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Juniors dismantle North Bend

Juniors dismantle North Bend

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ZelasneySteal.jpg

Isaiah Zelasney slides in safely for a stolen base in the weekend tournament in Silver Creek on June 28.

The Shelby-Osceola-Stromsburg Rebels American Legion Juniors baseball team made quick work of North Bend on July 1, winning in five-inning mercy-rule game. 

The Juniors won 12-4 after recording 11 hits and improved to 5-1 with the victory, bouncing back after the season's first loss at Central City the night before.

The Juniors scored three runs in the first and second inning to take a 6-0 lead before North Bend found its offense in the third and cut the lead to 6-4.

That was as close as the visitors came to tying the game as SOS scored four in the third and two in the fifth.

Kolton Neujahr started on the mound and pitched 2 and 1/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs on two hits and struck out two batters. Ceagen Watts came in to relieve for the final 2 and 2/3 innings. He allowed no runs, no hits and struck out six batters.  

Watts didn't get much experience on the mound until last year and has turned into one of the top arms on the Juniors squad. 

"He's gotten bigger," coach Tony Belt said. "He's got a stronger arm. He has some velocity and he's got more accurate with his pitches."

Isaiah Zelasney led the team on offense with four hits in four plate appearances. He finished with two singles, a double and a triple. 

"Isaiah has become more patient between last year and this year at the plate," Belt said. "He's swinging at pitches that are in the strike zone. When he gets on base, he's a pain in the neck. He's a fast kid and is going to steal some bases."

In total eight different players finished with hits for the Juniors. 

"It's nice to know that you have a lineup that you don't always have to rely on one or two kids," Belt said. "We have 15 kids on our Juniors team. I rotate starting between those younger kids.

"If those kids can get on base in the bottom of the order in the middle to late innings of the game with the top three coming back up, that's when we really seem to score a lot of runs. 

Peter Huguenin is a sports reporter for The Banner-Press. Reach him via email at DVDsports@lee.net

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