Late in the Cody Legion baseball team’s second game Sunday against the 406 Flyers, Jared Grenz, who has been sitting out due to a shoulder injury, got a chance to bat.
While waiting in the on-deck circle teammates joked with him about going out and hitting a home run. With the bases loaded, he stepped in the box and clobbered a first-pitch fastball over the left field fence.
“I knew I’d hit it well but you never know,” Grenz said. “It was fun to get into the game and contribute to the win.”
The homer gave Cody an 8-0 lead in the game. A few batters later, Tristan Blatt stepped in and blasted a three-run shot to center to make it 11-0 and close out the game in five innings.
The Cubs first four runs came in the third. With one out, three straight walks loaded the bases. Blatt then hit a two RBI double, followed by a two RBI single by Devyn Engdahl.
In the fifth with a 4-0 lead, Engdahl reached on an error, and Bronnenberg and Heston Williams walked to load the bases. Grenz then hit his grand slam. After Elijah Leyva walked and Tyler Grenz reached on a error by the shortstop, Blatt hit his home run.
“We played a little more long ball and relied on quality at bats and big hits in game two,” coach Bart Grenz said.
Cody finished with just four hits. Blatt went 2-4, Jared Grenz 1-1 and Engdahl 1-3.
Max Williams earned the win, giving up no runs on three hits through 5 innings.
“Max looked really good,” coach Grenz said. “We thought things might be getting away from him but he went back out in the fifth and looked sharp.”
Sunday’s games were the Cubs’ first at home as work to their backstop is now complete.
“It’s nice to get back out on the field with the improvements they’ve made,” Jared Grenz said.
Cody 5, Billings 3
After a two-week break, the Cubs were a little rusty in their first game against the Flyers. Billings had a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth, when Cody finally got things going.
“After a long layoff we didn’t know what to expect but the kids came out with a great approach,” coach Grenz said. “They worked hard and got better as the game went on.”
Ethan Johnston reached on an error to start the inning. Cody Phillips then laid down a bunt on the third base side and used his speed to reach first safely. Leyva followed his lead, bunting and reaching to load the bases. Tyler Grenz then hit a double to center to score two. After Blatt was hit by a pitch, Engdahl hit a sac fly to left to tie the game.
“We felt lethargic, but we knew we’d get things going,” Phillips said. “I put (the bunt) down and it worked out. It felt great to get the team going.”
In the sixth, Johnston reached on a single and Phillips hit another bunt and reached safely. Both would advance on a passed ball and Johnston scored on another passed ball. Leyva then bunted to score Phillips and give the Cubs a two-run lead.
“In the first game their kid was throwing a gem but we were able to play a little small ball and get bunts down while running the bases smartly.”
In the seventh, the Flyers’ first batter reached on an error. Phillips then made a diving catch in left for the first out, followed by a catch by first baseman Hayden Bronnenberg in foul territory. A strikeout closed out the game.
“It looked like a ball I could get to,” he said. “I wanted to get an out to finish the game up.”
Cody finished with eight hits. Phillips and Blatt went 2-2, Johnston 1-2 and Leyva 1-3.
Williams started the game and gave up three runs on five hits through 4 innings. Johnston earned the win in relief, giving up no runs on one hit through 2 innings. Brady Deming got the save, giving up no runs or hits through 1 inning.
“Heston got better toward the end but his pitch count got away early,” coach Grenz said. “It was good to see Ethan and Brady follow him and throw strikes while pitching with a lead.”
Cody is now 13-2 overall. They host Riverton on Wednesday for a conference doubleheader starting at 5 p.m.