Confident Bombers continue to gain experienceJuly 18, 2018
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
HUNTINGBURG — Going into the bottom of the sixth inning, the Dubois County Bombers found themselves in a bleak position as they trailed 9-2 to the Muhlenberg County Stallions.
However, slowly but surely the Bombers scratched and clawed their way back into a fighting position. Whether it was a few runs scoring via wild pitches and walks in the sixth or Nolan Ramsey rifling a triple into center field to bring Dubois County back within one, it was clear that the term “give up” was not in the Bombers vocabulary.
Even though the Bombers fell 9-8 to the Stallions on Tuesday night at League Stadium in Huntingburg, Dubois County was one big swing away from tying things up as they were able to get the potential tying run to third base in the bottom of the ninth inning. Late inning comebacks (and near comebacks) have become sort of a big thing for the Bombers this season and it’s helped them feel like they’re never quite out of any game.
“We’ve had so many games where we’ve scored in the ninth inning and almost came back or did come back so our guys just have a lot of guts,” said catcher Brad Fuhrhop who finished 1-for-5 on the night. “I never feel down even when we’re losing, I always feel confident that we’re able to come back.”
One of the players that Dubois County manager Andy Lasher said was a key in keeping the Bombers in the game late was pitcher Ryan Luckett.
Luckett, who pitches collegiately at Rend Lake College, has been one of the most consistent pitchers for Dubois County this season as he’s racked up a 4-1 record along with 23 strikeouts. In Tuesday night’s game, Luckett entered in relief and pitched three scoreless innings giving up just two hits while striking out two batters.
“He did a really good job of keeping (Muhlenberg County) at nine runs and he gave us a chance to come back,” Lasher said. “He’s been really good all year whether it’s as a starter or in relief, he just does whatever we ask of him.”
Summer ball is a chance for players to get to experience at some positions they may not usually play or continue to try and hone certain skills that they want to improve on for their collegiate careers. Tanner Craig, who usually is settled in at first base, has gotten to learn some other positions while Nick Gonzales has learned some new outfield roles to go along with his superb infield play when he arrives back at New Mexico State.
When he’s not catching, Fuhrhop has spent some time playing in the outfield. He says that being able to learn a plethora of different positions will help him when he returns to Kaskaskia College in the fall.
“I had never played right field before and I started to play in right this year — I had never even played in the outfield until college,” said Fuhrhop who’s hitting .241 with 23 hits and seven RBIs. “Basically, I catch or play anywhere in the outfield. I like it because it’s made me more versatile which is nice.”
Summer league baseball is nothing new to Ramsey — especially, Ohio Valley League summer baseball. The University of Alabama-Huntsville utility man has spent the last three seasons playing for the Madisonville Miners before calling the friendly confines of League Stadium home for his fourth year in the OVL.
While Ramsey says that playing in Huntingburg has been ‘a great, whole new experience’, his focus for the summer was to work on being a more patient hitter when he’s up in the batter’s box.
“One of my main goals was to cut down on the strikeouts and try to feel my pitch,” Ramsey said. “A lot of times I’ll get in the box and hit the first or second pitch I see, but now that I’ve been in this league awhile you play the same seven teams and they’ve gotten to know me so I don’t get to see too many fastballs anymore.”
While the Owensboro Riverdawgs claimed the OVL’s regular-season crown and No. 1 seed in the East Division with a 9-5 win over Henderson on Tuesday night, the Dubois County Bombers arguably have to be one of the hottest teams entering postseason play.
After starting the season with an 0-6 record, the Bombers have gone 25-9 and have seen several long winning streaks during that stretch including a recent stretch of six straight wins. The Bombers will have home field advantage in the first round of the playoffs with their first postseason game taking place on Friday with an opponent still yet to be determined.
But no matter who the opponent is on Friday night, Ramsey and the Bombers feel confident and ready to go.
“We’ve got to be one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season,” Ramsey said. “We’ve won 25 games after starting 0-6 so we’re pretty hot — going into the playoffs I think we’ve got a good shot regardless of who we play.”
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