Hoptown

The Hoptown Hoppers season came to an end Saturday in a 12-3 loss to the Dubois County Bombers in the Ohio Valley League Playoff championship but for coach Keirce Kimbel, the season was more than just about baseball.

Two and a half months ago, most of the players on the Hoppers didn’t know each other but when they leave Hoptown for the final time, Kimbel said they’ll have more friends than when they came into town.

“That’s just the beauty of summer ball,” he said. “These guys are from all over the place. A D-I in California, a D-III in Alabama, a D-II in Tennessee, they all come together and play on an even-playing field and make some lifelong friendships and that’s the coolest thing about it.”

The Bombers struck first in the top of the first but a two-run bottom half gave the Hoppers a 2-1 lead after one. It would be their only lead of the game as Dubois County plated two in the top of the third and never looked back.

Taylor Fought led the way with two hits for Hoptown while Fought, Griffin Rivers and Nolen Milton each finished with an RBI.

Dustin Berrong started the game on the mound on short-rest but still gave the Hoppers quality innings on the mound.

“Dustin didn’t really have his stuff for the first time all summer,” Kimbel said. “That could be partly due to the fact he had four days rest or due to the fact that it’s the end of the summer, kind of running out of gas.”

Dubois County controlled the game after the first and added five more runs in the ninth to bury the Hoppers one final time.

“For Dustin, to go six innings and into the seventh and give us five runs to work with, that just goes to show what kind of pitcher he is,” Kimbel said.

Kimbel gathered his team in the outfield after the game and gave them a simple message. He said despite how they thought they played during the summer, they grew, which was the most important thing.

“Some of you may feel like you didn’t get better and you look at your numbers and you’re not happy with them, but I told them just the reps and getting the ABs (at bats) and just playing makes you better,” he told the team after the game. “I know you don’t see it yet, but all of you grew up this summer a lot.”

Kimbel has said all summer he believes in trial by fire and he knows the feeling firsthand when he took over for former Hoptown coach David Weber.

“It was definitely a great learning experience for me, I learned a lot,” he said. “I hope I taught these guys something. I know Aharon Modlin taught me things I didn’t know before. He’s one of the most instinctive players I’ve ever seen in-game. Just watching him and what he was doing in the game taught me a lot. It was a privilege and definitely a growing experience for me. It was a blast and I’ll never forget this summer.”

Hoptown finishes the year at 28-19 with an OVL West Division title and seven players representing Hoptown at the annual OVL All-Star Game in Dubois County.

