Roll ‘Bers: Hot streak sends Bombers to semisJuly 28, 2019
By HENDRIX MAGLEY
HUNTINGBURG — It’s a common belief that once you reach the postseason in any sport, you want to be playing at your best.
It’s safe to say the Dubois County Bombers are feeling rather confident in their play right now as they swept the No. 2 seed Owensboro RiverDawgs with a 14-4 victory in seven innings on Saturday night at League Stadium in Huntingburg to advance to the Ohio Valley League semifinals.
The team has carried a phrase with them into the postseason — “Roll ‘Bers”. After putting up 29 total runs in their two victories over the RiverDawgs, it appears Dubois County definitely has things clicking.
“Everybody’s just heating up at the right time, there’s no better time to be hot than in the playoffs,” said Chase Hug, who was 2-of-4 with two RBIs in the victory.
Infielder Tyler Best was rather blunt with his observation of how the Bombers have managed to stay so hot these past couple of games.
“We’re just rolling, that’s all it is,” Best said with a laugh. “We’ve got the momentum.”
After defeating the RiverDawgs 15-1 in seven inning in Owensboro on Friday in the first round series opener, Dubois County got things started quickly on Saturday as catcher Matt Ellis drove in Benji Brokemond with an RBI groundout to make it 1-0.
While Owensboro took a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning, Dubois County wouldn’t waste any time getting back into the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Tyler Van Pelt got the scoring started with an RBI groundout that tied the game at 2-2 and then Bryson McNay gave the Bombers a 3-2 lead with an RBI single. Then, Owensboro began to lose control of the zone. Marcus Hill, Zuriel Collins and Benji Brokemond all were able to draw bases-load walks to put Dubois County up 5-2 and then a two-RBI single from Hug gave the Bombers a 7-2 lead.
The Bombers were able to draw 10 walks on Saturday evening — something that head coach Travis LaMar believed to be a key cog in the victory.
“We didn’t go chasing anything or get ourselves in bad spots, we stayed in those advantage counts and did a great job of capitalizing when we needed to,” LaMar said. “When you’re able to score that many runs without that many hits, it shows you’re doing the right things. It’s a testament to the work these guys have put in.”
After Owensboro got back within three in the top of the fourth inning with a few runs, Dubois County once again struck back with a six-run bottom of the fourth to pull ahead 13-4.
While three runs scored either via a wild pitch or a passed ball, the other three runs scored on one swing of the bat as Brokemond cleared all three bases with a three-RBI triple.
Brokemond, who was 5-for-5 in the Bombers victory on Friday and is currently batting .310 on the season, had a lot of goals for himself when he joined the Bombers this season. After he admits he had a bit of a rough start to the year, he says he’s feeling pretty comfortable at this point.
“I really wanted to be able to develop my approach at the plate this summer,” Brokemond said. “I struggled for that first stretch of games or so but now I’m more aggressive at the plate and I also take pitches that I shouldn’t swing at.”
Dubois County sealed the run-rule victory in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tyler Best drove in Hug with an RBI single to give the Bombers the 14-4 win.
Chase Rudy recorded the victory on the mound in relief as he pitched two scoreless innings while giving up just two hits. Brokemond’s four RBIs led the way while Hug, Best and Zuriel Collins each had multiple base hits.
The No. 3 seeded Bombers will now face the No. 1 seed Henderson Flash in the semifinals beginning tonight in Henderson at 8 p.m. Dubois County will be at home on Tuesday at League Stadium with the start time scheduled for 7 p.m.
“I love playing at home,” Brokemond said. “We always are able to get a lot of fans here and it’s a really great atmosphere for everyone.”
The Bombers are confident they can continue their hot play against the Flash, another team that has been on a tear in the Ohio Valley League as of late.
No matter what, Dubois County will remain confident with whatever is thrown at them.
“I think if they continue to have a positive mindset and come with that mentality and focus to keep their intensity up, we can keep this rolling a bit longer,” LaMar said. “They have to continue to come in everyday and put the work in and grind for every opportunity.”
Brokemond added: “It doesn’t really matter who we play, we’re just going to play hard no matter what. We’ve been hyped up with a lot of energy, we’ve just got to keep it going — roll ‘Bers.”
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