Bombers pick up victories
With just one out in the bottom of the sixth inning and Lawrence Met runners on first and second, the Baldwin Bombers needed a big play to preserve their slim two-run lead. They got just what they needed as shortstop Daniel Taylor, diving to his right to snag a sharply hit one-hop grounder, threw out the lead runner at third for the key second out of the inning. The play proved to be just one of several important defensive stops in the game that enabled the Bombers to come away with the hard-fought 7-5 win last Wednesday night in Lawrence. The game was the first of two wins recorded by the Baldwin club for the week.
Runs were at a premium early as the teams were knotted at 1-1 through three innings. The only Baldwin score to that point was manufactured by a walk and stolen base by Kyle Ruona and a run-scoring single off the bat of Tanner Taul in the second. Cory Wright then led off the fourth with a single and eventually came home on a single by Ruona to go up by a run. The lead was short-lived, however, as the Mets scored two of their own in the bottom of the fourth and the Bombers trailed by a 3-2 margin.
Baldwin would then have its best round of the night in the fifth as singles by Nick Lanoue, Will Sharp and Ruona and a double by Wright helped the Bombers notch four big runs and the Bombers found themselves up by three at 6-3. The lead would shrink back to one in the bottom of the fifth as Lawrence posted two runs of their own, and Baldwin's last tally in the sixth inning brought the final margin to 7-5.
Leading the Bomber hitting attack was Wright with two singles, a double and two runs batted in. Ruona also knocked home a pair of runs with his two singles. Ben Knoll started on the mound for the Bombers, giving up no hits and striking out four in his two innings of work. Wright came on in the third and pitched the rest of the way, giving up seven hits and striking out seven over the last five innings.
The Bombers came home last Saturday night for a contest with the Lawrence Tigers. This one had the look of a blowout early as Baldwin raced to a 7-0 lead after just two innings. Back-to-back triples by Wright and Knoll in the first helped the Bombers plate two quick runs. Baldwin would then have its best inning of the night in the second, scoring five runs behind doubles by Ruona and Brad Wendt and a single by Sharp. The Tigers would jump back into it with five runs of their own in the top of the third to cut the lead to 7-5.
The Bombers would eventually extend their lead to 13-6 through six innings and looked to be in complete control. Capitalizing on three Baldwin errors and rapping out five hits, the Tigers would blast the Bombers for eight runs to take a 14-13 lead to the bottom of the seventh. A one out walk and a dropped pop fly put Baldwin runners at first and second, and a double steal moved them both in scoring position. Josh Rommelfanger then laced a line drive over the leaping Tiger shortstop for the winning hit as both runners scored and the Bombers escaped with an exciting 15-14 win.
Baldwin was led in hitting by Sharp with a pair of singles and two runs scored. Adding extra base hits were Knoll and Wright with triples, while Ruona, Taylo, and Wendt each collected doubles. Pitching duties were handled by Taylor, Wright and Dylan Hay. Hay also made several outstanding defensive plays from his second base spot to help the Bombers' cause.
The pair of wins improved Baldwin's season record to 10-4. The Bombers resume action with a Houk-Ice league match up with the Lawrence Cubs on Friday night.