Champlin Park finds groove at plate in 4-1 week
By Matthew Davis
Sun Post Newspapers
Efficiency may best describe Champlin Park Rebels pitcher Brandon Rushmeyer.
“His pitch control is incredible,” Rebels coach Cory Davis said.
A senior captain, Rushmeyer showed everyone how to make each pitch count in two wins during the past week. He went seven innings in victories over Osseo and Maple Grove and threw only 68 and 73 pitches respectively.
“I guess the biggest th ing for him is he just gets ahead in the counts, and he’s so efficient,” Davis said. “To get through seven innings of baseball twice with roughly 70 pitches [each time] is incredible. That doesn’t happen very often. He’s not striking out kids, he’s pitching to contact.”
Furthermore, Rushmeyer has done it in close games. Jason Anderson scored what became the game-winning run in the fourth inning for Rebels’ 1-0 victory over the Orioles on Saturday, May 10. Eric Pearson came home on a wild pitch and scored again on Daniel Kielb’s RBI to edge Maple Grove 2-0 on Monday, May 5.
“He’s just so calm, so cool,” Davis said.
Rushmeyer also keeps his pitch count low by walking almost no one. He has four walks in five starts this season.
“He keeps the ball down and is real efficient with his pitch count, which is huge when we’re talking about playing five-six games per week,” Davis said.
Rushmeyer analyzes the strike zone keenly, which can vary from game to game in high school baseball with many different umpires. He onl had to strike out six batters in two games last week, and the other outs came from fieldable contact. Trevor Kiminski also pitched an efficient game for the Rebels during the week with a nine-strikeout performance in 68 pitches. Champlin Park beat Andover 6-1 in that game on Wednesday, May 7 after piling on six runs in the first two innings.
“Bats are starting to come around a little bit,” Davis said.
Offense exploded more so in the early game on May 10 when the Rebels pounded Rogers 13-0. Kipp Youngquist hit 3-3 in that game, and Ben Bauer pitched a one-hit, five-inning complete game.
“We haven’t had to go to the bull pen in the last four games in a row,” Davis said.
Champlin Park overall has taken clearer aim at the postseason the 4-1 week. Their only blemish came in a 4-3 loss to Centennial on Friday, May 9. Stranded bases runners turned out to be the difference in that loss.
During the bottom of the seventh, the Rebels had a runner on third with one out. Tim Munn then struck out, and Kiminski hit a pop fly as the Cougars sealed the win.
“We had runners in scoring position and just couldn’t come up with a hit,” Davis said.
Nonetheless, the Rebels have rebounded from a 2-4 stretch through late April and early May. Playing games consistently has helped after weeks of rainouts.
“We can string a couple of wins together in a row,” Davis said. “There’s momentum inside the baseball game and outside of it too as far as the season goes. We’re kind of on the up-tick right now, so we need to keep stringing together a few wins.”
Contact Matthew Davis at [email protected]