Flores controls the strike zone serving as catcher for the Volcanoes as they take on the Lions May 3 on the Chester home diamond. Photo by George Wellman

Chester Volcanoes close in on final game

By Mari Erin Roth
Sports Editor
The Burney Raiders triumphed in game one by a score of 3-2 over the visiting Volcanoes. “Dillon Jilbert started his first game pitching of the year and did an outstanding job going 4 innings, giving up 1 earned run on no hits, 6 strike outs, with 72 pitches,” said assistant coach George Wellman. “Kooper Clark did an outstanding job in the last three innings in relief, giving up no earned runs, on 3 hits, 3 strike outs and 32 pitches.” The Vols gave up two unearned runs and the victory to Burney.
Joe Garrett started his first game at 2nd base and fielded without error and contributed 2 assists.  Tanner Harrison came off the bench starting in right field and hit a double, one of the three hits for CHS in the close first contest with the Raiders. Lucas Klimek and Jax Holland each contributed at the plate with a double and triple respectively, each scoring a run.
“Congratulations to Burney head coach Bob Hyde and his players on a great win,” said Wellman who was stuck at home in Chester with an illness.
Volcanoes burn hot in game 2 to win, 14-2
Jax Holland pitched a complete 5-inning game giving up 2 runs, 1 earned, on 2 hits. Holland struck out 10 batters and walked 2 with 87 pitches. “Holland’s dominance was evident as he retired the Raiders 3 up 3 down in the 1st, 2nd, and 4th innings,” said Wellman. “Striking out the side in the 2nd and 4th innings.”
Starting catcher Logan Oswold had a ‘wear-it-for-the-team-day’ at the plate. He was hit by pitches three times on three plate appearances, scoring 3 runs, and stole 4 bases.
Lucas Klimek drove in 3 runs on a single, double, and sacrifice fly and scored 2 runs crossing home plate. Tanner Harrison pinch hit in the top of the fourth singled and drove in 2 runs. Harrison also scored a run and stole one base coming off the bench. Wade Neer took two pitches off the torso, stole 3 bases, and scored 2 runs. Connor Barr scored 2 runs on a double and reached base on an error, and stole one base. Kooper Clark continued his consistent play offensively and defensively, getting 2 hits, scoring 2 runs, and driving in 2 runs. Kooper fielded without error with 1 put out and 1 assist. Haven Chase and Joey Tantardino contributed the other 2 runs, Chase singled and stole 2 bases; Tantardino reached home on an error and stole 1 base.
Assistant coach Wellman sends a big thank you to Chelsea Harrison, mom of Tanner Harrison, for “live-texting me inning-by-inning both games as they unfolded,” said Wellman. “Unable to attend, I’m so appreciative of Chelsea’s keeping me apprised.”
The final regular season game is in Chester on Monday, May 9 at 4 p.m. against Loyalton.
Volcanoes win May 3 hosting Redding, 9-1
The Vols were first on the scoreboard in the bottom of the 1st inning with 2 runs. The Lions were held while the Vols added another run in the bottom of the 2nd inning. Redding finally crossed the plate to score a run in the top of the 3rd inning but that only heated the Volcanoes further as they racked up 5 runs in the bottom of the inning. Neither team scored in the 4th or 5th inning and the last run of the game came for Chester in the bottom of the 6th inning. Redding had a final chance in the top of the 7th inning but nothing came of it.
Volcano pitcher Lucas Klimek pitched his second in a row complete game of 7 innings giving up 1 run on 2 hits, and 2 BBs. Klimek struck out 6 Lion batters of 28 faced to finish with 96 pitches. Klimek picked off two runners and fielded two hard hit grounders to assist put outs at 1st base with Jax Holland. First base Holland continued his solid play leading the team with 84 put outs, 4 assists, on 92 total chances through 16 games. Shortstop Wade Neer, third base Joey Tantardino, and second base Kooper Clark contributed 7 assists without an error. Catcher Juan Flores played an outstanding game by not allowing any pass balls, offensively hit two doubles to score twice, and contributed 2 RBIs. Conner Barr and Tantardino continued to hit with power, each contributing timely doubles and 2 RBIs each.
