Despite suffering their first loss of the season Saturday, the Borgia baseball Knights continue to roll this spring.
Borgia (9-1) posted a 19-0 win at John F. Kennedy Friday and then shut out St. Clair Saturday before falling to Blair Oaks, 9-4, in the final game of a three-team event at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field.
Borgia’s game Monday against Lutheran St. Charles was called on account of rain. It is scheduled to be made up Tuesday, May 7. The school has been informed Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field is not available that day, so it will be played at Dutzow Ballpark starting at 4:30 p.m.
Borgia’s win over Kennedy on Friday was the team’s second no-hitter of the season. Spencer Juergens threw the no-no, joining Tony Helfrich in the no-hit club.
“Spencer was dominant on the mound,” said Borgia Head Coach Rob Struckhoff. “Whenever you get a no-hitter, no matter who it’s against, you should be proud of the effort. It can be tough to pitch with a big lead because everyone knows you need to just throw strikes.”
Juergens kept Kennedy from gaining any traction at all in Friday’s contest.
Over five innings, Juergens allowed just one walk while striking out seven Celts
Offensively, Borgia made certain the game wouldn’t go beyond five innings, making the work easier for Juergens.
The Knights jumped on top early with 11 runs in the top of the first. Borgia added two in the second, three in the third, two in the fourth and one in the fifth inning.
“Kennedy is a young team and will improve over the next couple of years,” Struckhoff said. “They gave us some base runners and we took advantage. I told our guys to keep focused and having good at bats. In a game like this it’s easy to get into bad habits. I was happy with our approach, as I’ve been all year.”
Noah Borgerding had a huge game, getting four of Borgia’s 13 hits.
Borgerding doubled, scored three times and drove in four runs.
“Noah continues to produce big for us at the plate,” Struckhoff said. “He is just stinging the ball.”
Tony Helfrich and Mitchell Hammick posted two hits apiece.
Helfrich doubled, walked, scored three runs and drove in a pair. He also added a sacrifice.
“Tony also hit a couple balls really hard,” Struckhoff said.
Hammack doubled, walked, scored twice and drove in three runs.
Batters with one hit apiece were Matt Jones, Grant Eckelkamp, Jacob Haskins, John Himmelberg, Todd Kleekamp and Michael Kren.
“Matt and Grant also did their thing at the plate,” Struckhoff said. “Jacob Haskins, Todd Kleekamp, John Himmelberg and Tyler Murray also had some good at-bats today. We had contributions up and down the lineup.”
Jones doubled and drove in two runs. Eckelkamp scored twice and drove in a run.
Himmelberg singled and scored. Kleekamp doubled. Kren scored a run and drove in one.
Justin Horace scored twice. Haskins scored twice and drove in a run. Nick Jacquin walked, scored once and drove in two runs.
Kleekamp doubled. Nathaniel Hillermann walked twice, scored twice and drove in one run. Murray sacrificed and drove in a run.
After nine wins in a row, Blair Oaks handed Borgia its first loss of the season Saturday afternoon at Rotary Recreational Complex - Ronsick Field, 9-4
“Blair Oaks came right into the game after beating St. Clair and their bats were alive early,” Struckhoff said. “Not taking anything away from them, but it was the classic bleeder, bloop, and bomb scenario. They did a good job of putting the ball in play, but they did get a lot of breaks on ground balls chopping through and bloop base hits just over infielder’s heads. Then they’d smash a double and grab some runs. We also made a couple errors that helped them out.”
Blair Oaks jumped on top with eight early runs.
“After getting down eight runs early, we had the choice of just backing down and going home or getting back in the game,” Struckhoff said. “We outplayed them the last five innings and I was proud of our guys for not backing down.”
Hillermann got the start and took the loss.
“Nate settled in after the second and gave us a couple solid innings,” Struckhoff said. “Tyler Murray did the same.”
Hillermann went four innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on 11 hits. He walked nobody and struck out two.
Murray pitched two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk. He fanned two Falcons.
Jacob Koelling, one of the top pitchers for the Falcons, got the start and held the Knights on just three hits and one walk. He struck out nine.
“We faced their No. 1, Koelling, and the radar gun in the stands had him at 89 mph,” Struckhoff said. “It’s hard for high school hitters to go from seeing upper 70s to upper 80s. It took us one time through the lineup to get used to his velocity. After that we started putting the ball in play and I think we gave them a scare.”
Borgia made the most of those hits.
“Justin Horace had a big two-run single in the fourth,” Struckhoff said. “Matt Jones also hit a couple balls really hard. It was good for us to see a pitcher of that quality. It will pay off later.”
Eckelkamp had Borgia’s other hit.
Hammack, Helfrich, Jones and Hillermann scored the runs. Hillermann drew the only walk.
Borgia returns to action Wednesday at Trinity. First pitch is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.
The Knights play at Duchesne Friday at 4:30 p.m. On Saturday, Borgia will host St. Mary’s at the Borgia Baseball Field. That starts at noon.