Mustangs shut down bombers
The Ballard Memorial Bombers knew they would need a near perfect game in order to oust the McCracken County Mustangs. Things did not work out for the Bombers, as the Mustangs took care of Ballard Memorial 10-0 in the opening round of the First Region Tournament at Brooks Stadium on Monday, May 26th. “They had 28 wins and were sixth ranked in the state. You know they’re a solid team and we didn’t play well enough to win,” said Ballard Memorial Coach Jeff Sadler. The Bombers caught a break early on as Adison Wildharber flew out to start the game, but was awarded first base due to catcher interference. Wildharber was forced out at second base on a fielder’s choice by Clay Newton, and then Evan Lawrence hit into a 4-6-3 double play to bring an end to the Bombers at bat. The Mustangs came to bat and started with a long fly ball that could not be handled allowing the runner to advance to third. A single to left field gave the Mustangs the 1-0 lead. The Mustangs added two more runs in the inning to gain the early 3-0 advantage.
The Bombers only real offensive threat in the game came in the third. Cavin Foster started the inning by reaching on an error. He was forced out at second base by a Gavin Williams grounder to the shortstop. The number nine hitter in the lineup Andrew Burton hit a shot past the first baseman that allowed the Bombers to put runners on the corner. Wildharber hit a shot back to the pitcher, who knocked the ball down preventing Williams from advancing. Wildharber was thrown out at first as Burton advanced to second base with two outs. Then Newton was called out on strikes on a 2-2 count to end the Bomber scoring chance.
The Mustangs put the game away in the fourth aided by three Bomber miscues. They tacked on three runs in the inning to take the 6-0 lead. Then in the bottom of the fifth, McCracken County added another three runs to take the commanding 9-0 lead. For the third inning in a row, the Bombers went three up and three down allowing the Mustangs to put the finishing touches on the game. Alek Hugen came in to pitch the sixth inning and got the leadoff batter to fly out. He walked the next batter and then Dylan Humphrey hit a walk off triple down the right field line scoring Coby Massey from first to end the game with the 10-0 Mustang victory. Mustang pitcher Preston Frommeyer kept the Bombers off balance at the plate as he pitched a one hitter for the win.
“For the most part, I think we battled the whole game,” said Sadler adding, “You misplay a ball here and there and you lose your fundamentals here and there and this is the result.” The Bombers finish the year with their third 20 plus win season over the last five years as they conclude the 2014 season with a 21-13 record. The Bombers lose three seniors to graduation with Williams, Daniel Brunston, and Devoun Bledsoe playing in their final game as a Bomber. But a majority of the team is set to comeback for the 2015 season giving Sadler optimism for next year. “I thought coming into the year, we didn’t have a lot of experience, but with another year under our belts, we’ll mature some. I challenged these guys coming back to build off this experience.”