Posted on

Abby Heat 14U end year on three game streak

Abby Heat 14U end year on three game streak Abby Heat 14U end year on three game streak

The Abbotsford Heat 14U baseball team capped off their 2020 summer league with a third straight victory, taking out the Marshfield Sandlot 13U on the road on Monday.

This joins their victory over the Marathon 14U Red Raiders at Red Arrow Park in Abbotsford on Thursday, Aug. 6. The pair of wins means the Heat finishing on a three game win streak and end the year with a 7-13 record in bronco league action.

Marathon 14U, 7-4

It’s been said that revenge is a dish best served cold, but the Heat enjoy theirs warm. Abby avenged a 10-4 loss to Marathon back on July 26 with a 7-4 home win in Red Arrow Park on Aug. 6.

The Heat took an early 3-0 lead after one inning before Marathon got on board with a single run at the top of the second. Abby extended its lead back to three with a run in the bottom of the third.

It looked as though the Red Raiders would seize momentum in the fourth as Marathon rattled off three runs courtesy of some timely hitting and Heat errors to tie things up at 4-4 at the top of the fifth.

It was only a fleeting setback for Abbotsford as the Heat slammed the door shut on the comeback effort with three runs in the bottom of the fifth to regain momentum with a 7-4 lead.

The Heat followed this up by ironing out their errors with excellent fielding and ironclad defense as Abbotsford held the Red Raiders scoreless in the final innings with two quick three-and-outs.

That defense is much improved as the Heat took away any hopes of a Red Raiders’ comeback as Marathon left nine runners stranded on base due to Abbotsford’s ability to defend stolen bases and send ground balls to first or second base for quick, easy outs.

The Heat made it back to back wins for just the second time this season, and made it five wins in seven games.

Evan Reis had another big game with two of Abby’s six hits. Preston Bunkleman notched three RBIs and Payton Schrieber added two more. Schreiber got the win at the mound, pitching for five innings. JV Castillo pitched the first two innings and struck out one batter.

Marshfield 13U, 8-3

It might have been a slow start to the season, but that slow burn ended with a fiery explosion as the Heat wrapped up the 2020 summer league on a high note.

“There was a lot of uncertainty this season.We did get off to a slow start that I’m attributing to really not much practice,” Heat head coach Ryan Bargender said. “This year we didn’t start until the second week in June. We played some great competition this year which will only make us better. As the season went along we started to improve. We have been playing our best lately.”

The Heat put an exclamation point on their season with a third straight victory, this time over the Marshfield Sandlot 13U at Jack Hackman Field.

It was the second consecutive victory against Marshfield Sandlot, joining Abbotsford’s 14-3 home win over the Sandlot back on July 30. It wasn’t the prettiest of games, with the Heat committing four errors. Marshfield helped Abby’s cause by recording just two hits and giving up several runs thanks to six errors.

After both teams went scoreless through the first inning, it was the Heat that caught fire first, rattling off a three run barrage in the top of the second that put them firmly in the driver’s seat.

Abbotsford held Marshfield scoreless one more in the bottom of the second, and then tacked on another run at the top of the third before the Sandlot squad got on board with a lone run at the bottom of the third.

Abbotsford quickly snuffed out any hope for a comeback in the following inning as they continued to find their range in the batter’s box, tallying four runs that all but put the game away.

Marshfield didn’t give up, and were able to tack two more runs on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth.

Marshfield held Abbotsford scoreless through the fifth inning, but the Heat returned the favor, using their strong defense to ride out the game for their seventh victory of the season.

Blake Bargender, Payton Schreiber and Preston Bunkleman all collected one hit. Nevin Michlig and Bargender each had two RBIs. Evan Schunk had one RBI. Michlig and Bargender each fanned two batters at the pitcher’s mound.

It was something of a bittersweet ending for the Heat, who’s season got off to a slow start due to the coronavirus, but they made up for lost time by winning six of their final eight match-ups.

Their games in June and July and August bodes well for the future of the Abbotsford/Colby baseball co-op, and should the team stay together, in several years they could do even more damage.

A team that won the 13U Small Town Baseball state tournament in Marshfield last year could very well be holding even more hardware in the coming years.

“This has been a great group of kids to work with. We’ve had the same group of coaches working with them for six years. The kids seem to really enjoy baseball,” Bargender said.

“They get together on their own to practice if there is no practice scheduled. They are continually learning the game, doing the little things right, and getting better. I am excited to be coaching them at the high school level next year.”

TRY FIELDING THIS -Evan Reis surprises the Marathon Red Raiders by playing some small ball, opting to bunt the ball instead of swinging for the fences. Reis’s gamble paid off, and he finished with two of Abby’s six hits last week agains Marathon..

THE OL’ TWO SEAMER -JV Castillo reels off a quick throw to first base for an out during the Heat’s home turf tussle with Marathon last week.