Baldwin Thunder bounces Bulls
By Ben Knoll
Signal Sports Writer
The Baldwin Thunder baseball team, playing in the Heinrich league in Lawrence, wrapped up their regular season last week with two blowout victories, one more surprising than the other.
The Thunder's first game came Wednesday, when Baldwin faced off against the Aquasox, a team the Thunder had owned in previous meetings during the season.
The dominance continued. After toying with the Aquasox in the first inning, the Thunder quickly put an end to the contest in the second inning, scoring 16 runs to create an insurmountable lead.
The Thunder cruised through the next three innings, adding five more runs before the game was called on run rule, 22-1.
Kevin Hightree picked up the victory on the mound, allowing only one run while pitching all five innings.
Dan Glover led the scoring barrage, racking up three hits in the contest.
"Kevin didn't allow many base runners," said coach Rick Weaver. "The guys took advantage of a couple Aquasox errors with some timely hitting to put together a big inning."
In the regular season finale for the Thunder, Baldwin was pitted against its league rival, the Bulls, with a share of first place on the line.
After winning the first game of the season between the two teams, the Thunder dropped the next two meetings, lowering them into second place behind the Bulls.
With a victory Thursday, the Thunder could tie the Bulls for first place in the league with the regular season completed.
The Thunder started out strong, leading 3-1 going into the third inning behind the pitching of Derek Lederer.
Baldwin would then break the game wide open, scoring five runs in the inning to lead 8-1, including two runs on Anthony Ciambrone's two-out single to score Luke Weaver and Jacob Enick.
The Bulls would score two more runs, but it wouldn't be enough as the Thunder would put the Bulls away for good with six more runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Zack Durr put the finishing touches on the win by sitting down three straight batters in the fifth inning.
The game was then called on run rule, and the Baldwin Thunder went home with the 14-3 victory and a share of first place.
"The big guys were running like they were heading to a cheeseburger closeout, but they got the job done," said Weaver. "We got a few breaks and lucky bounces, but overall the guys played pretty well. The Bulls have a good team, but I think the real winner might have been the Lawrence Dairy Queen."
The players enjoyed Dairy Queen, but an even better treat would be a first place finish at the year-end tournament, which will run Saturday through Monday.