Rebels’ eruption routs Belle Plaine
REINBECK — As Gladbrook-Reinbeck and Belle Plaine were trading early-inning runs and the forecasted thunderstorms were holding off, replaced instead with rising heat and humidity, the Rebels were searching for an offensive spark. It was senior Tyler Tscherter’s pitching and two well-timed doubles that got G-R past third-seeded Wapsie Valley Monday, not a consistent attack. The Rebels have struggled to score at times no matter the quality of pitching, and coach Scott Kiburis has mentioned the squad’s need for a good run of hitting to make a deep postseason run.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Tuesday afternoon, the Rebels (9-7) found their groove. The result was a convincing 11-5 victory over the Plainsmen (3-10) and a trip to the Class 1A District 9 finals.
This sudden burst of offense was kick-started by a Tyler Tscherter home run to lead off the inning, which tied the game at 3-3.
“We needed that one,” Tyler said. “Once you start the playoffs, you gotta hit. You can beat just about anybody if your bats are hot.”
A few batters later, William Kiburis slapped a two-run double to give the Rebels their first lead of the game. Aidan Wyatt and Cody Gebel drove in runs six and seven, Tscherter drove in the team’s eighth run and Keagan Giesking hit a three-run home run with two outs to push G-R’s advantage to 11-3 over Belle Plaine. All told, the Rebels had eight hits — three from Tscherter, two from Giesking, two from Kiburis and one from Wyatt.
Belle Plaine outhit the Rebels 9-to-8 but was unable to capitalize.
It wasn’t how the game started, though, as G-R starter Nick Tscherter and Belle Plaine’s Noah Bachelder were going through the game strong, giving up two runs each in the first four innings. Tyler scored the first two runs of the game for the Rebels after Belle Plaine twice took an early lead.
Willaim Kiburis described Tyler as a “spark plug” for the team.
“He gets us going whether he’s on the mound, fielding ground balls or hitting home runs,” William said. “He just helps us get going. When he’s confident and making plays I feel like we all are a little more confident in ourselves.”
Nick got the win after giving up three runs on seven hits and two strikeouts in five innings of work before William pitched 1 1/3 innings, giving up two runs on two hits and three walks. It was Cullen Eiffler who came in to record the final two outs of the game, completing a strong pitching performance without the team’s ace on the mound. The Plainsmen scored two runs in the top of the seventh, but it was too tall of a climb to extend the game another half-inning.
Coach Kiburis praised the pitching of his squad.
“I mean it’s not something that they’re not used to doing,” he said. “I thought they did a good job.”
The Rebels are now two wins away from a return to the state tournament, but No. 7-ranked Don Bosco awaits them Saturday in the District 9 finals taking place in Grundy Center at 7 p.m. The Dons are 14-1 and defeated Iowa Valley 6-4 on Tuesday night.
Nick said the Rebels are confident after the strong team performance against Belle Plaine.
“It felt good knowing we could [hit] probably like that for multiple innings,” Nick said. “It gave other guys confidence that they could hit the ball like that.”