Abby Heat 14U on fire, win four of last six
The Abbotsford Heat 14U have been scorching the competition as of late, playing their best ball during an eight day stretch from July 22 - 30.
The Heat picked up four of their last six contests, including a 21-8 drubbing of Spencer on Wednesday, July 22 and their most recent a 14-3 stomping of Marshfi eld Sandlot 13U on Thursday, July 30.
The only thing hotter than the weather was the Abby Heat’s hitting on July 22. The Abby Heat 14U established their game in the batter’s box early and often, crushing ball after ball for a 9-0 lead at the end of the first inning.
The Heat enjoyed a 14 to three hit advantage and had just one error to Spencer’s six. Abby held their visitors scoreless through the top of the third when Spencer rallied for five runs, but the Heat effectively put the game away with a four run stretch at the bottom of the third for a 13-5 advantage.
The Heat extended that lead with an eight run explosion in the bottom of the fifth to go up 21-5. Spencer scored three runs at the top of the seventh, but the Heat’s defense and pitching snuffed out any hope of a comeback.
Blake Bargender had a huge game, notching four RBIs and three hits. J.V. Castillo and Preston Bunkleman also tallied three hits apiece.
Payton Schreiber added three RBIs. Carlos Lara had four quality-at-bats. Castillo and Nevin Michlig struck out two batters apiece.
Marshfield Sandlot, 12-2
The Heat carried their hot hitting into their next match-up, dispatching the Marshfield Sandlot on Friday, July 24, in Edgar. The Heat used a two inning barrage to take a commanding 11-1 lead, scoring six runs at the top of the first and five more at the top of the fifth.
The Heat’s defense was stifling, with Marshfield scoring just one run in the bottom of the first and once more at the bottom of the fifth. The victory marked the first time the Heat picked up back to back wins.
Evan Schunk and Blake Bargender had a pair of hits while Schunk, AJ Brodhagen and Carlos Lara were walked multiple times. Payton Schreiber and Nevin Michlig were clutch from the mound, splitting pitching duties as each struck out two batters.
In a sign of how far they’ve improved in just a manner of weeks, the Abby Heat 14U battled with Edgar over six innings on Saturday, July 26.
Each team finished with four hits but Edgar came up with the goods late in the game, scoring both runs in the bottom of the fourth for a 2-0 victory. The result was a long way from the 13-2 and 11-8 losses Edgar hung on the Heat back in June. Edgar’s pitching was the deciding factor, as Abby struck out six times.
J.V. Castillo and Evan Reis had strong days at the mound. Castillo sent three batters back to the dugout with three strikes. Reis struck out one. Blake Bargender, Payton Schreiber and Preston Bunkleman all had one hit.
Abbotsford shrugged off their loss to Edgar earlier in the day to pick up their fourth win of the season with a hard fought 4-1 defeat of the Wausau River Rats in Edgar on July 26.
It was a game dominated by pitching as each team struggled to get the bat to meet the ball. Carlos Lara was the most reliable batter in the box, finishing with one hit and two crucial RBIs.
The Heat struck first, going up 1-0 after one inning, and then applied the pressure with two more runs at the bottom of the third to hold a 3-0 lead over the River Rats. Wausau got on board with one run at the top of the fourth, but the Heat cancelled that momentum with a run of their own.
Evan Reis was masterful on the mound for Abby, going the distance through all five innings, delivering over a dozen first strike pitches.
A slow start was too much to overcome a day after Abby went 1-1. The Heat played the Marathon Red Raiders 14U on Sunday afternoon, and quickly gave up five runs at the top of the first.
The Heat regrouped, and from there held the Red Raiders to just five runs, but could only muster four runs of their own. Abby made it an 8-4 ball game with a three run effort in the bottom of the third, but Marathon padded their lead with two runs in the fourth to win a 10-4 decision in five innings.
Abbotsford was firing on all cylinders last week as the Heat 14U quickly dispatched the Marshfield Sandlot 13U 14-3 at Red Arrow Park on Thursday, July 30.
The Heat delivered perfectly placed shots and booming hits as they bruised the bats for 10 runs.
Preston Bunkleman and Payton Schreiber led the way with three and two hits. Schreiber finished with three RBIs and Evan Schunk added two more. Abby enjoyed a 2-0 lead right out of the gate. A run in the second followed, and then Abby all but put the game away with seven runs at the bottom of the third.
The Heat gave up just three hits all game as AJ Brodhagen and Nevin Michlig were efficient from the mound with the two striking out three batters and giving up just three runs.
Abby’s record improves to 5-13. The season wraps up on Thursday, Aug. 6, when the Heat hosts Marathon at Red Arrow Park in Abbotsford at 6 p.m.