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The sound of the ball smacking a wooden bat was familiar last night as the Bruin baseball team faced Jefferson City on Tuesday, May 1. Sophomore Kyle Teter opened the game for the Bruins, forcing three quick outs and bringing the Bruins up to the plate.
They spared no time in gaining the lead. With hits from senior Beau Burkett and juniors Shelby Wilson and Jansen Smith, the Bruins secured a 3-0 advantage over the Jays.
Up by three to start the second inning Teter comfortably took the mound. With one out on the board, the Jays’ batter #11 hit a line drive to second for a single. After a sacrifice ball between first and second, a runner moved to second with two outs. A caught pop fly to the outfield gave the Bruins another chance to stretch their lead.
“Out of the gate I was pretty nervous, but after that first inning the nerves kind of died away. Pitching overall tonight felt great,” Teter said. “The ball was going where I wanted it to go for the most part and [my] mechanics weren’t terrible; they could’ve been better.”
After coming straight off the mound to hit, Teter whacked a long double to start the offensive possession. Sophomore Sean Huggins replaced Teter on second as a courtesy runner and advanced to third with a sacrifice bunt by junior Mike Nemec. A single from Missouri recruit Ryan Phillips was recovered and thrown home trapped Huggins at the plate and resulted in two outs for the Bruins. Phillips’ effort to steal second failed as senior Kory Mcdonald was thrown out at first, which brought the inning to a close.
The top of the third quickly came to an end as Teter walked the first batter with one out already behind him and forced two more outs, giving the Bruins another chance to convert at the plate.
Burkett drove a ball to third but couldn’t run it out at first giving them one out. Smith bombed one deep into right field which turned into a triple. Steps before the bag his knee gave out causing him to collapse, but not before tagging the base. Trainer Greg Nagel was called out onto the field, and after a few knee exercises Smith was able to continue playing. Another out at first and a pop fly ended the third.
Two singles and a hit that dropped deep in left field off of Teter fill the bases with no outs. A base hit that slid between second and third puts the Jays on the scoreboard. Mcdonald made a double play at first and second, clearing the bases. A pop-up that fell into freshman Connor Brumfields’ glove in centerfield ended the Jays’ offensive possession, making the score 3-1.
Following two quick outs at first and a walked batter, the Jays committed their only error. A passed ball at home plate allowed Nemec to steal second and Phillips walked as Mcdonald steps up to the plate. He connected with the ball and bombed one to the fence making it to second and bringing the other guys home, making the score 6-1. An unintentional tipped ball by Burkett made three outs for the Bruins and brought the top of the fifth.
“I pretty much knew we had the game after getting that bases loaded double play and only giving up one run in the fourth,” Teter said. “You could tell they felt defeated just by the way they acted.”
Senior pitcher Alex Brown replaced Teter after four successful innings on the mound. Brown allowed a pop-up to left field which was caught by Smith. The next hit off Brown was a line drive that dropped right before the outfield, putting a guy at second. A strike out added another out to the board leaving one guy on base. A single caught by Mcdonald crushed the Jays’ hopes of adding to their lonely run as he reached for the guy running to third and threw to first for the force out.
Smith stepped up to bat and hits a foul ball which is caught by the third baseman off field giving the Bruins one out. Teter hit a single and Wilson entered the game as a courtesy runner. Sophomore Michael Buxton smacked a base hit between first and second to bring Wilson in stretching the lead 7-1.
At the top of the sixth, with the Jays up to bat and a hit dropped past first putting a man on base, Phillips caught a pop fly and threw to first before the runner could jump back, forcing two outs. Another quick pop-up into the glove of Nemec lead to the bottom of the inning.
Senior pitcher John Osborne stepped up the plate to knock one all the way to the right fence and reach second. Huggins reentered the game to take Osborne’s spot on second and a hit by Phillips put both guys at third and first respectively.
The Jays got one last chance to come back at the top of the seventh as Osborne relieved Brown on the mound. A caught pop fly in center field and tagged out runner at first end the game with the score 7-1 Bruins.
By Jackie Nichols
Here is a look at the game in photos
Photos by Sara Forward