Blossoms top L/P in five

Published 9:29 pm Monday, April 25, 2011

Blooming Prairie's Isaiah Toquam slides into home plate to score on a wild pitch as Lyle/Pacelli's Stephen Juenger looks for the ball during BP's 17-1 win in the Riverland Complex Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

After struggling to find its offense early this season, the Blooming Prairie baseball team hit its mark in a 17-1 five inning victory over Lyle/Pacelli at the Riverland Complex Monday.

The Awesome Blossoms (1-5 overall) broke open the game in the top of the third where they put up 11 runs to go ahead 14-1. Ryan McCabe, Dylan Prokapec and Cooper Nelson all doubled in the third inning for BP.

“Most of our batting averages are pretty low right now, but we’ve got good hitters all through the lineup,” said Nelson, who went 2-for-2 with 2 RBIs. “If we play confident like we did today, we’ll keep it rolling. This is how I expected most of the season to go.”

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BP pitcher John Rumpza had his struggles in the bottom of the first as he allowed two hits, a walk, and a run while hitting a batter. He got out of a bases loaded jam by getting Matt Kasel to ground into a double play.

“I wasn’t really nervous,” said Rumpza, an eighth grader. “I’ve played in this atmosphere a couple of times for different sports. I’m feeling great and I’m throwing strikes and letting the defense make plays.”

BP's Luke Hueman slides into third base as L/P third baseman Matt Kasel looks for the ball at the Riverland Complex Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

After his slow start, Rumpza shut down L/P (2-1 overall) as he allowed just one hit and hit one more batter in the last four innings.

“He gets excited and he was a little pumped early,” BP head coach Chris Staloch said. “Once he calmed down, he threw the ball well and he came after people. He throws strikes and lets our defense work. If we have a strength right now, it’s been our defense.”

After their first inning rally was thwarted, L/P’s offense struggled. Defensively, keeping BP off the base-paths was a problem all night as the Blossoms scored two first inning runs on wild pitches with two outs.

L/P pitcher Kenneth Gray took the loss, but head coach Dan Zielke wasn’t disappointed with how he threw.

“Ken looked good early on,” Zielke said. “We’ve just got to lock down the catcher position because I think that was half of it.”

Mary Lewison, the mother of Joe Lewison, who passed away in a fatal car accident this winter threw out the first pitch. Joe would’ve played on the L/P team this year.

Members of the Lewison family were also in attendance and the game drew a pretty large crowd.

“We got caught up in the emotion early on,” Zielke said. “(The game is) a good learning point and kind of a reality check. We’ll see if we bounce back or go the other way.”

Blooming Prairie's John Rumpza fires a pitch against L/P in Riverland Monday. -- Rocky Hulne/

The Blossoms, are just happy to get their first win of the season. BP lost three of its first five games by less than four runs as it struggled at the plate.

“Winning is typically contagious and losing is too,” Staloch said. “I think it’s nice to see some smiles on their faces and they’ll be a little more relaxed in the next game.”

BP 2 1 11 1 2 — 17 12 1

LP 1 0 0 0 0 — 1 3 0

BP pitching: John Rumpza (W), 5 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 ER, 2 HBP, 3 K

BP hitting: Luke Hueman, 1-for-3, 2 R, SB, BB; Dylan Prokapec, 1-for-3, double, RBI; R, BB; Cooper Nelson, 2-for-2, double, 2 RBIs, 3 R, SB, 2 BBs; Isaiah Toquam, 0-for-3, R, BB; Ryan McCabe, 2-for-2, double, RBI, 2 BBs; Luc Zellmer, 3 BBs, 2 R; Rumpza, 2-for-4, RBI; Jared Grunklee, 2-for-4, RBI, R; James Mans, 0-for-1, HBP; Shawn Halla, BB, 3 R; Jason Jirele, 1-for-1, 2 R; Dylan Srsen, 1-for-2, RBI; Marcus Berndt, BB; Blake Arett, 0-for-1

LP pitching: Kenneth Gray (L), 2 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 BB, 10 ER, 5 K, HBP; Stephen Juenger, 0 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 ER; Jordan Hart, 1 /3 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 2 ER, 2 K; Matt Kasel, 0 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 2 ER; Jonah Rohne, 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 K

LP hitting: Kyle Meyer, 0-for-1, R, SB, HBP; Sean Shapiro, 0-for-1, BB; Skylar Meyer, 1-for-2; Carter Guthmiller, 0-for-2, RBI; Jordan White, 1-for-2; Matt Kasel, 0-for-1; Ryan McConnell, 1-for-2, double; Gray, 0-for-1; Jake Nelson, HBP; Hart, 0-for-1; Drew Chapek, 0-for-1; Ryan Hundson, 0-for-1; Collin Roberts, 0-for-1