Redbirds sweep Cardinals, Royals

Noah Kirsch delivers a pitch to the plate in the Redbirds’ win over Fort Macleod on Wednesday. Kirsch earned the win by pitching three and two-thirds innings of one-hit baseball.                                                                  

Photos by Doreen Heintz

Eric Knox slides safely into third base for a triple in the second game win over Fort Macleod.

By: 
Doreen Heintz
Sports Editor

The Lewistown Redbird American Legion baseball team seems to be hitting its stride while earning four conference wins this week. On Tuesday in Conrad, the Redbirds swept the Tri-county Cardinals, 15-7 and 22-1. The team returned Wednesday night to Ryan Sparks Field to host the Fort Macleod Royals and came away with two more conference wins, 12-2 and 9-4.
In the Redbirds’ first win over the Cardinals, Cody Henderson scattered nine hits over his five innings of work on the mound, He gave up four runs (three earned), while walking three and striking out two. Ben Kolar relieved Henderson in the bottom of the sixth inning. Kolar allowed three runs on three hits, but struck out three Cardinals.
Lewistown was led at the plate by a bevy of Redbirds. Recording two hits each were Andrew Lalum, Hunter Schell, Tyler Lee, Henderson and Jake Clinton. Lalum, who has been hot at the dish, contributed three RBIs, hit a double, stole a base and was hit by a pitch.
One could say the second game ended early when the Redbirds scored 13 runs in the top of the first inning. They cruised to the five-inning 22-1 win, scoring runs in every single inning. Lewistown had 17 hits, including doubles by Schell and Clinton and triples by Lalum and Kyle Lee. Lee also had three RBIs in the win.
Eric Knox got the win on the mound for the Birds by scattering six hits over five innings of work. He had five strikeouts and did not walk a single Cardinal.

Schell, Kirsch pick up wins over Royals
The Royals made the long trip from Fort Macleod to Lewistown to play a doubleheader against the Redbirds on Wednesday. According to the Royals’ bus driver, the trip was made even longer when one of the ballplayer’s passport went missing while at the border. After scrambling for between 30-40 minutes, the passport was found. One of the border guards had accidently dropped the passport while checking the other passports.
The return trip on Thursday seemed probably longer for the Royals after losing to the Redbirds twice. In the first contest, Schell pitched five innings, allowing only three hits and one run, while the Redbirds crossed the plate 12 times to take the 12-2 win.
Lewistown took a 1-0 lead after the first inning when a Tyler Lee single scored Lalum from third base.
The lead grew to 4-0 after two innings when the Redbirds plated three runs in the bottom of the second inning. Kyle Lee got the bottom of the inning started when he took first base after being hit by a pitch. Isaac Fry followed with a single to right field. Knox hit a routine ground ball to the Royals’ second baseman, who threw to second for the force on Fry, but the throw to first went flying over the first baseman’s head. Lee scored from second, while Knox went to second on the overthrow. Lalum followed with a double to right field to score Knox. Schell singled to right field to put runners on first and third. Tyler Lee followed with a ground ball to the Royals’ shortstop. When he mishandled the ball, Lalum scored. A Cody Henderson single loaded the bases, but the inning ended when Noah Kirsch hit into a double play.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, the Redbirds plated six more runs to take a 10-0 lead. Lalum began the bottom of the inning with a triple, and Schell followed with a double. Henderson and Kirsch added singles, and another Royal error allowed the Redbirds to keep flying.
Two runs by Fort Macleod in the top of the fifth inning kept the game from ending by the 10-run mercy rule. Lewistown came back with two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The game came to an end when Fry was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, allowing the second Redbird run of the inning to score.
Henderson and Clinton had three hits each in the win. Tyler Lee, Clinton and Fry had two RBIs each, while five Redbirds were hit by pitches.
Zach Jensen started on the mound for the Redbirds in game two, but gave way to Kirsch with one out in the top of the fourth inning, and the Royals leading 4-2. Lewistown came back in the bottom of the fourth to tie the game, 4-4, after Clinton scored on a single up the middle by Fry and a triple by Knox scored Fry.
Lewistown added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Redbirds first run of the inning came with Tyler Lee on third and Kirsch on second. Clinton swung at a third strike but raced to first when the Fort Macleod catcher failed to field the ball. Lee came home from third on the throw to first, where Clinton was safe. The next two Redbird runs came home on another Fort Macleod miscue. Kirsch and Clinton came home from third and second, respectively, when the Royals’ shortstop threw the ball over the first baseman’s head on a routine ground ball by Fry.
Lewistown’s final two runs of the game came in the bottom of the fifth inning on an RBI single by Schell and Schell then came home on a ground ball out by Clinton.
Kirsch pitched one-hit ball during his three and two-thirds innings of work. He was helped by some spectacular plays by his teammates in the field. At times, Lalum looked like a human vacuum when he went deep into the hole at shortstop several times and was able to make long throws to get outs at first.
The Redbirds were also credited with nine stolen bases in the win. Kirsch was the only Redbird with more than one hit in the game, as he was credited with two.

Redbirds continue conference play
Lewistown took its 9-3 conference mark into Friday evening’s doubleheader against Lethbridge at Ryan Sparks Field. Sunday the Redbirds host the Tri-County Cardinals at 5 and 7:30 p.m. in another conference doubleheader.
 

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