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home : sports : sports Saturday, November 18, 2017

7/15/2017 Email this articlePrint this article 
Calamus-Wheatland senior Brett Kelting catches a pop-fly during the third inning of Thursday’s 1A District 9 semifinal against Lisbon. Kelting reached base twice during the first two innings as the Warriors’ built a 4-1 lead, but the Lions scored the game’s final four runs to rally for a 5-4 victory. The Observer photos by Ross Eberhart
Miscues hurt Warriors in district setback
Lisbon scores four unearned runs to end Cal-Wheat’s season in district semifinal

By Ross Eberhart
Sports editor

DURANT - Facing the sixth-ranked team in 1A and its ace pitcher, the Calamus-Wheatland baseball team knew two things would be especially key in Thursday's 1A District 9 semifinal with Lisbon.

The Warriors would need to seize the early momentum.

And they would need to limit their own mistakes.

Cal-Wheat certainly accomplished the first objective, piling up four runs in the first two innings against Lisbon starter Jacob Krob, who allowed just 11 total runs during the regular season.

The Warriors' early advantage, however, did not last, and miscues proved to be the culprit, as the Lions scored four unearned runs on a pair of Cal-Wheat errors to tie the game at four.

The Lions then broke the tie in the bottom of the third, and that turned out to be the final run of the game in Lisbon's 5-4 victory.

Limited to just a single run in their first meeting with Krob, the Warriors needed just three batters to match that output Thursday.

Max Hansen coaxed a lead-off walk, and a bad throw on Caleb Banowetz's infield single moved both runners into scoring position.

Garrett Rickels followed with his own single to plate Hansen's courtesy runner, Chase Knoche, and it was 1-0.

The Warriors were not done. Brett Kelting was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Justin Daehn walked to bring in another run.

Tyler Rowold followed with a fielder's choice to score Rickels, and the Warriors had an early 3-0 lead.

The Lions got a run back, thanks to an inning-opening error and a double, but Cal-Wheat struck again in the second when Banowetz doubled to deep right center and Rickels socked another RBI-single.

Cal-Wheat quickly picked up two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Lisbon rallied, using two singles and a walk to load the bases, and the Warriors' second error brought everyone in to tie the score at 4-4.

The Lions scored again in the third, and now the Warriors were the ones who needed to rally.

Krob, though, was beginning to hit his stride. The junior retired 13 straight batters at one point, and Cal-Wheat headed to the seventh down to its final three outs.

The Warriors did not back down. Hunter Rickels led off the seventh with a walk and took second when Krob's pick-off attempt sailed by the first baseman.

Lisbon came back with two outs, but a groundout moved Rickels to third with the tying run.

Garrett Rickels, meanwhile, coaxed a two-out walk that coincided with Krob hitting the state's pitch limit.

The Lions were forced to make a change on the mound, but Ryley Scott proved to be up to the task, notching a strikeout to end the game.

Banowetz and G. Rickels accounted for all four of the team's hits - notching two apiece. Rickels drove in two runs and scored a third, while Banowetz's courtesy runner, Brian Forret, scored twice.

Hansen allowed six hits in five innings of work with just the one earned run, while striking out a pair. Banowetz pitched a perfect sixth and had his own strikeout.

The Warriors wrapped up their season with a record of 24-11, tying the 2010 squad for the most wins in program history.

Cal-Wheat clinched its share of the record by downing Marquette Catholic, 6-2, in Tuesday's district quarterfinal.

The Warriors struck early, scoring individual runs in both the first and second innings - G. Rickels drove in Banowetz with his single in the first, while Rowold scored on an H. Rickels groundout in the second - before taking control of the game with a four-run fourth inning.

Back-to-back singles by Brant Boeckmann and Daehn, coupled with a sacrifice bunt, put the Warriors in business, and consecutive hits by Darick Dunham, H. Rickels, and Hansen brought in all four runs.

That was more than enough support for Kelting, who allowed just a fourth inning double in his five-plus innings of work, while striking out five batters.

Banowetz, meanwhile, retired the final five batters to clinch the victory.

Banowetz, Daehn, and Dunham all had two hits in the game. Dunham and H. Rickels both clubbed doubles and combined for four RBIs, while the Warriors' six runs were scored by six different players.

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