Bomber second baseman hits two home runs
SLATER – Ballard second baseman Mitchell Broer made sure he took full advantage of a golden opportunity in the Bombers’ non-conference rivalry game with Nevada June 11 at Nite Hawk Field.
Broer had rarely seen time in the Ballard batting lineup this season as he had been struggling with his swing, according to Bomber head coach John Cisna. But going into the Nevada game Broer asked if he could get a shot.
Cisna put Broer in the ninth spot in the order and the move ended up making him look like a genius. Broer came in and not only hit the first home run of his career in the third inning, but he belted another one over the fence in the sixth to help Ballard romp past Nevada by a 13-3 score in six innings.
“We took batting practice in the morning and I couldn’t hit anything out of the infield, so this was kind of unexpected,” Broer said. “Those were the first two home runs of my career; it’s kind of crazy they both came in the same game.”
Both Broer long balls were two-run shots.
In the third inning Broer stepped up with two outs and took a low Brook Thompson pitch over the fence in left field to score courtesy runner Spencer Struve, who ran for Bomber catcher Kenny Randolph after Randolph hit a leadoff single. Taylor Bridgewater immediately followed with a solo shot to left on Thompson’s very next pitch to give Ballard a 6-2 lead.
Ballard increased its lead to 9-3 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Bomber pitcher Lane Volkman reached safely after a dropped third strike to lead off the inning, and Broer followed by connecting on another pitch down in the strike zone – this time from Zach Anderson – driving the ball over the fence in the deepest part of center field.
“I said to him, now I suppose you’re going to want me to get you into the lineup tomorrow,” Cisna said after Broer’s big night. “He said yes and I said OK – you deserve it.”
Bridgewater, Jacob Bernholtz and Kordell Lettow followed Broer’s second homer with consecutive singles. Lettow’s base knock drove in both Bridgewater and Bernholtz to end the game on account of the 10-run rule.
As a team, Ballard finished with an impressive 17 hits. Broer also had a single to finish a perfect 3-for-3 and he totaled three runs and five RBI on the night.
Bernholtz was also 3-for-3 and scored twice and drove in a run. Bridgewater finished 3-for-5 with a double, homer, three runs and one RB and Lettow was also 3-for-5 with two RBI.
Randolph ended up perfect as well as he was 2-for-2 with a walk before Ryan Vincent came in for him at catcher in the fifth inning. Vincent, Volkman and Collin Fopma each had one hit and Vincent also drove in a run.
Volkman was the winning pitcher. He gave up two runs in the first inning and then settled down, allowing only one run the rest of the way in a complete game victory.
“He’s our No. 3 pitcher, so we have three solid pitchers now,” Cisna said. “Last year I had Brennan (Manfull) and that was really it, because everyone else was a sophomore. I’m really pleased with the pitching.”
Volkman gave up just one earned run on eight hits with three strikeouts and walks apiece.
Cisna was also happy with another solid showing in the field by Ballard. The Bombers had two errors, but for the most part they made the plays they needed to make in order to keep the Cub offense at bay.
“One of our big problems last year was that we had 84 errors,” Cisna said. “This is our 11th game this year and we’ve had 15. That’s the big difference. We’re playing good baseball now.”
The victory put Ballard at 7-4; Nevada dropped to 5-3.
Colynn Black was the losing pitcher for the Cubs as he allowed three earned runs on seven hits with two walks and no strikeouts in two innings. Thompson gave up four runs – two earned – on five hits with two strikeouts and one walk in two innings and Anderson surrendered three runs – two earned – on five hits with a walk and a strikeout in two frames.
At the plate Black went 2-for-3 with a steal and a run, Thompson was 2-for-2 with a double, Alex Good ended up 2-for-2 with a double and Chase Stout and Chad Jamison each had one hit. Owen Shawgo scored the other Cub run, John Jamison walked and stole a base and Patrick Stephenson also picked up a free pass.
Ballard 13, Nevada 3 (6)
N 200 100 – 3 8 2
B 123 124 – 13 17 2
N: Colynn Black, Brook Thompson (3), Zach Anderson (5) and Chad Jamison
B: Lane Volkman and Kenny Randolph, Ryan Vincent (5)
2B: N – Thompson, Alex Good; B – Taylor Bridgewater
HR: B – Mitchell Broer 2, Bridgewater