Amateur Baseball: Aces heat up heading into playoffsRed Wing player/manager Andy Gibart took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Bay City a few years ago only to have Bump Ulvenes break it up with a single. Friday night, Ulvenes got him again.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Red Wing player/manager Andy Gibart took a no-hitter into the eighth inning against Bay City a few years ago only to have Bump Ulvenes break it up with a single.
Friday night, Ulvenes got him again.
Gibart threw 6 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball at the Red Wing Athletic Field before Ulvenes laid down a perfectly placed bunt and reached first before Gibart’s throw.
“I don’t mind it,” Gibart said. “It’s a two-run game. He laid down a perfect bunt. It’s a great move in that situation.”
But Gibart and the Aces landed the final punch, winning 8-0 against the Bombers in the regular season finale. Gibart threw seven innings, allowing just the one hit and striking out six to pick up the victory.
“He was hitting his spots,” Red Wing co-manager Jimmy Bohmbach said. “He was throwing his off-speed for strikes. … You start pitching hitters backwards.”
Kyle Blahnik had a near-perfect night at the plate for the Aces (20-15, 1-9 Section 1B), going 4-for-5 with two RBI. Steve Boldt finished 1-for-3 with three runs, Bohmbach was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Zach Laffey was 1-for-1 with three RBI.
“We’re feeling pretty good right now,” Bohmbach said. “We’re starting to hit the ball consistently.”
Ulvenes was 2-for-4 and Dustin Frandrup went 2-for-4 to tally all of Bay City’s hits.
Red Wing scored right away in the first inning when Boldt tripled with two outs and Bohmbach singled up the middle to bring him in. Boldt got the Aces started again in the fifth inning with a leadoff walk and he came around to score on a single by Blahnik and give Red Wing a 2-0 lead in the game.
The Bombers continued to go down quietly through the sixth inning as Gibart threw just 58 pitches, 47 for strikes, and allowed one base runner.
“I started out the first few innings throwing a lot of fastballs,” Gibart said. “I came back to my off-speed stuff in the middle innings to keep them off the board.”
The Aces extended the lead further in the seventh inning, scoring two runs with two outs.
“I think the last two, three weeks, we’ve gotten the two-out hits,” Gibart said. “That’s why we’ve been winning. That’s what we’ve been waiting for all year.”
Then, Laffey busted the game open with a bases-loaded double off the right-field fence that plated Ryan Boldt, Steve Boldt and Zach Garner to put Red Wing up 7-0. Blahnik singled in Laffey to add the final run.
Cole Kuesel picked up the loss for Bay City, throwing 6 2/3 innings and allowing four runs on eight hits and five walks. He struck out three.
Now, the Aces will face top-seeded Miesville Sunday at 2 p.m. in Miesville during the first round of the double-elimination Classic Cannon Valley League playoffs. Red Wing lost 10-2 to the Mudhens on July 4 but has won 10 of the last 12 games to close out the regular season.
“I’m excited,” Gibart said. “Obviously we’d like to face another team … but it’ll be a totally different game than July 4. We’re definitely confident walking in there.”