Lions come back, beat Warriors on Bell's slam

By Jeff Yoder
Posted 6/12/21

Van Buren needed just one strike to send Lone Tree home with a three-run loss. 

But Cade Shield would not cooperate. 

After falling behind 0-2, Shield fouled off five pitches and drew …

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Lions come back, beat Warriors on Bell's slam

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Van Buren needed just one strike to send Lone Tree home with a three-run loss. 

But Cade Shield would not cooperate. 

After falling behind 0-2, Shield fouled off five pitches and drew a bases-loaded walk to keep the game alive for Tyler Bell. 

Bell took one pitch and then drove the ball over the fence in left center field. With one swing, a two-run deficit became a two-run lead and the Lions hung on for an 11-10 victory. 

“After Shield finally got walked after (11) pitches, I was like, ‘I gotta hit it,’ ” Bell said. 

His teammates mobbed him at home plate to celebrate the go-ahead grand slam. 

“It felt amazing,” Bell said. “I literally have no words for it.”

Lone Tree fell behind 6-3 after three innings, but came back to tie the game at 6-6 in the fourth. Van Buren scored three in the fifth and led 9-6 until Shield’s two-out RBI walk. 

“We put ourselves in a hole and made some mistakes,” Lone Tree coach Mike Close said. 

“But you know, we've just talked all year that it's a long game and if you give yourself a chance, good things can happen. And that's exactly what we did tonight.”

The Warriors had a chance to end the game with just one runner on base in the seventh inning, but Adam Knock’s infield fly dropped between the catcher and pitcher to give the Lions life.
Alex Viner drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, and the Warriors brought in a new pitcher to face Shield. 

Tyler Bell was 0-1 with a walk and had been hit by pitch twice before his grand slam. 

“Tyler has the potential at the plate to really be a great hitter in our conference and in our district,” Close said. “He was struggling a little bit tonight and he was able to make some adjustments and  got a great result on a pitch that he could drive.”

Shield pitched the final 4 and 2-3 innings for Lone Tree, allowing three earned runs on five hits and a walk. An error with two outs in the bottom of the seventh kept the game alive for Van Buren. An RBI double put the tying run in scoring position, but Shield’s fourth strikeout ended the game. 

Shield was 0-1 at the plate, but was hit by a pitch, reached on error and battled for a walk in an 11-pitch at bat that impressed Close. 

“It was just a great at bat and ended up being a really big deal for us,” he said. “It could have easily went the other way and been our third out, so that was huge.”

The Lions were able to chase Van Buren starter Treyton Bainbridge in the fourth inning. The senior right-handed pitcher had allowed seven walks and just one hit in nine innings this season while striking out 17. 

He allowed three hits, hit three batters and walked three in 3 and 2-3 on Friday. 

Matt Hemsted had a leadoff double and scored on a wild pitch in the fourth, and Will Kleckner reached base on error to tie the game at 6-6. Alex Viner reached base in all five plate appearances. He was 2-3 with two walks after reaching base on error in the first inning. Drew Gauley walked three times and scored twice. Hunter Hain scored two runs as a courtesy runner. 

On the previous night, the Warriors were on the other side of a five-run seventh-inning comeback as they defeated 2020 state tournament qualifier Burlington Notre Dame 8-6.

The Lions (5-5) have won three in a row and five of their last seven. 

“I was very proud of how we competed,” Close said. “And just very proud of getting a win against a good team.”

Lone Tree 8, WMU 7

Lone Tree fell behind 6-1 after an inning at Winfield Mt. Union, but scored three runs in the seventh inning for an 8-7 win, handing the Wolves (1-8) their fourth straight loss. 

Will Kleckner came in to get the last out of the first inning after WMU scored six runs on two hits, four walks, and two hit batters. Kleckner allowed just one run on four hits and two walks the rest of the way while striking out seven. 

Tyler Bell was 2 for 3 with three RBIs  and Gavin Pourroy was 2 for 4. Cade Shield tripled and scored twice. Alex Viner had a hit, an RBI and scored two runs as well. 

Lone Tree 10, Wapello 3

Will Kleckner was 3 for 3 with four RBIs as Lone Tree defeated Wapello 10-3 on Tuesday. 

The Indians (2-5) tied the game 2-2 with a pair of runs in the second inning, but the Lions scored the next seven to take a 9-2 lead into the fifth. 

Cade Shield picked up the win, allowing one earned run on five and two walks in 4 1-3 innings. Kleckner pitched two innings of relief. He did not allow a hit, a walk or a run. He hit one batter and struck out two. 

Mathew Hemsted hit a home run and had two RBIs. Alex Viner, Tyler Bell and Shield each had a hit and an RBI. Adam Knock had a hit, a walk, and reached on error. 

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