Unlucky breaks do Bombers inJuly 2, 2021
By COREY STOLZENBACH
HUNTINGBURG - Dubois County Bombers coach Travis LaMar thought his team did a lot of things well on Friday against the Muhlenberg County Stallions, but the team still fell short, 6-3.
"We just couldn't find the timely hit, and we just couldn't make the play in big situations," LaMar said. "And it was kind of one of those days where the ball just couldn't really fall our way."
Sometimes, it all comes down to breaks in baseball. Breaks may work in a team's favor, but for the Bombers (17-7), that didn't happen. They had some breaks in their own right to help them score their first couple of runs. The Bombers committed one error on the evening, which didn't translate into a run scored for the Stallions.
Meanwhile, Muhlenberg County committed three, and while some of them helped the Bombers, they couldn't have a big inning on Friday.
"We hit some balls really hard in those situations, and sometimes, that's just the way the game is," LaMar said. "You could barrel a ball up and hit it right at somebody. That's kind of what we found ourselves the situation we were in tonight. Every time we had runners in scoring position, we'd hit a ball really well, and they would make a good play. So, you kind of tip your hat to them on that."
Muhlenberg County got to Bombers starting pitcher Conner Fries by tagging him for a pair of early runs in the top of the first. Fries held the Stallions in check in each of the next three innings, but the Bombers had to work to tie the score, and never held the lead in Friday's game.
The Bombers responded to those two runs thanks in large part to the errors the Stallions committed. Tucker Schank reached first base in the bottom of the first off an error from Stallions second baseman Kevin Sosa - sending Guy Lipscomb to third base after he stole second.
An RBI groundout from Blayden McMahel allowed Lipscomb to score, getting the Bombers on the board. The top of the lineup of Lipscomb and Schank were at it again in the bottom of the third by drawing back-to-back walks. Lipscomb was caught in a rundown with Schank at the plate, but the ball got away trying to get him at second, and he successfully retreated back to first.
Schank was out on a double play, but Lipscomb went to third. Another error by the Stallions, this time by shortstop Nick Lucido, enabled him to score. Mason White took first base, but the Bombers couldn't bring in any more runs to go out in front.
The Bombers also caught some breaks on the defensive end. Eli Burkhart of the Stallions reached on a dropped strike to lead off the top of the second, but catcher Chase Taylor caught him trying to steal second.
Sosa reached on a walk, and successfully stole second, with the ball getting away. He tried to take third on the play, but Lipscomb gunned him down from the outfield.
Yet, the Bombers seemingly couldn't catch a break in the top of the fifth. Hartless singled to lead off on a ball that Mason Landers had a chance to catch, but couldn't come up with it. Lucido also placed a ball into shallow left field for a single that enabled Hartless to take second. A wild pitch and a passed ball later in the inning enabled both of them to score.
"That's the game of baseball," LaMar said about the breaks the Stallions caught. "Sometimes, the ball doesn't go your way. It's why we play 44 games because you're not going to get the bounce every time. You're going to make a good pitch and they're going to get a broken bat single, or vice-versa - we're going to hit a ball, and it's going to be right at them. It's part of the game. It's kind of one of those things that keeps you humble."
The Bombers tried to respond in the bottom half, which started out promising off Schank's leadoff single, and he tagged to both second and third on a couple of fly balls. White gave a ball a ride that Zach Chowansky caught at the warning track, but McMahel was caught looking for strike three, stranding Schank at third.
They continued pulling closer when they began the bottom of the sixth with back-to-back singles from Brayden Childress and Chase Taylor. They played small ball when Brett Pfaadt moved them over on a sacrifice bunt, and an RBI groundout from Victor Alvarez scored Childress. However, Taylor couldn't be brought in off Lipscomb's fly ball.
However, as the Bombers gradually pulled closer, the Stallions moved the goalposts in the top of the seventh when a two-out, two-run single from Parker Stroh brought in Chowansky and Lucido to give the Stallions an extra cushion at 6-3. Another opportunity arose with back-to-back singles to begin the bottom of the eighth, but both runners were stranded in scoring position.
The Bombers couldn't make it three in a row on Friday, but they'll try to start a new winning streak Saturday when they pay a visit to the Owensboro RiverDawgs. They came away with a 3-0 win over Owensboro Thursday at home behind the complete game shutout that Childress tossed.
"That's the great thing about baseball - you've always got the next day," LaMar said. "It's short-term memory, we don't have a long time to really think about tonight. So, hopefully, we just come out and we put a good effort and put a good game together, and we'll try to come out on top."
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