The Brazos Valley Bombers completed a four-game, three-day, two-city series against the Duncanville Deputies with a doubleheader on Tuesday night in Duncanville.
Apparently, that much familiarity breeds pitching prowess, not contempt, as the two teams each won 1-0 decisions to split the doubleheader.
Bombers pitcher Will Currier made his first start since July 14 and sparkled, throwing a complete-game two-hit shutout for the win in the opener. In the nightcap, freshman Thomas Keeling made his Bombers debut and turned in a complete-game performance of his own, allowing just one unearned run over six innings to absorb the hard-luck loss. Brazos Valley held Duncanville to a combined four hits over the two games.
With the split, the Bombers hold a one-game lead over the Coppell Copperheads in the Speaker Division, pending the outcome of their Tuesday game in Weatherford. The B’s move to three games in front of the Deputies and the Colleyville LoneStars, who lost Tuesday night. The top two teams in the division qualify for the TCL playoffs.
Currier enjoyed his best outing of the season, even if what was happening around him proved to be right out of the movie Bull Durham. With one out in the bottom of the seventh and Currier bearing down for the shutout, the ballpark sprinkler system inexplicably went on and brought a halt to the game. Sixteen minutes later, someone was finally able to shut the sprinklers off and allow the Brazos Valley hurler to get back to work. The delay left him a little rusty – he walked the first batter on four pitches – but ultimately it didn’t faze Currier, who retired the next two hitters to secure the win.
The Bombers offense got all it needed in the fourth inning. Blake Walker singled with one out and stole second. One batter later, Will Basom dropped in an RBI single that plated Walker. Basom had two hits in game one to lead the B’s six-hit attack.
The second game offered an intriguing matchup on the mound. The Deputies sent to the hill Bryan Price, the reigning TCL Pitcher of the Week, to face Bombers Keeling, making his TCL debut. Price set a league record by striking out 18 batters in his last start, but he was working Tuesday night on just three days rest. Keeling, on the other hand, was a redshirt as a freshman at Oklahoma State, so he was seeing his first meaningful action since graduating from Coronado High School in Lubbock last spring.
Neither pitcher appeared hampered in any way, as the two put on a pitching clinic in the nightcap. Price struck out 13 in six innings of work, walking two and allowing five hits. He barely outdueled Keeling, who went the distance for the Bombers, allowing just two hits and an unearned run. Keeling struck out nine while walking only two Deputies.
The lone run was scored in the bottom of the third inning. Blake Amador hit a one-out grounder that Keeling scooped up and fired to first, just a bit off line. Some spectators thought Amador was out on the play, but he was ruled safe and Keeling was tagged with the error. After a popup gave Keeling his second out, Amador stole second and was singled home by Bryan Kervin.
The Bombers posted five hits in the second game, twice putting a pair of runners on in an inning. In the second frame, Kyle Sisney singled with two on and two outs, but Joseph Towns was gunned down at the plate to end the threat.
The B’s final road trip of the regular season continues Wednesday with a makeup game in Mineral Wells against the Steam. Brazos Valley will travel to the McKinney Marshals on Thursday, then make yet another visit to Duncanville on Friday.
Saturday, August 4, the Bombers return home to one of the most eagerly anticipated promotions of the season – Acie Law Bobblehead Giveaway. The Bombers will be taking on Colleyville in the first game of a weekend series to close out the regular season, but most fans will be interested in what’s being given away at the door. The first 500 fans through the gate will receive a miniature bobblehead likeness of the former Texas A&M All-American basketball player, now a first round draft choice of the Atlanta Hawks, courtesy of Brazos Valley Bank. This exciting giveaway has had fans buzzing ever since it was announced. It is the first Brazos Valley merchandise item with Law’s likeness and it is sure to be a hot commodity, so fans are encouraged to get tickets early so they don’t miss out.
Sunday is Fan Appreciation Day and marks the final game of the regular season. All fans entering the park will receive a coupon good for a free ice cream at McDonald’s, and hot dogs and hamburgers will be just $1 all game long.