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05/05/2014 - BASEBALL: Thunderbolts Hold Off SkyHawks

By Jeff Motz

Small ball is the type of baseball Lincoln Pius X has been known to play.  It would become the focal point of a controversial play in the Thunderbolt half of the 4th inning.

However, Pius X managed to hold off Omaha Skutt 2-0 on Senior Day Monday at Den Hartog Field.  

After Sam Raun's flyout, Zach Petitt and Gabe Larsen drew walks in the bottom of the third.   Micheal Helman got an RBI single and drove in Petitt.  Alex Utrup's sacrifice bunt scored Larsen for a 2-0 Pius X lead.

Controversy came into play in the bottom of the fourth, when Raun laid down a bunt on the first base side.  Skutt pitcher Keanu Mendez went to cover first, as first baseman Kyle O'Neill got the ground ball and threw it over to Mendez to make the play.  

At first, umpire Frank McEntarffer ruled it an out, but Pius X coach Troy Charf came out of the dugout to protest the call.  

It appeared that Mendez either dropped the ball or his foot came off the bag while stretching to get the ball from O'Neill.  McEntarffer reversed the call, prompting Skutt coach Shawn Exner to come out and raise a few questions.

As the argument got heated, McEntarffer tossed Exner out of the game.  The game was delayed for more than five minutes, before play resumed.  Exner had not left the ballpark and was behind the Skutt dugout on the first base side of the field.  

McEntarffer spotted Exner and immediately told him to leave the stadium.  Exner left the ballfield and spent the rest of the game watching from the east side of the Den Hartog/Seacrest Field parking lot.

Exner's ejection didn't spark intensity into Skutt.  The SkyHawks managed to get only two hits in the game, the latter of which came during a two-out rally in the seventh inning when catcher Ben Wenke singled.

Pius X pitcher Ryne Kortum finished the final two innings, allowing no runs, a hit and a hit batsman.  

Sam Donlan earned the victory for the Thunderbolts.  The senior right-hander allowed no runs, one hit and struck out three Skutt batters.  

Mendez earned the loss, giving up two runs and four hits while striking out seven batters.
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