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Neighbors Growing Together | May 21, 2018

IMS baseball team holds on to win district semifinal game

By Bill Gatchel | Jul 14, 2017
Photo by: Bill Gatchel Reggie Borntrager gets ready to hit the ball to left field to bring in three of his teammates to help lead IMS to a 4-3 victory over BGM Thursday, July 13.

KEOTA — The IMS baseball team advanced one step closer to making another appearance in the state tournament Thursday, July 13, as they held on to win over BGM 4-3.

BGM started the game with scoring right away as they put up two runs in the first inning, but IMS rallied as Drake Brezina was able to score in an RBI to left field by Blake Bontrager to put the team behind by one.

It was three up and three down for BGM in the top of the second. IMS came out strong in the bottom of the second by loading the bases.

Three of the four scored on a double to left field by Reggie Borntrager, to put IMS up 4-2. Both teams would battle it out the next four innings as both teams left five total players stranded on the base at the end of each inning.

In the top of the seventh, BGM worked on a comeback as a run would score on a wild throw, but relief pitcher Nick Yutzy made sure no one else would score, giving IMS the win.

“I’m happy with how we played,” Hershberger says. “We didn’t start off great. I think we were a little nervous in the first inning and BGM was able to capitalize on that. Then, I think after we settled in, we came and got one run back in the bottom of the first. That helped us settle down and kind of get in the game.

“Drake [Brezina] did a great job of doing his thing for the next four innings of not allowing a scoring threat, really. We’ve come to expect that from him. Nick Yutzy came in as relief the last two innings and does a great job of maintaining and getting tough outs and doing a great job.

“We had a big, timely hit by Reggie Borntrager, which was huge for us. “Overall, we pitched well, we played defense well and good hitting to get the job done. I’m pleased.”

One part of the game was the number of strikeouts. Brezina struck out half the number of batters (12 of 24) he saw on the mound, but that is not something he practices.

“It’s just what we’ve come to see from him,” Hershberger says. “He’s just has that electric stuff that’s hard to hit. When he’s in a good groove, it’s hard for anybody to hit him and that showed tonight. He can mix his pitches up. Once he starts doing that, it makes it hard for anybody to hit against him.”

IMS has a 13-9 record and faces Sigourney Saturday, July 15. How much of a challenge does Hershberger think they will be?

“Anytime it’s a district final game, it’s a huge opportunity. It’s exciting to be in it. Sigourney is obviously a good team if they are making it that far, so we have to continue to be ready to play good defense and pitch well and continue to get timely hits. It’s going to be another good game for us Saturday.”

The game begins at 7 p.m. at Keota. The winner will play against the Class 1A District 7 winner at Cedar Rapids Prairie Tuesday, July 18, at 7 p.m. for the chance to play at state.

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