The Ryley Rebels pulled off the young season's first upset as they came from behind to defeat the Leduc Milleteers 3-2 in front of good looking crowd at the old Ryley Ball Park.
The Rebels had a great pitching performance by LHP Darcy Grandberg and RHP Curt Stensrud as the Milleteers offense was unable to get the wheels turning in the right direction. Grandberg started the game throwing 3.2 strong innings, facing 17 Milleteers, striking out 3 and only walking 2 while giving up 4 hits. However the Milleteers offense made some noise in the 4th inning cashing in their only two runs of the game and chasing Grandberg before he could make it out of the inning. RHP Curt Stensrud came in to shut the door on the Milleteers pitching 3.1 innings against 13 Leduc batters, striking out 1 and walking none while only giving up 3 hits. "The arm started to warm up in the 6th inning and it felt great" said Stensrud who hasn't pitched in about 5 years "we'll see how it feels tomorrow".
The offense once again came through at just the right time and gave the fans an exciting finish to a great game. Leduc RHP Scott Peterson threw 5 innings facing 23 Rebel batters while surrendering 6 hits, 1 walk, 1 run and striking out 4 in the process. "We hit the ball well tonight off of Scott" said Manager Corey Epp "We had at least one hit and base runners every inning". With a one run lead Leduc handed the ball to their closer RHP Murray Doyle for the 6th inning and the Rebels pounced with authority. 2B Kyle "The Gentle Giant" Reinholt gave Doyle a welcome to the game moment by taking him deep to left centre field with a solo shot that rattled off the slo-pitch diamond dugout. "It felt really great" said Reinholt, who now leads the Rebels with 1 home run.
With the fans still buzzing after Reinholt's solo shot to tie it up at 2, the rest of the offense came through. 1B substitute Travis Bugge, ripped a Texas leaguer into right field giving the Rebels the go ahead runner at first. Number 8 hitter, 3B Shane Metrunic (who replace LHP Darcy Grandberg) hit into the fielders choice, eliminating Bugge on the basepaths, but on the overthrow from the Leduc shortstop (his third error of the game), advanced to second as the ball was out of play. Backup C Bryan Toles advanced Metrunic to third on a sac bunt and the go ahead run was now only 90 feet away with CF Dustin Solberg coming to bat. Solberg who two days ago was traveling the Atlantic ocean, looked like he was trying to hit the ball to Bardo on the first two attempts, and with 2 strikes and 2 outs, Solberg ripped a single up the middle to cash in Metrunic, Rebels lead 3-2.
Stensrud shut the door in the top of 7, helped by the strong arm of C Bryan Toles as he cut down the Leduc leadoff hitter has he tried to steal second. It was a double pump trying to get the ball out, but the accuracy was bang on.
The Rebels can take away the positive fact that they have been hitting the ball well as a team for 3 games in a row now. The Rebels batted 11 for 27, .407 avg and only 4 strikeouts as a team and runs were produced by the bottom half of the order this time giving the Rebels a balanced attack.
Next up is the Bardo Athletics scheduled for Tuesday June 2nd followed by Armena on Thursday June 4th.