Everything was in place for a special Senior Night for the Springville baseball team Thursday, July 1.
Oriole coach Tony Dlouhy wanted nothing more than to send his talented graduating class of Alex Koppes, Grant Gloeckner, Bryce Wilson, Gabe Dlouhy (Tony’s son), Tommy Hagensick and Nick Olivas out with a pair of wins against their rivals from Central City, and thanks to balanced efforts in just about every facet of the game, the team was able to do exactly that.
“Nick is new to our program this year and has been a huge addition, but for me this Senior Night was extra special because I’ve been coaching Gabe, Alex, Grant, Bryce and Tommy since they started the game in t-ball,” Dlouhy said. “I’ve seen them through a lot, and they are all going to be sorely missed. It seems like just yesterday they were getting started, now they’re graduating and done with their baseball careers. It’s been an amazing ride and one I’m proud to have been on with all of them.”
Springville (5-16, 5-14) used a four-run third inning keying a 6-1 victory in the opener of the Tri-Rivers Conference doubleheader before coming back and completing the sweep with a 9-2 rout in the finale as a five-run sixth stanza broke the game open.
“It took us a few innings to get Central City’s pitcher timed in the first game, but once we did, we were fine,” said Dlouhy as his team fell into an early 1-0 hole as the Wildcats plated a second-inning run.
“Bryce threw an incredible gamed going the distance and we all knew it wasn’t going to take too many runs to win it. When we got those four in the third, we felt pretty good.”
Koppes walked to lead off the rally before Gloeckner doubled allowing Koppes to score. After stealing third, Gloeckner came home to score thanks to a sacrifice fly off the bat of Wilson.
Hagensick and Olivas both reached base and scored in the inning as well before Jordan Goad crossed plate in the fourth and Gloeckner again in the sixth adding insurance runs.
Wilson tossed a complete game four-hitter fanning six Wildcat batters while Gloeckner and Bryce Ripple powered the Springville offense with two hits each.
The nightcap again saw the hosts fall into an early hole, as Central City led 2-1 through three frames, but when Ripple, Seth Stone and Goad all scored in the bottom of the fourth, the Orioles would never trail again.
“We took advantage of what Central City gave us,” said Dlouhy as his team worked four walks in the fourth frame and took advantage of two Wildcat errors.
“We worked walks and made the Central City pitchers and their defense work for everything. When we got on base, we were aggressive and stole bases and took extra bases when we could. It’s the kind of baseball I love to watch, and we were doing it to perfection.”
The hosts added five more in the sixth to break the game open as Koppes, Gloeckner, Wilson, Dlouhy and Hagensick all cross the plate.
“All five of the seniors I’ve been together with for so long all scored in that final inning,” Dlouhy said. “That was awesome to watch.”
Wilson’s two hits led a four-hit Oriole offense as the team worked 10 walks in the game and stole 13 bases.
“The boys were having so much fun, it was great to see the smiles on their faces,” Dlouhy said. “Gabe’s not exactly the most fleet of foot, but even he had a stolen base and scored from second on a hit. It was a fun night.”
Olivas got the start on the hill and worked the game’s first four frames allowing three hits and just one earned run before Koppes closed it out with three innings of one-hit baseball fanning two Wildcat batters.
Springville’s week started with a hard-fought 3-1 loss at Calamus-Wheatland Monday, June 28, as the Warriors broke a 1-1 tie in the sixth plating the game-winning runs.
“An error in the sixth allowed Cal-Wheat to get their two-run inning started,” Dlouhy said. “We were right there with a chance to win, and as a coach that’s all I can ask for.”
Koppes tallied a one-out single in the third and came around to score thanks to a Warrior error and the visitors led 1-0 before Calamus-Wheatland quickly answered with one of their own in the bottom half to knot the score.
Koppes not only ripped two hits leading a four-hit Oriole offense, but was also solid on the mound working the game’s first four frames allowing three hits and one run while striking out three. Olivas threw the final two innings allowing two unearned runs.