Seniors slumping into postseason
The season-long woes of the Senior Melons continued this week.
After a 4-1 loss to Minden on Monday, Gothenburg dropped both games of a doubleheader against Hershland on Tuesday, 9-3 and 16-9.The Melons meet Minden in their opening game of the Area Tournament on Friday.
Melons out hit Minden
Those on hand for Monday’s game got a glimpse of the Melons next opponent. Although Gothenburg fell 4-1, they had five hits to the visitors’ three.
Minden First Bank opened the scoring in the top of the second inning, scoring two runs off a single and an error.
Although the Melons recorded a hit in each of the first two innings, they would not score until the bottom of the third. By that time, Gothenburg had allowed three runs.
Chase Ostergard hit safely and scored off an error by the Minden third baseman. Ross Ostendorf, who reached on the error, made his way to third before an inning-ending strikeout.
Ostendorf pitched the first four innings, allowing one hit and three earned runs.
Levi Tripp opened the bottom of the fourth with the Melons’ final hit of the game. He was stranded on second base after three consecutive outs.
Riley Ostendorf came on for the fifth and sixth innings. He gave up a run and a hit in his two innings of work before Bryce Kowalewski finished the game.
Tripp was the only Melon with multiple hits in the game.
Homer Helps Hershland
Hershland got on the board in the top of the first inning in game one of Tuesday’s twin bill, but the Melons quickly answered.
Adam Speck and Ostergard earned consecutive one-out walks before Jake Matthies came up with an RBI single.
Ostergard also started the game on the mound. After working out of some trouble in the first, he retired the Hershland side in order in the second.
The third and fifth innings were a different story, however. The visitors used a pair of sacrifice bunts to score two runs in the third.
Matthies’ second hit of the game came in the third inning when the Melons scored their third and final run of the game.
Hershland’s five-run fifth inning was highlighted by a homer over the left-field fence by Landon Maassen. Ostergard was replaced by Brant May with two outs in the inning, having allowed eight runs—five earned— on five hits.
May got through the rest of the fifth and sixth without allowing any more damage.
The Melons failed to threaten the rest of the way, while Hershland added a run in the top of the seventh.
Matthies finished the day with three of the Melons’ five hits. Riley Ostendorf added one hit and one RBI.
Nine runs not enough
The offense showed up for the nightcap on Tuesday. The same could not be said for Gothenburg’s pitching and defense.
The Melons led after the first inning once again before things went bad. After Matthies allowed one run in the top of the first, the hosts used two walks, one hit and an error to score two in the bottom half.
Hershland responded with a four-run second, while the Melons were held scoreless.
The momentum shifted again in the following inning. Skyler Schwanz got out of the third without allowing a run,
The bottom of the third saw every Melon appear at the plate. Kowalewski walked before Speck singled. A sacrifice fly from Ostergard plated the first run of the inning. Matthies followed with a single before a hit from Ross Ostendorf plated another run.
A series of walks helped additional runs cross the plate before a fielder’s choice off Kowalewski’s bat ended the inning. By the end of the frame, six runs scored, and the Melons led 8-5.
Hershland batted around in the fourth and reclaimed the lead with four runs of their own. The Melons fought back and tied the game in the bottom of the fourth after Speck walked and advanced on a passed ball and error.
The Melons could not hold on, as they allowed the visitors to score in each of the final three innings.
The Melons only saw one batter reach base after the fourth inning.