Slinger’s 2-out, 2-RBI double leads Comets to 4-3 win over Vikings

Press photo by John Burbridge Comet junior Colton Slinger, center, gets mobbed by his teammates after hitting a game-winning 2-RBI double in the regular-season finale against Vinton-Shellsburg.
Press photo by John Burbridge
Comet junior Colton Slinger, center, gets mobbed by his teammates after hitting a game-winning 2-RBI double in the regular-season finale against Vinton-Shellsburg.
By John Burbridge

CHARLES CITY — Though plenty will still have to happen from now to next season when it comes to funding for a new sports complex, but the Charles City Comets may have played their final varsity baseball game at Sportsmen’s Park.

If so, it will be a memorable one if not already.

In the bottom of the seventh with two outs and two strikes on him, Comet junior Colton Slinger pulled a pitch from Vinton-Shellsburg reliever Scott Beterton deep down the left-field line to chase home Theo Arndt and Wyatt Stevenson in order for the tying and winning runs to cap a 4-3 thriller.

It also capped the regular season for the Comets at 15-11 overal as they will face Center Point-Urbana in the Class 3A Substate 3 semifinal, 5 p.m. Friday at Wartburg College to start the postseason.

Slinger had earlier opened the scoring when he drove Stevenson with a “Texas Leaguer” bloop single in the third inning. Stevenson had earlier doubled — about to the same spot where Slinger subsequently doubled — for the first hit of the game.

The Vikings (13-21) tied the game in the fifth when Beterton drove home Bohnsack with a RBI single.

Bohnsack had two hits, scored two runs and yielded just two hits and one earned run in a starting role for VS.

With Beterton taking over in the sixth, the Comets scored an unearned run against him when chance for an inning-ending 5-3 doubleplay went awry with a wild throw to first allowing Cole Reams to score.

With the Comets taking a 2-1 lead into the seventh inning, the Vikings took advantage of several walks and misplayed bunts to score twice and seize the lead.

But things could have been worse for the Comets if not for an inning-ending doubleplay that seemed to reignite the team’s spirit going into its final at-bat.

With one out and the Vikings threatening to make the inning even more painful with two runners in scoring position, Payton Haefner lifted a flyball in mid-center field that looked like it was going to be deep enough to score pinch-runner Cameron Karr, who was tagging up at third.

But Comet junior Elliott Sinwell was able to make a perfect one-hop throw to catcher Dylan Salinas, who tagged Karr out in a play that wasn’t even close.

Arndt led off the latter half of the seventh with single before Stevenson was hit by pitch one out later. Sinwell was able to bunt both runners over ahead of Slinger’s walk-off.

Salinas started for the Comets and yielded one hit and one run while striking out six in four innings.

Reams came in the seventh after the Vikings had rallied and picked up the win.


VS    AB  R  H BI  CC         AB  R  H BI

Axl Hoepner       3  1  0  0  Colton Slinger        4  0  2  3

Blake Bohnsack  3  2  2  0  Cole  Reams         3  1  1  0

Scott Beterton    3  0  1  1  Dylan Salinas         3  0  1  1

Cole Overton     4  0  0  0  Jace  Cajthaml        3  0  0  0

Charlie Dudley       1  0  1  0  Tait Arndt            3  0  0  0

Payton Haefner   4  0  0  0  Theo Arndt            2  1  1  0

Keegan Thompson 2  0  0  0  JJ Ritter             3  0  0  0

Jachob Roster 2  0  0  0  Wyatt  Stevenson      2  2  1  0

Sam Kintzel          0  0  0  0  Elliott Sinwell       1  0  0  0

Brock Radeke          3  0  0  0                                    

TOTALS           25  3  4  1  TOTALS               24  4  6  4

VINTON-SHELLSBURG             000 010 2 — 3

CHARLES CITY                  001 001 2 — 4

LOB–VINTON-SHELLSBURG 9, CHARLES CITY 4. ERR–Charlie Dudley (2), Blake Bohnsack, Payton Haefner, Cole Overton, Theo Arndt, Jace  Cajthaml. 2B–Colton Slinger, Wyatt  Stevenson. HBP–Charlie Dudley, Blake Bohnsack, Wyatt  Stevenson. SACB–Elliott Sinwell (2). SB–Charlie Dudley (4), Blake Bohnsack, Keegan Thompson, Payton Haefner, Colston Neilson, Axl Hoepner, Theo Arndt.

VS               IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO   HR

Blake Bohnsack                 5.00    2    1    1    1    6    0

Scott Beterton                 1.67    4    3    3    0    2    0

CHARLES CITY               

Dylan Salinas                  4.00    1    0    0    3    6    0

Theo Arndt                     2.00    2    3    2    3    2    0

Cole  Reams                    1.00    1    0    0    0    1    0

PB–Cole  Reams. WP–Scott Beterton, Dylan Salinas.

BALK–Dylan Salinas. SO–Blake Bohnsack, Keegan Thompson (2), Cole Overton (2), Jachob Roster (2), Axl Hoepner (2), Dylan Salinas, JJ Ritter (3), Jace  Cajthaml (2), Tait Arndt (2). BB–Scott Beterton, Charlie Dudley (2), Keegan Thompson, Axl Hoepner, Sam Kintzel, Theo Arndt.