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Bruins Batter Riders

Brooke bats roar to life once more

April 17, 2012
By RALPH COX , Ogden Newspapers

WEIRTON - The Brooke baseball Bruins pestered four Weir pitchers with 13 hits and they took advantage of eight Red Riders errors in an 18-5 victory at Ed Bowman Field on Monday night.

The Bruins sent 12 batters to the plate in the third inning and 13 batted in the fifth inning.

After Brooke scored two runs in the top of the first inning, the Red Riders, who lost their 11th game in 15 starts, exploded for five runs in the bottom of the second to take a 5-2 lead.

However, that was short-lived when the Bruins answered with seven in the top of the third inning and tacked on two in the fourth and seven more in the fifth.

"I'm proud of the job we did after getting behind early in the game," said Brooke coach Ron Ujcich, whose team evened its record at 9-9. "Even though we came back and got the lead, we still have to take care of business and do things the right way. We can't get lackadaisical in a game like this. We just have to continue to treat every pitch like it was in a championship game."

Sophomore Heath Hildreth was the beneficiary of the Bruins onslaught. He was efficient, scattering four hits, walking thre, and striking out three.

Weir starter Mitch Viakley took the loss, going 2 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits while walking three and striking out one. Zac Knuutila pitched two-thirds of an inning, Mike Curtis worked the fourth inning and Matt Cessna hurled the fifth.

"We only showed up that one inning where we scored five runs," Red Riders coach Bob Rosnick said. "That was it. I just hope we can get better. We practice and play every day. Hopefully, some day it will click and we'll starting making the plays. We just have to try harder."

Brooke opened the scoring in the top of the first inning when Russell Schwertfeger led off with a bloop single to center field. He stole second and moved to third on a groundout and scored when Nick Breen hit a grounder to deep shortstop.

Schwertfeger took off for home plate and scored under a throw from Josh Russell, the Rider shortstop. Breen later scored with Paul DiPasquale's grounder to second base was misplayed.

In the bottom of the second inning, the Red Riders got to Hildreth a little bit. Ryan Mendenhall led off the inning by ripping a double into the left center field gap and scored on Cessna's hit.

Curtis drew a walk from Hildreth. Cessna scored on Harley Mills' hit to left field and Curtis and Mills scored on Ryan Duke's single to center. Duke scored the fifth run of the inning when the Bruins misplayed Josh Russell's flyball in left field.

That was all of the scoring for Weir as the Bruins paraded 12 batters to the plate to erase the Red Riders lead and go ahead 9-5 in the third inning.

Hildreth, who helped his own cause with three hits and four RBI, singled in the big inning as did Breen, who also collected three hits. Steven Jeffries ripped a double into the gap to drive home Breen and send DiPasquale, who had reached base on an error, to third base. Brent Pellen worked a walk to load the bases.

DiPasquale scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Kellen Welch. Then Mario Lombardi walked to load the bases again. Jeffries and Pellen scored when the Red Riders were unable to make a play at second base on Ethan Sole's ground ball. After Russell Schwertfeger walked, Hildreth rapped a double to the fence that cleared the bases.

The Bruins scored two more runs in the bottom of the fourth inning with two hits, another Jeffries double and a single by Welch.

Brooke blasted out six hits in the fifth inning to score seven runs and force the mercy rule victory.

Hildreth and Breen led the Bruin attack with three hits apiece. Schwertfeger, Jeffries and Welch each had two hits. Hildreth had four runs batted in and Welch had three.

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