BV Rats banking on late-season momentum after falling 5-2 to Renner

By: 
Tom A. Savage, Contributing writer

Tom A. Savage/BV Journal 

Zach Nagel pitches against the Renner Monarchs on Sunday, July 10.

 

Lake Terveer beats out a throw to first for the Valley Rats against the Renner Monarchs on Sunday, July 10.

 

If the Brandon Valley Rats amateur baseball team wants to make a run towards a Class A state title, now’s the time to get the bats cranking.

The Rats dropped to 1-6 on the season after a 5-2 home loss to the Renner Monarchs at First National Bank Field on Sunday. BV fell behind 5-0 before scoring once in the seventh and once in the eighth and went on to lose 5-2. One of the Rats’ runs came on a solo homer by Connor Knecht.

But since the beginning of the season, Rats manager Josh Mulder hasn’t panicked. Every Class A team makes the playoffs, and the Rats just need to get hot at the right time. 

“We’re actually playing pretty well,” Mulder said following Sunday’s loss. “We’re always in games. Against Renner, they really weren’t hitting the ball that hard. They were just finding gaps, and that’ll happen. It’s not always going to go your way. If we can continue to pitch like that, and if our bats wake up, I’m not afraid of any team.”

Zach Nagel registered the loss for the Rats, but Renner managed just six hits on the day. However, one was a two-run shot in the fifth to give the Monarchs a 4-0 lead.

“It wasn’t a bad pitch,” Mulder said. “It was just a better swing, and there’s not much you can do about that. Hat’s off to the hitter.”

After an opening-season loss to Baltic on June 2 in Valley Springs, it was the first time Mulder said that he wasn’t concerned about the balance of the season. After the sixth loss in seven outings against Renner on Sunday, he said he’s still confident the Rats can make a run, even if a little concern has now crept in.

“Maybe a bit more concerned than I was towards the beginning of the year,” he said. “But it’s going to take some tweaking on my end. Do we just continue to swing at it and hope things start to happen, or do we start getting more strategic and maybe play some small ball, bunts, hits and runs, stolen bases. We’ll see.”

They’re running out of time to make tweaks as the postseason is on the horizon and the Rats have just three regular season games remaining. However, they’ve got an opportunity to build some much-needed momentum down the stretch with a pair of events that could potentially swing things their way.

On Thursday at First National Bank Field, the Rats host Harrisburg in the Jacob Mulder Memorial Game, which last year brought hundreds to the stadium.

On Saturday, July 23, the Rats will host their annual fundraiser at the Double D Saloon featuring a bean bag tournament, $10 all-you-can-drink keg beer, a 50/50 raffle and additional raffle prizes. The annual event for the Rats funds everything from baseballs, umpires, bats and jerseys for the season.

“Late July isn’t the normal time to do a fundraiser, but it might work out for us,” Mulder said. “Hopefully we can get some fans acquainted with the team and get them re-energized. Who knows? It might spark us.”

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The Brandon Valley Journal

 

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