The Dubois County Bombers advanced to the semifinals of the Ohio Valley League playoffs with a hard-fought 7-5 victory over the Paducah Chiefs last night at League Stadium in front of 313 fans.
A hallmark of the Coach Andy Lasher’s Bombers team all season has been the depth and balance of its pitching staff. Last night was no exception. However, Dubois County was forced to overcome a recurrent bugaboo – defensive lapses. On this night, the team strengths overcame its challenges.
Dubois County took a 2-0 lead in the third inning off of Paducah starter Brandon Calia. The first of Trey Fulton’s three hits in the game was a double to the left-center gap scoring Zach Barnhart and Connor Echols, who had singled and walked to open the inning respectively.
But the Bomber defense let down starter Caleb Wagner in the fourth inning, allowing the Chiefs to score 5 unearned runs as a result of a series of Bomber miscues. Davis Elliott’s two-RBI single produced the final two runs in the rally.
From that point on, the Bomber defense stabilized and the pitching staff was thoroughly in command. No Chiefs baserunners would advance past second base for the remainder of the night. Wagner pitched the first five innings. All five runs scored against him were unearned. Kyle Matter relieved him, going the next three innings, allowing but one hit.
Meanwhile, the Bombers chipped away. Fulton started the two-run rally in the fifth with a leadoff single followed by Zack Gray. Buddy Johnson and Mark Geisler extended the string, turning it into four consecutive singles by the home team, cutting the margin to 5-4 in the Chief’s favor after five innings.
In the seventh inning, Fulton and Gray again led off the frame with back-to-back singles. Geisler added another RBI as did Logan Brown to return the lead to the Bombers, 6-5 after seven.
Dubois County added an insurance run in the eighth inning when Michael Rodriguez led off with a walk and came around to score on a Zach Barnhart single, an error, and a wild pitch.
Brian Wichman came out of the Bomber bullpen to close out the contest. Wichman struck out the first two batters he faced, neither of them swinging at strike three. After yielding a single and a walk, Wichman retired Joe Lewis Allen on strikes to end the ballgame.
Matter is credited with the win. Wichman gets the save. Calia takes the loss.
Barnhart, Gray, and Giesler had a pair of hits apiece to support Trey Fulton’s three hits.
Elliott and Ryan Garner had a pair of base hits for the Chiefs. Paducah’s season is now concluded with an overall record of 14-27.
Click here for Box Score.