Eat your heart out Ernie Lombardi.
There have been a few interesting local sports stories of note over that past week. Tuesday’s Peetz baseball game, which was played in front of no more than 20 onlookers, has to top the list.
Congratulations to Peetz Bulldogs’ catcher Brian Roelle. How many baseball catchers – at any level – can say they caught two no-hitters on the same afternoon? It must be a pretty small club.
In a doubleheader in Weldona, Colo., on Tuesday, Peetz pitchers Bradey Holtz and Cody Wilson each threw a no hitter as the Bulldogs swept a twin bill in blowout fashion. The final scores were 20-0 and 25-0. That’s a new one to me. I don’t recall ever seeing a no-hitter in person before, let alone two on the same day.
Needless to say, it was a long day for the Weldon Valley Warriors. They were so over matched in every phase of the game, Wilson was actually thinking he could throw a no-hitter before the second game of the twinbill even began. Not because he told me after the game, but because I heard him say so before he took the mound.
After the game was over, the two teams lined up and shook hands in the traditional show of good sportsmanship. To my eye, the Warriors gave every effort during the game. They just didn’t have the experience or depth to compete.
There were only 10 Warriors in the dugout and those they brought out to the mound had great difficulty finding the strike zone. The problem was compounded when the Bulldogs showed patience at the plate. The ‘Dogs drew ball four on 22 occasions during the 10 innings played and were hit by seven pitches.
I felt as bad for the Warriors as I felt happy for the Bulldogs. The Warriors are now 0-9 and will surely lose to Fleming in the opening round of the district tournament next week at Northeastern Junior College. I hope they come back next year. I hope they find themselves a few good ballplayers and the coaches to guide them.
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At the Dutch Zorn Invite at Gothenburg last week Sidney High’s Jake Heeren toppled the reighning state champion in the shot, Tanner Borchardt on his home turf. Heeren tossed the rock (54 feet, four and 3/4 inches) a half inch farther than he did at state last year. Brochardt has put the shot over 58 feet already this season.
While I’m not up on all the best shot putters in Nebraska Class B right now, I find it interesting that of the top 12 finishers at state last seeason, only Heeren and Borchardt were underclassmen. The rest have all graduated. It’s a nice feather in Heeren’s cap to have taken down his chief rival in his home town.
With track and field, the progress the athletes make from the beginning of the season to the end can be dramatic. The practice, the competition, the conditioning all work towards being in peak form just about district time. With state basketball forcing Heeren into a late start to his shot put season, he still has a lot of upside.
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Ernie Lombardi? He was behind the plate for both of Johnny Vander Meer’s consecutive no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds in 1938. He is now a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame.