Rebel lefty Billerbeck evades BCLUW’s bats By Travis Hines
June 17, 2011
REINBECK - The pitching was superb and the hits timely for the Gladbrook-Reinbeck baseball team. If they could have just limited the property damage, things might have been pretty close to perfect. Starting pitcher Brady Billerbeck outdueled his BCLUW counterpart, Zach Cashin, to lead the Rebels to a 5-0 victory in NICL West Division play Tuesday night. The junior Billerbeck struck out nine and walked just one in his complete game shutout. "My control was down tonight. That was something I haven't had a lot of so far this year," Billerbeck said. "It's been off and on. That's what worked best." His plan was to make the Comets (8-5, 3-2) put the ball in play and get out of innings without his pitch count scoring, but instead Billerbeck found success missing bats. "I wasn't trying to go for strikeouts tonight," said Billerbeck. "I was trying to go for as least amount of pitches as possible, but it worked out alright." The Rebels needed the strong outing from their starter as BCLUW's Cashin was just as strong, striking out 10 against just one walk, but three Comet errors proved costly. "He just got stronger as the game went on. He was big for us tonight," said BCLUW head coach Matt Zoske. "He was pretty incredible. He really allowed just one run. His defense let him down a little behind him." G-R manufactured its first tally of the day, getting a leadoff single to start the second from Padraic McLean, who was moved over to second on a sacrifice bunt by Colton Puls. Tanner Hulst delivered a two-out knock to push across the game's first run. Things looked like they might unravel for Cashin and the Comets in the home half of the fourth when a pair of errors sandwiched a double from Hulst to move the Rebel advantage to three. Another BCLUW error allowed another run and then G-R filled the bases on Parker Bolt's single with no outs. But Cashin then delivered three-straight Ks to stop the inning from turning ugly. "That's Zach. He likes to be in tough situations," said Zoske of his starter, who also escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third on an inning-ending strikeout without allowing a run. "I wish he didn't have to be in those situations." His situation was made more difficult by Billerbeck on the mound and BCLUW's inability to solve the southpaw. The Comets never had a leadoff batter reach base and had two runners make it as far as second base. No Comet reached third. "When (BCLUW) got a few hits, (Billerbeck) didn't hang his head and the defense made some good plays to get out of a couple innings," said G-R head coach Jeff Charley, whose team added a pair of insurance runs in the sixth on a run-scoring single from Billerbeck and a sacrifice fly from McLean. "And (catcher) Blaine Groth did a really good job moving inside and outside," added Charley about his catcher, who shattered a Rebel supporter's back windshield on a high foul ball during the contest. Cole Thompson and Isaac Novak both had a pair of hits on the night for BCLUW. Robert Sharp and Wes Hammers both had one. Spearheading the offensive charge for the Rebels was the shorstop Bolt, who rapped out a trio of hits. Billerbeck and Hulst both added a pair while Cobren Bird, Logan Petersen and McLean each had one.
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