Bombers at Hoppers
Score By Innings123456789RHE
Bombers10210012512162
Hoppers200000010382
Bombers 12, Hoppers 3
BombersHoppers
 abrhbi abrhbi
Bryce Krizan cf6333Aharon Modlin ss5110
Camdon Mercier 3b4112Zach Duvall 2b3110
Zack Gray rf5132Taylor Fought lf4121
(t8) Jaxson Blair pr-rf1000Reese Alexiades dh3010
Andrew Tanous c5022Griffin Rivers rf3011
Jordan Libman lf5020Nolen Milton 3b4011
(t9) Jake Slunder pr-lf0100Daryl Myers 1b4010
Philip Archer 1b4110Dalton Dedas c3000
Craig Shepherd 2b3211Aidan Elias cf3000
Jackson Blevins dh3000Dustin Berrong p0000
(t8) Alex Alders dh2211(t7) Jesse Philp p0000
Roman Trujillo ss5120     
Jordan Cozart p0000     
(b8) Tyler Hagedorn p0000     
(b9) Brandon Smith p0000     
TEAM TOTALS43121611TEAM TOTALS32383
E: Andrew Tanous, Philip Archer, Nolen Milton, Aidan Elias. DP: Bombers 1. LOB:
Hoppers 7, Bombers 9. 2B: Andrew Tanous, Philip Archer, Zack Gray, Taylor Fought. SB:
Jake Slunder(2), Bryce Krizan. CS: Griffin Rivers. SB: Zach Duvall. SF: Camdon
Mercier.
BombersIPHRERBBSO
Jordan Cozart W7.0062233
Tyler Hagedorn1.0021110
Brandon Smith1.0000002
Hoppers      
Dustin Berrong L6.33105522
Jesse Philp2.6767523
T: 2:35. A: 639.
Bombers - Top of the 1st:
Bryce Krizan lined out.
Camdon Mercier grounded out.
Zack Gray singled, batted forward to home.
Andrew Tanous doubled, 1 RBI.
Jordan Libman grounded out.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 1st:
Aharon Modlin singled, batted forward to home.
Zach Duvall sacrifice bunted.
Taylor Fought doubled, batted forward to home, 1 RBI.
Reese Alexiades struck out looking.
Griffin Rivers singled, forced out at 2nd, 1 RBI.
Nolen Milton reached on fielder's choice.
2 run, 3 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 2nd:
Philip Archer flied out.
Craig Shepherd flied out.
Jackson Blevins lined out.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 error, 0 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 2nd:
Daryl Myers singled, advanced to 2nd on error.
Dalton Dedas flied out.
Aidan Elias struck out swinging.
Aharon Modlin flied out.
0 run, 1 hit, 1 error, 1 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 3rd:
Roman Trujillo flied out.
Bryce Krizan singled, batted forward to home.
Camdon Mercier singled, batted forward to home.
Zack Gray doubled, 2 RBI.
Andrew Tanous flied out.
Jordan Libman grounded out.
2 runs, 3 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 3rd:
Zach Duvall flied out.
Taylor Fought singled, forced out at 2nd.
Reese Alexiades hit into double play.
0 runs, 1 hits, 0 error, 0 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 4th:
Philip Archer doubled, batted forward to home.
Craig Shepherd singled, forced out at 2nd, 1 RBI.
Jackson Blevins reached on fielder's choice.
Roman Trujillo popped out.
Bryce Krizan flied out.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 1 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 4th:
Griffin Rivers walked, caught trying to steal 2nd.
Nolen Milton flied out foul.
Daryl Myers struck out swinging.
0 run, 0 hits, 0 error, 0 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 5th:
Camdon Mercier grounded out.
Zack Gray grounded out.
Andrew Tanous popped out.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 error, 0 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 5th:
Dalton Dedas grounded out.
Aidan Elias grounded out.
Aharon Modlin flied out.
0 run, 0 hit, 0 error, 0 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 6th:
Jordan Libman singled, batted forward to 2nd.
Philip Archer walked.
Craig Shepherd flied out.
Jackson Blevins flied out.
Roman Trujillo struck out swinging.
0 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 2 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 6th:
Zach Duvall flied out.
Taylor Fought grounded out.
Reese Alexiades singled.
Griffin Rivers flied out.
0 run, 1 hit, 0 error, 1 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 7th:
Bryce Krizan singled, batted forward to home.
Camdon Mercier walked, batted forward to 2nd.
Zack Gray struck out swinging.
Andrew Tanous singled, 1 RBI.
Jordan Libman struck out swinging.
Philip Archer struck out swinging.
1 run, 2 hits, 0 error, 2 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 7th:
Nolen Milton flied out.
Daryl Myers grounded out.
Dalton Dedas walked, batted forward to 2nd, forced out at 3rd.
Aidan Elias walked, batted forward to 2nd.
Aharon Modlin reached on fielder's choice.
0 run, 0 hits, 1 error, 2 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 8th:
Craig Shepherd walked, advanced to 2nd on error, batted forward to home.
Alex Alders reached on error, batted forward to home.
Roman Trujillo singled, forced out at 2nd.
Bryce Krizan reached on fielder's choice, forced out at 2nd, 1 RBI.
Camdon Mercier reached on fielder's choice, batted forward to 3rd, 1 RBI.
Zack Gray singled, Jaxson Blair ran for batter, forced out at 2nd.
Andrew Tanous reached on fielder's choice.
2 runs, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 8th:
Zach Duvall singled, batted forward to home.
Taylor Fought popped out.
Reese Alexiades walked, batted forward to 3rd.
Griffin Rivers flied out.
Nolen Milton singled, 1 RBI.
Daryl Myers grounded out.
1 runs, 2 hits, 0 error, 2 lob.
Bombers - Top of the 9th:
Jordan Libman singled, Jake Slunder ran for batter, stole 2nd, stole 3rd, batted
forward to home.
Philip Archer flied out.
Craig Shepherd walked, batted forward to home.
Alex Alders singled, batted forward to home, 1 RBI.
Roman Trujillo singled, batted forward to 3rd, advanced to home on error.
Bryce Krizan singled, advanced to 2nd on error, stole 3rd, batted forward to home, 2
RBI.
Camdon Mercier sacrifice flied, 1 RBI.
Jaxson Blair struck out swinging.
5 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 0 lob.
Hoppers - Bottom of the 9th:
Dalton Dedas struck out swinging.
Aidan Elias struck out swinging.
Aharon Modlin flied out.
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 error, 0 lob.

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