The story of the Brazos Valley Bombers’ Friday night game came down to two streaks, one of which ended, and one that is still going strong. Bombers pitchers ran the staff scoreless streak to 34 innings before finally allowing a run in the eighth inning, but the 5-2 victory over the Denton Outlaws pushed the Brazos Valley winning streak to a season-high six games.
The headline coming into the game was the Bombers scoreless streak, which stood at 26-1/3 innings over four games. Starting pitcher John Touchton (2-0) did his part, delivering seven strong innings of shutout ball. Touchton allowed only six hits and two walks while striking out eight to earn the victory.
Battling him pitch for pitch was Outlaws starter Mike Ojala, who held the Bombers scoreless and struck out nine through four innings. But Ojala ran out of gas in the fifth, and the B’s took advantage, scoring three runs in the frame.
Ryan Weber opened the fifth with a single. After TJ Mittelstaedt popped out, Keith Stein singled Weber over to third. An Ojala balk scored the first run of the game and left Stein on second base. Jess Buenger, making his first start of the season, struck out, then Mark McGonigle singled up the middle to score Stein. That ended Ojala’s evening and brought in Michael Wild, whom Will Basom greeted with an RBI double.
The Bombers added an insurance run in the seventh inning that proved to be important. Basom hit a two-out single to center, then notched an unlikely stolen base to move him into scoring position. Blake Walker followed with an RBI double that gave the Bombers a 4-0 lead.
As all good things must come to an end, the shutout streak was finally halted in the eighth inning. Relieving Touchton, Evan Cox picked up two quick outs before getting into trouble. After an RBI single and a run-scoring double closed the gap to 4-2, head coach Kevin Moulder brought in stopper Tyler Davis. Davis snuffed out the rally and kept the Bombers’ margin at two runs.
The B’s responded and picked up another run in the home half of the eighth. Again with two outs, Mittelstaedt walked and Stein singled. That brought to the plate Buenger, who drove a Denton offering to left-center to score Mittelstaedt and earn him his first RBI in a Bombers uniform.
Denton added an unearned run in the ninth but with Davis on the hill, couldn’t get any closer than 5-3. Buenger led the Bombers offense, going 3-for-5 with an RBI. Stein, McGonigle, and Basom had two hits apiece, with all three scoring a run as well. Stein also contributed on the defensive side, gunning down Matt Vern at the plate as he tried to score from second on a single. The throw was a strike from center field to catcher Chris Wallace, who applied the tag to end the threat and the inning.
The win extended the Bombers’ lead in the Speaker Division to one game over the Colleyville LoneStars, who were rained out Friday, and a game and a half over Coppell.
The Bombers blockbuster homestand concludes Saturday with the Bombers first home doubleheader of the season, against the Coppell Copperheads in a key divisional battle. The first 500 fans through the gates on Saturday will receive a Bombers inaugural season T-shirt courtesy of Caldwell Country Chevrolet.