Bombers drop second straight game

Photo by Corey Stolzenbach/The Herald
Payton Hall (23) scores the tying run for the Dubois County Bombers in the bottom of the third Thursday at League Stadium against the Franklin Duelers. That made it 2-2 at the time, but the Bombers fell, 10-3. 

By COREY STOLZENBACH
sports@dcherald.com

HUNTINGBURG - The Dubois County Bombers ran into some tough times for the second night in a row Thursday night at League Stadium in a 10-3 loss to the Franklin Duelers - the first time the Bombers (14-4) have lost back-to-back games this season.

They dropped a 6-0 loss Wednesday on the road to the Full Count Rhythm that snapped a five-game win streak. The Bombers committed three errors in their Wednesday loss to the Rhythm, and errors again proved problematic for the team on Thursday when they committed another three against the Duelers, plus some wild pitches and passed balls.

"Right now, we're not being very aggressive on the mound trying to attack the strike zone," Bombers coach Travis LaMar said. "Walks have definitely killed us, and when you're not throwing strikes and the game kind of drags on a little bit, your defense gets on their heels and it's like one thing leads to another."

The Bombers never led in this game, but they did respond to Franklin's early runs by tying the game a couple of times. They tied it the first time in the bottom of the second - with some local grads playing a big hand in that. Chase Taylor's one-out double got things going, and former Southridge teammate Conner Oxley singled him over to third. Taylor scored the tying run to make it 1-1 following Brett Pfaadt's RBI sacrifice fly.

The Duelers took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third, but the Bombers wasted no time tying the game once again. Another local grad, Simon Scherry from Heritage Hills, was in the middle of it when his double on a long fly ball to left scored Payton Hall to make it a 2-2 game. The Bombers could have brought in more, but failed to take the lead. Will Aubel tried to score in the next at-bat, but he was thrown out at home plate.

Franklin reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth when relief pitcher Max Manning's full count inside pitch to Carter Vrabel drilled him to force in Davis Burick to make the game 3-2 and put the Duelers ahead for good. However, things really got away from the team in the top half of the seventh and eighth innings.

The Duelers separated themselves and gave themselves some breathing room when they plated three in the top of the seventh. Burick gave Franklin an insurance run to score Danny Garcia for a 4-2 game. Jacob Curtis scored another on a passed ball, and Hunter Grey scored on a sacrifice fly. The Bombers tried to get a two-out rally going, but Scherry's flyout stranded a pair to retire the side in the bottom of the seventh.

Two singles and an error loaded the bases for Franklin in the top of the eighth, and a walk by Bombers reliever Ryan Johnson to Luis Perez extended the team's deficit to 7-2. Following a sacrifice fly, Burick doubled in both Perez and Curtis to make it 10 for the Duelers. The Bombers got one back when Pfaadt doubled in Oxley, but the Bombers could not get anything else, and that brought the game to its final score.

Hall had a leadoff single to start the bottom of the ninth, but Will Aubel took his place on base via a fielder's choice, and was doubled off running back to second to end the game.

The Bombers remain in first place in the Ohio Valley League's North Division, but they'll try to nip this in the bud and prevent anything from snowballing.

"I think we just got to continue to work," LaMar said. "I think we got to come to the field with a little bit more energy, a little more enthusiasm. It's been a little bit. I know we've kind of had some long stretches, but I think we got to get back to the basics - going out there and competing, and willing to make the play - and really just having fun with it."

The Bombers are scheduled to be back at it Friday at home against the Muhlenberg County Stallions in their second of three straight games at League Stadium.

LaMar noted that the Bombers had been on the road for a while, so having another game at home might help.

"The ability is there, the talent there - I think it'll work itself out," LaMar said.




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