Red Raiders, Royals split doubleheader
All-Europe pitcher Aaren Blossom and his Kaiserslautern teammates didn’t let an 8-1 Game 1 walloping by their Ramstein neighbors faze them Saturday.
Blossom came back to close out a 6-5 come-from-behind, time-limit victory over the 2010 European D-I runners-up with a scoreless inning of relief and help the Red Raiders preserve the split.
Saturday’s first game gave little indication of the frantic nature Game 2 would provide.
Junior All-European Jon Grotelueschen two-hit Kaisersalutern in going the five-inning distance, striking out nine and walking just one. K-town starter Blossom also allowed just two hits, but he lasted just two innings, according to Ramstein coach Glenn Porter.
Justin Pendergrass led Ramstein’s attack, doubling during a 2-for-3 outing.
Riley Moore’s two-run homer put Ramstein up 2-0 in the nightcap, but the Raiders went up 5-3 in the third before Ramstein tied the game in the fifth on a leadoff double by Pendergrass, a walk to Caleb Guerrido and a two-run single by Drew Grotelueschen.
With the two-hour time limit running out, however, K-town plated the game-winning run on a two-out fielder’s choice grounder, Porter reported, pinning the loss on Ramstein pitcher Dustin Labit.
Before he came in to close out the victory, Blossom registered nine assists from his shortstop position, according to Porter.
The split left Ramstein 1-1 overall and in the Western Region; Kaiserslautern is 4-1, 4-1.
Next on the schedule for Ramstein are games at Alconbury on April 22, and at Lakenheath on April 23. K-town is to host Bitburg on April 23.
In other weekend baseball games:
Heidelberg 8-10, Vilseck 2-0: Saturday at Vilseck, route-going winning pitchers Justin Jones and Alex Weaver each struck out 10 to fuel the sweep and keep the Lions unbeaten at 4-0.
Jones backed his own cause with a 3-for-3 outing in the opener, according to Vilseck coach David Nelson.
Vilseck’s Chris Nelson went 2-for-3 with a double and his teammate Damon Ellison tripled and drove in a run, but the Falcons were undone by five errors in their opening game of the season.
In Game 2, Caelen Allmon went 3-for-3 with two doubles to back Weaver; Jones was 2-for-3 and Jean Vite 3-for-4.
Nelson tripled and Ben Blackburn doubled in two at-bats for Vilseck, which next is scheduled to host Ansbach on Saturday.
Heidelberg next plays a doubleheader at defending D-I champion Patch on April 23.
Naples 13-14, Aviano 7-2: Saturday at Aviano, Naples completed its 4-0 invasion of northern Italy behind the batting of John Bruce.
According to Aviano coach Dave Izzo, Bruce drove in eight runs in the two games Saturday with a double, triple and three-run homer.