The Gering Platte Valley Companies senior legion baseball team put an end to a brief three-game losing skid by salvaging a doubleheader split against the visiting Casper Crush on a hot and steamy Thursday afternoon at Oregon Trail Park in Gering.
Platte Valley Companies entered play on the heels of setbacks to the Buckley Bombers and the WESTCO Zephyrs. Casper tacked on a third straight loss with a 10-4 win in the opening game. However, Gering caught fire at the plate and rode the strong pitching of Jack Franklin in securing a 16-6 victory in game two.
Platte Valley Companies is now 17-9-1 on the season overall. Gering will host Chadron in a makeup game Friday at 7 p.m. before hosting the Bridgeport Bombers on Tuesday.
Franklin tossed all five innings of Thursday’s second contest. He improved his season record on the hill to 5-0. Franklin allowed just two earned runs and scattered 12 hits. He struck out four and walked only one.
The Gering offense supplied Franklin with plenty of support. Platte Valley Companies struck for five runs in the bottom of the first to grab a 5-1 lead. After Casper plated three runs in the top of the second to pull within 5-4, Gering scored four times in the third to extend its advantage to 9-4.
Casper got as close as 9-6 in the top of the fourth, but Gering put the hammer down by exploding for seven runs in the home half of the frame.
A trio of Gering hitters finished with three hits each. They were Quinton Janecek, Riley Gaudreault and Jerod Balthazor. Balthazor drove in five runs. Janecek knocked in three runs and Gaudreault and Anthony Walker drove in a pair.
Janecek finished with a triple and Walker had a double. Franklin and Janecek led Gering with three runs scored. Walker, Balthazor and Ryley Hoke each scored two runs.
Casper never trailed in the opener after scoring four runs in the top of the third. Gering plated a pair of runs in the bottom of the third and added single runs in both the fifth and seventh.
Riley Schanaman led Platte Valley Companies’ 11-hit attack with three hits. Hoke followed with a pair. Gaudreault drove in two runs. Franklin and Brady Radzymski both had a double.
Balthazor and Radzymski saw action on the mound in the contest. Balthazor allowed four earned runs on six hits, struck out four and walked two in five innings of work. Radzymski gave up two earned runs on three hits, fanned three and walked none in two innings of relief.
Friday’s game between Gering and Chadron will be the fourth meeting of the season. Gering won the previous three by a combined score of 31-11.
Casper 004 123 0 — 10 9 2
Gering 002 010 1 — 4 11 4
WP — Jhett George. LP — Jerod Balthazor.
3B — Casper (Braden Barr 2, Kylar Halverson). 2B — Casper (Jhett George, Tyler Whitney). Gering (Jack Franklin, Brady Radzymski).
Casper 130 20 — 6 12 1
Gering (17-9-1) 504 7x — 16 11 3
WP — Jack Franklin. LP — Brady Kautzman.
3B — Gering (Quinton Janecek). 2B — Gering (Anthony Walker).