The Midwest Rage bats were “takin’ care of business” Tuesday night.
The Rage (11-4-1) completed a two-game sweep of Manchester AA at Dutzow Ballpark, 12-2 and 17-1.
As teams lined up for the national anthem prior to the game, the opening chords of the Bachman-Turner Overdrive hit “Takin’ Care of Business” initially played before the music was corrected to a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
The Rage did their best to live up to BTO’s directive, rapping out a combined 29 hits between the two games and finishing both games early via the mercy rule.
“The boys started hitting the ball really well,” Rage Manager Doug Kampschroeder said. “We’re starting to put together some timely hitting. That’s good to see because we are going to need everybody to be hitting when we play some of these tougher teams.”
The Rage pushed across two runs in the bottom of the second inning to start things off before extending the lead with a six-run third.
Manchester gained one run in the fourth inning and another in the fifth. The Rage scored twice in the fourth, once in the fifth and once in the sixth.
Landon Valley was the winning pitcher. In four innings, he allowed one run on two hits and four walks, striking out 11.
“Landon pitched really well,” Kampschroeder said. “That was good to see. We need to get all of our pitchers in tune. It was a confidence-building game.”
Drew Jasper threw two innings and allowed an unearned run on no hits and two walks. Jasper recorded two strikeouts.
Six Rage players each recorded two hits — Jack Schantz, Abe Fischer, Seth Roewe, Connor Skornia, Ryan Kampschroeder and Isaac Vedder.
Logan Monzyk and Jasper added one hit apiece.
Vedder delivered the biggest hit, a solo home run in the fifth inning. He also opened the scoring with a two-RBI double on a fly ball into no man’s land between first base and right field in the second and thus finished with three runs batted in for the contest.
Vedder, who has played for Doug Kampschroeder’s Rage squads in previous summers, has been playing with the New Haven AA squad this year. Vedder previously hit a home run against the Rage while playing for New Haven earlier this month.
“It was good to have him back for a couple games,” Doug Kampschroeder said. “He’s more of a traditional power hitter. He doesn’t get too many dinky hits. He’s always slamming the ball and when he’s on, he’s on.”
Ryan Kampschroeder and Fischer both doubled in the contest. Each of the remaining Rage hits went for singles.
Schantz, Kampschroeder and Vedder scored two runs apiece. Fischer, Roewe, Brady Hanneken, Skornia, Monzyk and Jasper all scored once.
Hanneken drove in two runs. Roewe, Skornia, Kampschroeder and Jasper were each credited with an RBI.
Schantz stole three bases. Vedder swiped two. Valley and Skornia stole once each.
David Breuer had both of the Manchester hits, two singles.
The Rage got off to an even stronger start in the nightcap, scoring eight runs in the top of the first inning.
Three more runs in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth gave the Rage a 17-0 lead.
Manchester pushed across its lone run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Roewe pitched the complete game, allowing one run on two hits and five strikeouts in four innings.
Kampschroeder went 4-4 at the plate with four singles, four RBIs and two runs scored.
Vedder was 3-3 with a double, a single, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Monzyk doubled and singled with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Jasper came up with two singles, scored twice and drove in a run.
Skornia, Hanneken, Valley and Fischer each connected for a single.
Skornia scored three runs and drove in one.
Hanneken, Valley and Roewe each scored twice. Valley had one RBI.
Fischer delivered a sacrifice fly.
Skornia was hit by a pitch.
Vedder and Skornia each stole two bases.
Ben Collier and Austin Sverra both singled for Manchester. Collier stole a base and was driven in by Joe Novak.
The Rage traveled to St. Peters Thursday. The team returns to Dutzow Sunday to host Valmeyer, Ill., in a doubleheader at 1 p.m.