OGDEN – Baxter’s baseball team couldn’t have started their District 12 Class 1A quarter-final game better against second-seeded Ogden.
The Bolts were coming out of the zone, executing goals well and taking advantage of some Ogden mistakes.
The visitors led 3-0 after their presence at bat in the third inning, but couldn’t keep up the momentum as Ogden scored six runs in the third and fifth and knocked out the Bolts 13-3 in five innings on Monday.
The Bolts ended their season with three straight losses. Ogden beat Collins-Maxwell in the district semifinals on Tuesday and have won four of their last five games.
âThat bad run got us this year and we can’t have it this time of year. You won’t win games if you do that, âsaid Baxter baseball coach Brett Slight. âThis big round is what hurt us. There was a costly mistake and they gained momentum and we just couldn’t catch up. “
Baxter (6-14) was limited to one hit and made three mistakes. The Bolts have walked seven walks. Unfortunately, Baxter’s three pitchers allowed 12 walks and hit two hitters to help Ogden’s offense.
âI still think we have a good pitcher. The command part got us today, âSlight said. âIt’s been good this year, but we were off tonight for sure. The competition was a bit tougher and we put a bit of pressure on ourselves. We just have to start strikes. Putting guys on the base with walks certainly never helps.
Baxter hit first in the first inning. Rory Heer started the game with a long strike at bat that ended in a walk. He stole the second and went to the third on a passed ball.
Heer scored on a double play that helped Ogden starter Aidan Kathman to limit the damage.
The Bolts added two points in the third. With one out, Brad Matthews walked, then Heer scored for the Bolts’ only hit of the game.
Ben Richardson moved the two finalists by one goal after his sacrifice bunt and Matthews scored on a two-out pitch error.
Heer scored seconds later as he caught Ogden napping between throws.
âWe had to be aggressive on the basics to beat a team like this,â Slight said. âWe felt very early. I was super confident. Our approach to the plate looked good. We weren’t chasing the shots, we got a good view of the ball and went for walks, which is always a good sign for our hitters.
Ogden scored six runs in the third on four hits. There was a Baxter error and Bolts starting pitcher Andrew Klemme hit a Bulldog and walked three more.
Klemme came out of the game with two strikeouts in the third. Jake Travis won the final on a soft line towards the mound. But Ogden caught up to him in the fourth and fifth. Travis allowed a run on four walks in the fourth. The first three runners reached base against Travis in the fifth before Slight surrendered to Cael Shepley.
Shepley finished the game but only got two strikeouts in the fifth. He walked one, hit one and allowed four runs on three hits.
Klemme suffered the loss, allowing six runs – four earned – on five hits with three strikeouts, six walks and one hit per pitch in 2 2/3 innings.
Travis played 1 1/3 of an inning and gave up four runs – three earned – on a hit with five walks and one strikeout.
âWe just couldn’t get through the third set,â Slight said. “And our heads started to sink after that.”
Heer led the Bolts with a hit, two walks, two runs and a steal. Matthews walked twice and scored once and Perrin Sulzle, Jalen Porter and Richardson all walked on walks.
Ogden (19-11) advanced to the district final after his 13-3 victory over Collins-Maxwell on Tuesday. The Bulldogs will face Coon Rapids-Bayard (23-8) on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Coon Rapids.