“Proud of you boys,” said CHS head baseball coach Mike Klimek. “You controlled the entire game offensively and defensively against a good Redding Christian team.” Assistant coach Wellman had a few words as well, “So impressed with our poise today…excellent pitching, bulletproof defense, and clutch hitting,” said Wellman. “A special thank you to the friendly RC fans and especially to Coach Matt Molter, a gentleman and scholar of the game of baseball.”
Not to be forgotten: Volcanoes win doubleheader with Maxwell Panthers
“Two well played close contests with excellent pitching, defense, and timely hitting,” said head coach Klimek. “The double play in the 3rd inning of the first game, after two lead off hits by Maxwell, stymied Maxwell’s potential rally.” Coach Klimek also mentioned, “The double play in game two, in the bottom of the 4th after a lead off hit snuffed out a potential rally by a determined Maxwell team.”
More highlights from the two victories April 29 (5-3 and 4-2): In game one at top of 5th inning, the Vols were trailing 3-2. Klimek walked, Barr singled, and Flores hit a single to drive in Klimek. Tantardino followed with a double driving in Barr and Flores. The Vols took the winning lead, 5-3, and secured that victory after retiring the Panthers in order the bottom of the 5th.
In game two (won 4-2), at the top of the order Klimek, Barr, Holland, and Tantardino combined for all seven Vols hits, runs, and RBIs. Klimek went 3-4 scoring 2 runs. Barr went 2-4 hitting a double, scoring 2 runs, and 1 RBI. Holland went 1-3 with a double and run-scoring sacrifice fly that produced 2 RBIs. Tantardino went 1-3 with a double.
There was a key defense play late in game 2 as Chester led 4-2 in the bottom of 6th. Haven Chase made an outstanding catch on difficult fly ball to right field to end the inning. Key defensive plays for the Vols include double plays in each of the two games.
In game 1 in the 3rd inning, a line drive was put out by Neer at shortstop. The runner on 2nd was caught off base for an out with a throw from Neer to Kooper covering 2nd base.
In game 2 in the 4th inning, Neer fielded a ground ball with an unassisted put out at 2nd, and a throw to Jax Holland at first to complete the double play. “So impressed with the pitching today,” said coach Wellman. “Lucas Klimek’s complete game, five-inning effort in game one facing 25 batters on a very efficient 77 pitches. In game two, the combined pitching effort of starter Kooper Clark (4 innings) and Conner Barr (3 innings) over seven innings was outstanding. Allowing two runs on two hits and two base on balls over seven innings; impressive.”
The Chester Volcanoes are 13-5 overall and 6-2 in their league. The last game of the season scheduled is Monday, May 9 (weather permitting) starting at 4 p.m. in Chester. It has been a good year for the Vols. The snow did not keep them from their early season games or practice, as it has in the past, and they had the benefit of additional talent from Greenville to boost the team spirit and skills. The Volcanoes were also propelled to reach their potential by a “fat” coaching staff and support team: head baseball coach Mike Klimek, assistant coach George Wellman, batting practice coach Joe Tantardino, and fielding practice coach Fritz Barr were joined by scorekeepers for the Volcanoes Kim Clark, Camille Klimek, and Michele Wellman. The Vols also receive support from Athletic Director Paul Hardig (who is retiring this year), and CHS principal Terry Hernandez who is returning to teaching and coaching next year. It took a village.
Connor Barr throws from the Trojan mound as the Vols win a doubleheader in Quincy March 26. Photo by Mari Erin Roth
Lucas Klimek fires one from the Volcano home mound to strike out an unfortunate Lion at the plate. Photo by George Wellman