The Sidney Sun-Telegraph - Serving proudly since 1873 as the beautiful Nebraska Panhandle's first newspaper

By Mike Motz
Sidney Sun-Telegraph 

Peetz Falls Short in District Tourney

 

Mike Motz

Peetz senior Tre Fehringer dives back to first base against Prairie on Friday.

On a day where the Peetz Bulldogs didn't miss a beat when their Friday 9 a.m. semi-final game against the Prarie Mustangs was moved from Sterling CO to Peetz because of rain that left the baseball field in Sterling a swampy mess, had the Bulldogs ultimately falling short in the championship matchup later in the afternoon against Caliche, losing a lead and ultimately the game 9-4 to the Buffaloes.

In the first game, junior Blake Roelle got the start for the Bulldogs and began the game by retiring the side scattering one walk. Prarie starter Walter Jordan was also able to keep the Bulldogs off the board, but with a lot more work on the pitcher's part, as Peetz loaded the bases in their half of the inning, but were unable to get any runners across the plate. After another inning where Roelle kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard, the Bulldogs were able to get their first score on the board with senior Logan Sircy driving in a run with a sacrifice fly.

In the top of the third, Roelle dominated with a 1-2-3 inning, notching two strikeouts and a groundout, and Peetz was able to add another run without a hit. Senior Jake Curlee was hit by a pitch, then stole second and took third on an overthrow by the catcher. After the Walter Jordan uncorked a wild pitch, Curlee was able to take home, and the Bulldogs were up 2-0.

Finally in the fourth inning, Prarie was able to break through on Roelle with a run scoring sacrifice fly. Fortunately for Peetz, junior catcher Zach Holtz was able to throw out the the runner trying to take second during the play, ending the Prarie threat with only one run scored.

Prarie was able to tie the game in the next inning as Roelle started to tire and was pulled by coach Darrin Fehringer with runners on first and third. Logan Sircy came on in relief, and after getting the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning, gave up a run scoring single to knot the game at 2-2.

The game turned in the bottom of the fifth, with Prarie's pitching and defense faltering enough to give the Bulldogs the opportunity to put the game away. A leadoff walk was able to come home from third on a Blake Roelle groundout, then after Jake Curlee reached on an error and senior Hunter White was hit by a pitch, runners were on second and third with one out. Then, a line drive was hit right back to pitcher Walter Jordan, registering the first out, but then Jordan tried to double up the runner on third and ended up throwing the ball away, out of play, causing two runs to score on the error. This put Peetz up 5-2 going into the sixth inning, and knocked Prairie starter Walter Jordan out of the game.

In the sixth, Prarie was able to plate another run on a sacrifice fly, but the Bulldogs stormed back in the bottom of the inning against reliever Xander Speicher with two more runs, the first coming from a Logan Sircy single, steals of second and third bases, and then Sircy scoring on a wild pitch. Jake Curlee then drove in the second run of the inning with a sharply hit single. With the score now 7-3, caoch Fehringer decided to pull Logan Sircy from the mound to conserve his innings, and replaced him with Jake Curlee to start the seventh inning.

This plan did not work out well, as Curlee could not find the strike zone and walked the first batter he faced on four pitches, then after a stikeout had a batter reach first due to catcher's interference, then walked another batter to load the bases. Curlee then induced a grounder to third baseman Blake Roelle that took a tricky hop, causing Roelle to throw the ball away, scoring two runs for Prarie. With two still aboard, Curlee then gave up a double that scored two more runs, tying the game at 7-7. Coach Fehringer then removed Curlee and brought Sircy back in to finish the inning, which he did with two consectutive strikeouts.

In the bottom of the frame, the Bulldogs were able to get junior Billy Buchanon aboard with a walk, and then over to second on a stolen base. After junior Xaiver Runge struck out, the ball went past the catcher and he was able to reach first base. With one out, the Mustangs intentionally walked Zach Holtz to set up a double play possibilty with Logan Sircy at the plate. But the steady senior was able to bloop a single just past shortstop into shallow left field, scoring Buchanon from third and giving the Bulldogs the victory, 8-7.

The next game of the tournament pitted the Otis Bulldogs against the Caliche Buffaloes for the right to face Peetz in the championship game later that afternoon. The Buffaloes won a mercy-rule shortend contest 13-2, and were fired up to face the Bulldogs.

The championship game had Peetz starter Logan Sircy facing off against Caliche starter Skylar Armstrong. The Buffaloes got started quickly, plating two runs in the first on two RBI doubles. The Bulldogs responded immediately in their half of the inning with Jake Curlee driving in Zach Holtz and Logan Sircy with a single, and a third run scoring via sacrifice fly to give the Bulldog's a 3-2 lead after the first.

Caliche continued the offense in the second, loading the bases with no outs and scoring two with a sharply hit double, then a bases clearing triple bringing three more runs home for five runs scored in the inning. Peetz was able to get one run back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI single by Sircy. The third inning was an adventure for the Bulldogs, with Sircy reaching his pitching limit and dropping an easy pop-up during the inning. But catcher Zach Holtz stopped the threat by gunning down the runner trying to steal second, and Sircy induced a flyout for the third out of the inning keeping the score 7-4 in favor of the Buffaloes.

Blake Roelle came in on relief of Logan Sircy, and both teams were unable to score again until the fifth inning, when Caliche was able to score a run on a groundout, extending their lead to 8-4. The Bulldogs worked hard to manufacture runs, but Logan Sircy was caught trying to steal home on a passed ball, ending the fifth inning with no additional runs by Peetz. Roelle continued to be effective in the sixth, retiring the side in order on three consecutive flyouts. But the Bulldogs then went down in order themselves, with Hunter White striking out, Alex Curlee grounding out, and Billy Buchanon stiking out to end the inning.

Mike Motz

Peetz senior Logan Sircy delivers a pitch against Caliche during the championship game on Friday.

Roelle was pulled to start the seventh and final inning, and senior reliever Tre Fehringer gave up an additional run on a single to centerfield, giving Caliche a 9-4 advantage. Peetz had one last chance in the bottom of the seventh inning, but senior fireballer Braydon Nichols was brought in to close the game for the Buffaloes, and proceeded to retire the Bulldogs in order with two strikeouts and a groundout to end the game.

The disappointment of the Bulldogs not winning the tournament was tempered by the team still qualifying for the CHSAA State Baseball Championships, which will start for the Bulldogs on Saturday . Peetz is scheduled to play Stratton/Liberty in the first round at All City Stadium in Denver at 12:30pm. For additional details on the tournament, brackets, and directions please visit chsaanow.com/baseball.

 

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