball into center field for a single. Jacob Stibal followed him with a base on balls. Ruud singled, loading the bases. Tanner Marden then hit a long ball into the seats on the far side of the stadium. Like the Shocker field, the Pateros baseball diamond is on the football field. Consequently, Marden’s booming hit was only a ground rule double. However, he did bring Thomsen and Stibal around to score. Also, Waterville/Mansfield turned a nice double play. Angel Lucero tossed the ball to Marden at second and he threw to Will Osborne at first for two outs. At the end of the first half inning, Waterville/Mansfield led 2-0.
In the third, the Shocker bats came alive again. Ethan Petersen hit a sharp single to get on base. Then Thomsen got a base on balls and stole second. Stibal also walked. Ruud then slammed a double into the Pateros outfield and brought both Petersen and Stibal across the plate with runs. The Billygoats then had a double play to quiet the Shocker bats. Pateros scored two runs in the second and third innings and three in the fourth to lead 7-4 at the start of the final inning.
Kyler Borden led off with a base on balls in the seventh. Petersen hit a sharp grounder that forced Borden out at second, but left him safe at first. Thomsen grounded out, then Stibal slammed a ground rule double into the stands on the far side of the stadium, scoring Petersen. Ruud followed him with another sharp single and Stibal crossed the plate with run number six. Unfortunately, that ended the scoring for Waterville/Mansfield.
The starting nine for the Shockers include Stibal as catcher, Osborne at first base, Marden at second base, Lucero at shortstop, Thomsen at third base, and Ruud as pitcher. When Thomsen pitches, Ruud moves to shortstop and Lucero is at third. The starting outfielders are Braylon Bromiley, at left; Devyn Klingensmith, at center; and Petersen, at right.