Your Prep Sports
IOWA CITY – In a game that included 14 walks, four errors and one of the head coaches being ejected, Regina junior Chase Becker showed the better side of baseball, both with his glove and bat.
The University of Minnesota baseball commit belted a three-run home run to right-center field in the fifth inning, and made several nifty plays at third base, including the final out of the game, as Regina defeated West Branch 9-4 on Friday at Regina.
“I thought I just missed it, but I saw him stop running, and I was like, just thank God it went out,” Becker said of his three-run blast. “It felt really good.”
Becker also just missed another home run in his final bat as Regina improved to 5-3 on the season.
“He’s playing well,” Regina coach Todd Becker said of son. “He put a lot of time in when we were down with our hitting. We were able to do that, which is great. He’s my son, so we work on it a lot. So that worked out really well, and he’s worked hard on his game.”
Becker has played both third base and shortstop for Regina, but he now seems to have found a permanent home at third with the addition of junior shortstop Eliezer De Los Santos, a foreign exchange student from the Dominican Republic who lives with the Becker family.
“We have a good connection, he lives with me,” Chase Becker said. “We just get a long a lot and he’s great to have.”
Becker’s three-home expanded Regina’s lead to 5-1, and then Alec Wick singled, stole second and scored on wild pitch to give Regina 6-1 advantage.
West Branch trimmed the deficit to 6-2 on a sacrifice fly by Brad Hunger in the fifth, and then a throwing error by De Los Santos allowed two more runs to score in the same inning, making the score 6-4.
Regina then answered with three runs in the bottom of the fifth frame, and that’s when frustrations started to take over as West Branch head coach Andy Lapel was ejected while making a pitching change.
Lapel and the home plate umpire were standing near the mound and appeared to be having a conversation when Lapel was ejected. They continued to exchange words as Lapel left the field.
West Branch loaded the bases in the first inning, but failed to score.
But instead of being pleased about getting out of the based-loaded jam, Todd Becker blasted his players for failing to execute on a particular play in the top of the inning.
Becker was mostly upset with De Los Santos and second baseman Alex Meister, and Becker made his feelings known.
“When you have a runner on third base, our middle infielder is supposed to back up the throw every single time, Becker said in reference to his shortstop and second baseman. “Neither one of them did. One’s a senior and one’s played a lot of baseball in the Dominican. They know what to do and we were on them about that all the time.
“So if we’re going to play the game, we’re going to play the game right.”
Asked if his father was trying to send a message, Chase Becker said:
“He just wanted us to play hard and play our game. We can’t take it off. We’ve got to keep playing no matter what.”
Regina scored one run in the bottom of the first as De Los Santos led off with a walk and then scored on a wild pitch.
Hunger then drove in a run with a double as West Branch evened the score at 1-1 in the third.
Regina would go on to score five unanswered runs and never led by fewer than two runs after the third inning.
West Branch senior Kaleb Sexton led off the fourth inning with a sharply hit double near the left-field line, but he was left stranded.
West Branch fell to 2-6 on the season
West Branch 001 030 0 – 4 4 3
Regina 104 130 x – 9 4 2
Trey Eagle, Lucas Pierce (3), Bryce Pickett (5) and Pete Espensen; Kyle Schooley, Cameron Lehman (5) and Jack Tierney, Jack Clark (6)
2B – WB: Brad Hunger, Kaleb Sexton
HR – ICR: Chase Becker