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BRUINS DOMINATE IN FIRST, BUT FALTER IN SECOND GAME TO PANTHERS

Anthony Longo powers through a swing in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader with McKinleyville. (The Pilot/Jef Hatch).
Anthony Longo powers through a swing in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader with McKinleyville. (The Pilot/Jef Hatch).

By Josh Bronson

Pilot staff writer

It was a tale of two games as two different teams seemed to show up for the Bruins in their doubleheader against the McKinleyville Panthers Tuesday afternoon.

Tyler Parke pitched a one-hitter in the opening game to help the Bruins (6-2) to a 10-0 win in six innings.

But in game two, the Bruins couldn't get the bats going and fell to the Panthers 3-1 for only their second loss of the year.

"I feel good about our team and I'm still very happy with a 6-2 start," said Coach Pat Berkowitz. "We just need to have a better mental approach for our second game."

Game one: McKinleyville 0, Brookings-Harbor 10

On the heels of yet another gem by Parke, the Bruins scored in five of six innings to 10-run the Panthers after six.

After a lead-off infield hit by Adam Ehlers, Ryan LaThorpe slapped a single through the right side of the infield, advancing Ehlers to third.

Anthony Longo grounded out to the shortstop, but drove in Ehlers in the process and advanced LaThorpe to third.

Derek Nelson then hit a long sacrifice fly to left field that scored LaThorpe, giving the Bruins the early 2-0 lead.

The Bruins tallied three runs in the second, the first of which came on a wild pitch that scored Chase Bansemer from third base.

In the same at bat, Ehlers drove a single to left center that knocked in John Kennedy and Nick Taresh for the 5-0 lead.

In the bottom of the third, Nick Morris scored the first run of the inning on a throwing error to second base trying to catch Josh Pruden stealing, who, along with Chase Bansemer, stole two bags for the game.

Pruden then scored on a balk by the Panther pitcher for a 7-0 lead after three.

The Bruins tallied a lone run in the fifth, which was started by a monster double to the wall by Longo.

With two outs, Pruden singled to left, scoring Morris, who was pinch running for Longo for the only run of the inning.

In the sixth inning, Longo sent a blooper over the head of the shortstop to score Taresh who reached with a base hit.

Nelson was then hit by a pitch to load the bases for Parke.

But Parke didn't get a chance to rack up the RBIs as a wild pitch scored Ehlers from third base to end the game 10-0.

Parke struck out eight while only walking two in his fourth win of the year.

In five appearances this season, Parke has yet to allow a run.

Ehlers, Longo and Bansemer each recorded two hits in the game while Ehlers and Longo led with two RBIs apiece.

Game two: McKinleyville 3, Brookings-Harbor 1

Game two started out sketchy for the Bruins as the Panthers led off with back-to-back hits, followed by a hit-by-pitch from pitcher Ehlers to load the bases.

But Ehlers managed to get out of the early jam unscathed, forcing a grounder to first baseman Kennedy who threw the runner out at home.

Ehlers then got the Panthers to hit into a 6-4-3 double play that LaThorpe, Bansemer and Kennedy, who made a nice dig out of the dirt, converted to end the inning.

But the Bruins couldn't hold off the Panthers for long as they tallied one run in the third and two in the fifth, although only one of those runs were earned.

"Adam was still able to compete, even without his best stuff," said Berkowitz. "It's a gutty performance when you don't have complete control."

The Bruins were able to get their lone run in the bottom of the sixth as Kennedy led off the inning with a double.

Morris then used a sacrifice bunt to advance Kennedy to third, was then knocked in by a single by Ehlers.

"You gotta tip your hat to McKinleyville, who came back strong in game two," said Berkowitz. "But I'm real proud of the kids for battling even when they were down 3-0."

Along with Ehlers and Kennedy, the only other Bruins to hit during game two were LaThorpe, Nelson and Parke.

The next game for the Bruins is a home game against the Del Norte Warriors on Thursday, April 5 at 4:30 p.m.

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