Sluggers take series opener against Hutch

Emmie Boese | Special to
Rose Hill Slugger's Hunter Gibson (41) hits a home run against the Hutchinson Monarch's Mikel Howell in the bottom of the fifth inning on Tuesday, June 30 at Rose Hill High School. Gibson went 1-for-3, including his second home run of the season as Rose Hill won 7-2 over Hutch.

The Rose Hill Sluggers have been a tough opponent in the Sunflower Collegiate League, and that reputation still stands after beating the Hutchinson Monarchs who are 9-1. Rose Hill started off strong in the first inning and led the remainder of the game as Rose Hill won 7-2.

Rose Hill took Game 1 of the 4-game series with Hutch. The win puts Rose Hill as No. 2 in the league, only behind Cheney.

“Our pitchers did really well,” Rose Hill head coach Jake Jones said. “Our starter Bryan Skillman did really well. Grant Adler came in after that and did really well too which was filling out the zone and it was kind of a tough day to pitch too [with] the wind blowing really hard, [and]we have a really small field too. So, it was really good to see them do that and starting the series having to only use two pitchers.”

The game remained scoreless until the bottom of the first inning when Rose Hill second baseman Mason Hartman hit a single and stole second and third base to put the Sluggers up 1-0 against Hutchinson. Hutchinson tied the game at the top of the second with a home run from second baseman Drew Reetz.

At the bottom of the third, Rose Hill scored on a single from Hartman. Pitcher Jackson Dietel then hit a single that resulted in an RBI. This led to another scored run from Hartman, putting Rose Hill ahead 2-1.

Rose Hill scored again at the bottom of the fourth inning with a home run from Wichita State’s Garett Kocis, giving them a 3-1 lead. Hutch’s Reetz scored again in the top of the fifth with another home run for the Monarchs.

Rose Hill made it tough again for Hutchinson though with another home run from Gibson at the bottom of the fifth. Catcher Ross Cadena then scored the second home run during the inning for Rose Hill.

Dietel got on the board again with a triple. Zach Baxley (SW Oklahoma State) hit a double to left field. Dietel then advanced to third base. Dietel scored another run, making it the last score of the game, and an RBI for Baxley. The rest of the game remained scoreless, ending at the top of the ninth inning.

Rose Hill will be starting Jackson Dietel in Game 2. Dietel is 1-0, including a win over Great Bend last week.

“We are very confident in him,” Jones said. “It’s going to be the same kind of weather too as far as the wind, so it will be kind of a similar game.”

Hartman went 2-for-3 and Hunter Gibson went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a home run. Baxley was once again impressive, as he went 3-for-4, pushing his average upt to .533 on the year, which is the second best batting average in the league.

Skillman struck out six over five innings to pick up the win. Grant Adler came in, pitched four scoreless innings to pick up the close it out.

Rose Hill will play their second game of the series against Hutchinson at home on Wednesday, June 1st at 7p.m. The rest of the series will follow playing at Hutchinson on June 2-3.

“It’s going to be a good series the whole tournament,” Dietel said. “They are a really, really, really good team so we have all the respect in the world for them, so we just need to keep coming like we are and be ready to play.”

Hutchinson – 010 010 000 -- 2;2;0

Rose Hill – 101 130 100 -- 7;10;1