By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
Five straight hits with two outs in the third inning ignited a five-run rally that helped the Brookings-Harbor High School baseball team defeat the South Umpqua Lancers 9-4 in an important league game Tuesday.
"It was a big, big win for these kids," Coach Pat Berkowitz said.
With the win and a Douglas loss to North Bend Tuesday, the Bruins now only need to win one of two games against Sutherlin Friday to claim the third spot in the state playoffs.
"These kids have put themselves in a position to make the state playoffs and I want to encourage the community to come out and support them," Berkowitz said.
Friday's all-important home doubleheader against the Bulldogs begins at 3 p.m.
In Tuesday's win over South Umpqua, the Bruins did a majority of their damage in the top of the third inning.
With two outs, Nick Taresh kept things alive and drew a walk.
After stealing second, Taresh scored on an RBI single by Patrick Carper to put the Bruins up 1-0.
Joey LaThorpe followed with a single and then Jacob Eszlinger knocked home Carper with a double.
Bobby Hansen hit a double of his own, scoring LaThorpe and Eszlinger and giving the Bruins a 4-0 lead.
Ryan Gardner then hit the third consecutive double of the inning to score Hansen and cap off the rally with a 5-0 advantage.
South Umpqua bounced back with three runs in the fourth inning on three Bruin errors.
In the top of the fifth, the Bruins added a lone run to go up 6-3 as Hansen blasted his second double of the game, bringing home the speedy Eszlinger.
The Bruins extended their lead in the sixth inning by tacking on three more runs.
Dustin Paradis scored the first run on a fielder's choice hit by Chase Bansemer.
Fred Corpening then added a run as he stole home on the throw back to the pitcher. Bansemer scored the final run of the inning on a Lancer error.
South Umpqua managed a lone run in the seventh inning, but it was too little, too late as the Bruins held on for the 9-4 triumph.
Hansen had two doubles and three RBIs for the Bruins while Gardner and Eszlinger also had two hits, each with a double.
LaThorpe, Carper and Taresh each recorded one hit as the Bruins tallied nine hits on the afternoon.
"I just want to thank the young guys and the guys at the bottom of the line-up for their effort," Taresh said. "They really carried us today with big hits."
Hansen started on the mound for the Bruins and went three strong innings, earning his first win of the season.
With a one-run lead, Carper took the mound in relief in the fourth and pitched four solid innings of relief to close out the game.
JV Bruins beat Lancers
The JV baseball team claimed their first league win of the year with a 16-10 victory over South Umpqua.
"We had a lot of clutch hits today," Coach Keith Wallin said. "We were getting hits with one or two outs and hitting with runners in scoring position. We were really aggressive at the plate and in our baserunning and we put a lot of pressure on their pitcher early."
The Bruins scored seven runs in the first inning aided by a three-run double by Chris Nelson and two-run single by Chris Haglund.
Daniel Ensley pitched the first three innings for the Bruins and forced the Lancers into multiple ground balls.
The Bruins added two runs in the second, six runs in the third and a lone run in the fourth.
Ross McGrath pitched the fourth, fifth and sixth innings for the Bruins and Luke Smith closed out the game in the seventh.
Nelson had a productive day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with five RBIs.
Smith was 1-for-3 with 3 RBIs and Haglund went 1-for-1 with two RBIs as the Bruins racked up 12 hits on the afternoon.