Struggles at the plate hobble Rebels

Champlin Park lost four of six games

BY MATTHEW DAVIS

SUN POST NEWSPAPERS

 

Batting problems have plagued the Champlin Park Rebels baseball squad of late.

“We’re not coming up with clutch hits right now that we need to have,” Rebels coach Cory Davis said. “Whether we don’t have the right lineup in, or whatever the case may be. Our bats are cold.”

Tim Munn of Champlin Park drives in a two base runners with a double against Osseo on Thursday, May 1. (Photo by Rich Moll - richmollphotography.com)

Tim Munn of Champlin Park drives in a two base runners with a double against Osseo on Thursday, May 1. (Photo by Rich Moll – richmollphotography.com)

For the second-straight week, the navy-and-silver walked away with a pair of losses in Northwest Suburban Conference play. Only this time at came from teams outside first and second place.

A strong pitching start by Rebels pitcher Trevor Kiminski got swept away with Robbinsdale Armstrong’s bats in an 8-6 loss on Friday, May 2. Blaine then broke open a 5-4 game at Champlin Park on Saturday, May 3 and handed the Rebels a 10-4 defeat.

“In the sixth and seventh, things kind of got away from us,” Davis said about the Blaine loss.

That makes for a 2-4 record in a six-game stretch for the Rebels after a 2-0 start to the season. In spite of those losses, one thing has clicked for the navy-and-silver.

“Our pitchers are coming out strong,” Davis said.

Before Kiminski left the game against Armstrong, he threw ten strikeouts in 5.1 innings of pitching. Kiminiski also had allowed just one earned run on three hits.

Champlin Park’s Mario Zona throws out an Osseo runner at first on Thursday, May 1 in the Rebels’ 7-3 victory. (Photo by Rich Moll -richmollphotography.com)

Champlin Park’s Mario Zona throws out an Osseo runner at first on Thursday, May 1 in the Rebels’ 7-3 victory. (Photo by Rich Moll -richmollphotography.com)

Pitching also shined for the Rebels against Osseo in a 7-3 win on Thursday, May 1 under the lights at OHS. Brandon Rushmeyer went seven innings and fanned four batters. He also allowed one earned run and four hits.

With games being spread out due to the inconsistent weather, Davis has been able to go to Rushmeyer, Kiminski and Kip Youngquist frequently. Davis believes his squad has good pitching depth, and he will have good look at it this week with a six-game schedule.

Fielding has had ups and downs during the most recent stretch. In addition, pressure has been on the fielding to help make up for what the batting has not delivered.

“It’s part of it,” Davis said about the team’s fielding struggles.

While batting has struggled overall, a few Rebels batters have put together strong games recently.  Tim Munn went 3-4 with two RBI against Osseo, and Kipp Youngquist had a 1-4 showing with a pair of runs driven in for that contest. Mario Zona went 2-2 and drove in a run against Armstrong. Munn leads the batting with a .440 average, and Kiminski has been swinging for a .370 clip.

“We kind of drop after that,” Davis said.

The first-year Rebels skipper will look to additional younger players on the roster for at-bats to spark some momentum at the plate. Finding the sweet spot as a team has become urgent with less than two weeks remain in the regular season.

“We’re going to make some adjustments, and hopefully the guys are going to respond,” Davis said.

Champlin Park will host Elk River on Thursday and Centennial on Friday at 4:15 p.m.  for both games.  The Rebels also host Rogers at 10 a.m. and Osseo at 4 p.m. on Saturday.

 

Contact Matthew Davis at matthew.davis@ecm-inc.com

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