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Daily Journal
     April 15, 2022      #76-105 KDJ
 

BBCHS drops third-straight game to Lockport 

By Cody Smith
csmith@daily-journal.com


BRADLEY — When it comes to hitting in baseball, nothing is more important than being able to string together a couple of timely hits with runners in scoring position.

Teams can connect for double-digit hits in a game, but if they don’t do it when they have ducks on the pond, it ends up being useless.

That has been the theme for Bradley-Bourbonnais, which started off the season 5-6 overall entering Monday’s home contest against Lockport. The Boilermakers once again struggled to string together timely hits by going 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position in their 8-2 home loss to the Porters.

Although the young Boilers have yet to find the clutch hitting they’re craving, coach Brad Schweigert knows with patience, it will come.

“Being able to drive in runners who are in scoring position has been our demise the last couple of games,” Schweigert said. “... That’s something, [that] if you stay positive and keep repping it in practice with situational hitting, that will come.

“Hopefully, our hitting with runners in scoring position is going to get better and better.”

The Porters opened up the game by starting 3-for-4 with runners in scoring position between the first three innings, each of which helped the road team take a 4-1 lead. It all started when Victor Izquierdo barreled a two-run home run off BBCHS starting pitcher Blake Long in the opening frame. From there, Lockport added a run in each of the next two innings off two RBI singles.

With a 4-1 lead intact heading into the fourth inning, Lockport added two more runs off a wild pitch and an RBI single by Joey Manzo to help extend its lead to five runs.

When the Boilermakers got back up to the plate in the bottom of the fourth it looked as if they were in prime position to cut some the lead when leadoff hitter Andrew Schweigert got hit by a pitch that was quickly followed with a drawn walk by Caleb McBurnie, giving the home team runners on first and second with zero outs.

It led to Luke Allen coming up to the plate, and the sophomore hitter looked like he was about to record the first Boilermaker hit with a runner in scoring position after connecting on a soft fly ball to right field, but Lockport’s Griffin Brown made a diving catch before slinging it to first to record a double play.

“My thoughts were initially, when Lockport recorded that double play, we can’t catch a break,” Coach Schweigert said. “Every time we seem to get something going, it’s like we can’t catch a break.

“If one thing goes our way, it could have been a totally different game, but it is what it is; that’s baseball, and the right-fielder made a good play.”

The clutch play by Brown seemed to be the play of the game, as it ultimately helped the Porters hold off Bradley-Bourbonnais, as mightily as the Boilers tried with three scattered hits during the final three frames.

The six-run loss to Lockport puts BBCHS on a three-game skid.

“Through April, playing our toughest games against top competition is only going to help us come May and regional time,” Coach Schweigert said. “So, it’s about the process, and our guys have bought into that.”

STAT BOOK

Brock Spaulding went 2-for-2 with a double, single, and two drawn walks to lead the Boilermakers at the plate. Max Mallindine added two singles and an RBI while Brayden McKuras chipped in an RBI. Long tossed six innings, giving up nine hits and five earned runs with five strikeouts.

UP NEXT

Bradley-Bourbonnais (5-7) will travel to Sandburg at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday for a SouthWest Suburban Conference Red Division matchup.

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