Bombers split doubleheader with MinersJune 21, 2019
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — The Dubois County Bombers were in for a long day of baseball as the team used Thursday to play a doubleheader against the Madisonville Miners to make up for their original Father’s Day meeting, which was rained out.
In doing so, the players had to make slight shifts in their schedules and how they prepared to make sure they would be ready to play 14 innings instead of the usual nine.
“You definitely have to go to sleep early, getting sleep is a big deal” said designated hitter Benji Brokemond. “Otherwise it’s just mentally preparing for 14 innings.”
“Your whole meal the day before the game changes,” added starting pitcher Benton McGill. “Batting practice starts earlier so you have to be at the field early (and) longer for longer days. But that’s Bomber baseball and that’s what we’re here for.”
Bombers head coach Travis LaMar noted that the doubleheader came at a great time in their season.
Not only did the team have the benefit of four days rest before playing the back-to-back, but Thursday’s action also gave him an opportunity to move guys around the field and experiment with different lineups to learn more about where players best fit on the field.
“That gives me an opportunity to get everybody in the game on the same day,” he said. “Everybody gets a chance to contribute. It’s like chess, you just have to move the parts around at the right time.”
Thursday’s blend provided some mixed results, as the Bombers dropped the first game 3-0. However, they made the most of their second chance, and bounced back in the second game to take down the Miners 7-0.
The Bombers (6-6) broke out to a two-run lead in the bottom of the first thanks to the two men on the corner bags. First baseman Matt Joslin managed to catch Miners (5-8) starter Trevor Smith for a base hit which drove in center fielder Evan Kahre and moved left fielder Marcus Hill to third base. Third baseman Austin Duffy clipped the second RBI single shortly thereafter to bring in Hill and give the Bombers a 2-0 lead going into the second.
The offensive well then dried up during the next three innings for the Bombers before bursting forth for a second time in the fifth inning, this time for three runs. The first came courtesy of shortstop Tyler Best, who used plate patience to draw a walk with bases loaded and send in Joslin. Next was Brokemond, who wasn’t going to let an 0-2 count keep him from batting in Ellis from third base.
“I knew I was down two strikes, so I was just thinking I had to get (Ellis) in,” he said. “I was just thinking a ground ball anywhere scores, so I just put it in play.”
The trinity was completed when Duffy took off on a wild pitch during right fielder JJ Woolwine’s at-bat, which put the Bombers up 5-0 after five innings.
The final two runs came in the bottom of the sixth. After hitting a single and advancing around to third base, Kahre used the cover of Hill’s steal attempt to take off for home plate for run No. 6. Ellis batted in Hill for the seventh and final run almost immediately after to put the finishing touches on the doubleheader.
McGill (1-0) pitched all seven innings for three hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. Hill and Joslin each had two hits, and Best finished with two RBI.
Smith (0-1) had two hits for two runs, two walks, and three strikeouts in one and two-thirds innings. Griffin Lape and Adam Weining finished the rest of the game, combining for five hits for five runs, three walks, and four strikeouts. Cam Diaz, Charlie Szykowny, and Cobe Hutchinson each had a hit.
“It’s real easy whenever you lose and get shut out to just come out flat,” said McGill. “But, I’m proud of the guys for coming out and putting pressure on them early.”
While LaMar thought the team came out flat to play game one, he was proud of the way the guys kept their chins up and came back to put together a solid second game and end the night on a high note.
“The energy level was much better in game two,” he said. “We made the improvement and the changes we needed to in game two. As guys get moved around more they get comfortable in new positions. (I’m) pretty pleased with where they went taking steps forward.”
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