Title caps Bombers’ ‘perfect’ summer

Photo by Jacob Wiegand/The Herald
Managing partner of the Dubois County Bombers Mike Uebelhor, right, handed a medal to Zack Gray on Sunday at League Stadium in Huntingburg while celebrating the Bombers’ Ohio Valley League title. “This group of players melded together almost in the first day,” Uebelhor said. “They all understood their role and they just played so well together. And it was such a neat team that that’s why we could go so far in the playoffs.”

From Herald Staff Reports

With a four-run lead in the top of the ninth inning, the Dubois County Bombers were just looking for some insurance runs, but Alex Alders, Bryce Krizan and Camdon Mercier wanted to put the game out of reach — for good.

After Krizan’s two-RBI single, Alders RBI single and Mercier’s sac fly, Brandon Smith came into the game in the bottom half and fanned two of the three Hoptown Hoppers batters he faced on Saturday to seal the Ohio Valley League playoff championship title for the Bombers, winning the game 12-3 and the series 2-0. It’s the Bombers’ second OVL title in the last three years and like the 2015 championship run, the Bombers (35-12) were both the regular season and playoff champions.

But this one might have been a little sweeter for head coach Andy Lasher.

“This was easily my favorite team I’ve ever coached and it’s not even close,” Lasher said. “To have a couple guys describe it to me as a ‘perfect’ summer I think tells you everything you need to know.”

After surrendering two runs in the first inning, Jordan Cozart didn’t have any more stumbles as he pitched seven innings and got his sixth win of the season (second in the playoffs) while striking out three and giving up six hits and three walks.  The Hoppers (28-19) managed only one extra-base hit against Cozart.

Zack Gray, who led the OVL with 12 hits in the postseason, drove in two with a double in the third inning to get the offensive firepower started for the Bombers as they would never trail in the rest of the game. Also pacing the offense was Krizan who finished 3-for-6 with three RBI’s and a stolen base. Mercier and Andrew Tanous also drove in two runs each in the victory.

On a team where many of the players had never won any type of championship during their playing careers to this point, Lasher could tell that Saturday night’s game brought out the emotions pretty quickly.

“Many of the guys were overly thanking me and even in some cases guys were nearly in tears before they were getting ready to leave,” Lasher said. “It was easy to see that they were pretty sad that it was over, even though it ended the best way that it possibly could.”

But it wasn’t all emotions and reflecting on past memories — the ride home from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, to Huntingburg was, well let’s just say, a rowdy atmosphere.

“It was a very party-like atmosphere in my van, I can tell you that,” Lasher said. “But the guys were ready to go from pitch one to the final out and they celebrated like you’re supposed to celebrate — I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”


Road to a championship

After losing its first game of the postseason, Dubois County went on to win six straight to claim its second Ohio Valley League title in three years after also finishing this season with the top regular season record.

Round 1 (Dubois County wins 2-1)
Game 1 — Fulton 11, Dubois County 3
Game 2 — Dubois County 12, Fulton 9
Game 3 — Dubois County 8, Fulton 1

Semifinals (Dubois County wins 2-0)
Game 1 — Dubois County 9, Paducah 7
Game 2 — Dubois County 10, Paducah 6

Championship (Dubois County wins 2-0)
Game 1 — Dubois County 4, Hoptown 2
Game 2 — Dubois County 12, Hoptown 3

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