Belle Plaine blisters GMG in district play
TRAER — Three GMG pitchers tried their luck against Belle Plaine, but none of them were effective enough to warrant more time on the mound than the other.
By the time the Plainsmen hit the 10-run threshold, the Wolverines had called off the fight.
Belle Plaine battered a trio of GMG pitchers for 10 hits and a 10-0, five-inning victory over the Wolverines in Saturday’s Class 1A District 9 quarterfinals at J.L. Lister Field.
Belle Plaine senior Dylan Fry went the distance on the mound and was 3-for-3 at the plate with two doubles and four RBIs to help his squad move into Tuesday’s district semifinals in Alburnett. The Plainsmen (16-6) will meet North Tama (20-9), which survived a scare from Central City in the second game of the day, 3-2.
Fry finished with just two strikeouts but limited GMG (12-14) to only two singles, which came in the form of back-to-back grounders up the middle by Zach Krull and Kooper Gill in the top of the fourth inning. Their two-out singles went for naught, however, and the Wolverines couldn’t capitalize on any of their limited scoring chances.
Krull and Gill reached on consecutive errors in the second inning, as well, but were left stranded. Carson Wobeter reached on an error to start the top of the fifth and promptly stole second base, but he was doubled off when Blaze Krull’s line drive to right field was gloved by Belle Plaine’s Connor Timm. Timm threw to second base to double off Wobeter, and the Wolverines’ at-bat ended shortly thereafter.
Five batters into the bottom of the fifth, the game was over too.
“Our plan was to come out and pound the strike zone and make them beat us with hits, but they beat the crap out of the ball,” GMG head coach Jon Dieken said of the Plainsmen. “Offensively we struggled with the curve and I felt like we needed to sit back and wait and couldn’t do it.”
Blaze Krull took the loss on the mound after allowing four runs on four hits and two walks in just two-thirds of an inning. Aaron Fleming finished out the first before surrendering three runs on four hits over 1 1/3 frames, striking out three along the way, and Kolton Gill got the final two-plus innings in relief. Gill gave up two hits and three runs — two earned — with a total of six walks or hit batsmen.
Belle Plaine loaded the bases without the benefit of a hit in the bottom of the fifth and finished off the 10-run victory with back-to-back singles by Garrett Straight and Fry.
Fry had an RBI double in the first, a two-run double in the second, a hit-by-pitch and a walk-off single in the scorebook.
“Blaze has been our most consistent pitcher, but I knew we could make a change if we had to,” Dieken said of starting Krull over Fleming or Gill. “Consistency hasn’t been Kolton’s big thing.”
GMG, which entered the day as the 1A leader with 207 stolen bases, accrued only two more steals due to limited baserunners. Fry induced a lot of weak contact by the Wolverines, who failed to get a runner to third base.
“We ran into an out or two on the bases to help them out and their pitcher was locating his curveball too so we were off-balance,” Dieken said. “[Belle Plaine] played as well as I thought we could have expected them to, and I don’t think we played our best game. We were up and down all season.”
Belle Plaine 10, GMG 0, 5 innings
GMG 000 00 — 0 3 3
BP 431 02 — 10 10 3
Blaze Krull, Aaron Fleming (1), Kolton Gill (3) and Gill, Krull (3); Dylan Fry and Patrick Shaull. W–Fry (5-2). L–Krull (3-4). 2B–BP: Connor Timm, Fry 2. LOB–GMG 5, BP 9.