The Brazos Valley Bombers dropped the first game of their road trip Monday night, losing in Mineral Wells to the Steam, 3-1.
The loss trimmed the Bombers Speaker Division lead to a half-game over the idle Coppell Copperheads and a game over the third-place Colleyville LoneStars. The top two teams in the division qualify for the Texas Collegiate League playoffs.
The game was tied until the final two frames, with both teams posting a single run in the first inning. TJ Mittelstaedt reached base on an error by the first baseman to open the game and advanced to second. Jess Buenger then walked and the B’s attempted a double steal. Mittelstaedt reached third safely, but Buenger was nabbed at second. Mark McGonigle then drove home Mittelstaedt to give the B’s a 1-0 lead.
In the home half of the first, Mineral Wells loaded the bases with one out. A sacrifice fly brought home the tying run, but Bombers starter Cody Curry worked out of the jam.
Curry battled throughout the game but kept the Steam off the board for the next five-plus innings. He lasted 6.1 innings and allowed just one run, but he scattered six hits and walked five, striking out one. Curry handed the ball over to Evan Cox (0-1) with a runner on second and one out in the seventh inning, and the Bombers escaped the inning unscathed.
Brazos Valley wasn’t as lucky in the eighth inning. After a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt, Kurt Wade drove a triple to center field that plated Dallas Tarleton, then scored on an error by Joseph Towns.
Meanwhile, the Bombers struggled to generate offense against Mineral Wells. After McGonigle’s RBI single in the first, the B’s didn’t register another hit until Blake Walker singled to lead off the seventh inning.
The Bombers had the tying run in scoring position in the ninth but stranded the two runners, with the help of a questionable call behind the plate. Buenger drew a leadoff walk and Will Basom posted a one-out single through the right side. After Kyle Sisney took Basom’s place at first, both runners moved up on a passed ball. Walker, who already has one walk-off hit this season, struck out on a 3-2 pitch that had Bombers head coach Kevin Moulder seeing red. Moulder argued his way out of the game, getting tossed for the second time this season. Towns then ended the game with a groundout to second base.
The Bombers continue their road trip Tuesday night in Wichita Falls with a 7:05 pm game against the Roughnecks. Brazos Valley fans can catch the game on The Zone, KZNE-AM 1150.
The B’s will return to Brazos Valley Bank Ballpark on Wednesday for another makeup game against the Copperheads. The Bombers will also host a pre-game matchup of baseball teams representing the Bryan fire and police departments. The gates will open at a special 5 pm time, with the police vs. fire battle beginning at 5:30. The Bombers first pitch will be at 7:05.
Thursday marks the final Thirsty Thursday of the Bombers regular season. Fans will be able to enjoy one dollar draft beers and 50-cent small soft drinks throughout the game, courtesy of Jack FM.
Friday might just be the biggest blockbuster to date. After setting the league single-game attendance record on Opening Night, the Bombers have seen the mark taken back by the McKinney Marshalls. The B’s have vowed to write a new record in the books on Friday, July 20, and need the help of Bombers fans everywhere. The team wants to pack the park and has booked not one, but two big promotions to make it possible. Friday will be Fireworks Friday, so the game will be followed by a spectacular fireworks show. During the game, Reggy! The Entertainer, the biggest, baddest, purplest party dude on the planet, will visit to make it a night to remember.