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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Bulls sweep Squirrels in doubleheader

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

(Photo)
Seth Childers
CHARLESTON -- After watching his team fall to the visiting Missouri Bulls 18U by 11 runs in the first game of their doubleheader on Tuesday, Charleston Squirrels head coach Michael Minner was pleased to see his squad hang with the Bulls a little longer the second time around.

Scheduled for five innings in the nightcap, the Bulls completed the two-game sweep with a 4-2, extra inning win over the Squirrels at Hillhouse Park thanks to a two-run home run by the Bulls' Logan Dollins in the sixth inning.

"We were in the ball game and had a chance to win," Charleston head coach Michael Minner said, "we just didn't get it done. That's the sign of a good team, though, we put the first game behind us, bounced back and we did good.

"I don't put too much stock into wins and losses so, this game right here was a win for us."

The Squirrels (7-11) received a stellar performance from starter Mikey Russell, who kept a very formidable Bulls lineup under wraps for the most part.

Russell threw all six innings and allowed two runs to cross in the first and sixth. He gave up six hits and walked two while striking out seven.

"That's about as good of an offense as we're going to face and Mikey did a heck of a job," Minner said. "He threw his curveball for a strike, kept his pitches down in the zone and we made some plays. For him to come in and do the job he did, just speaks the world of him."

Russell and the Squirrels fell on a bit of hard luck in the first inning. Bulls batter Adam Grantham stepped to the plate with runners on first and third and two outs. He singled in Cameron Wallace, who was a courtesy runner for Tyler Heuring, and moved Logan Dollins from first to third.

While trying to gun Dollins out at third, the ball slightly scooted past Squirrels third baseman Nathan Rodgers. Russell who was backing up the play went to pick up the ball right by the Squirrels dugout. Russell scooped the ball with his glove and on his way up with it, the ball slipped out of his glove and rolled into the dugout which allowed Dollins to score.

From there though, Russell was nearly lights out. With his assortment of breaking pitches in full effect, he had the Bulls off balance.

"He did a nice job," Bulls head coach Mitch Wood said. "He had a good curveball and I kind of liked to have seen him in the first game. During the first game that's usually our lineup that we trot out there, so I would have liked to have seen what we could have done against him there."

The Squirrels rewarded Russell's performance on the mound be tying the game in the bottom of the fourth.

Bryan Freed roped a single to right field which bounced past the Bulls right fielder. With Bobby Clark on first, who singled earlier in the inning, Clark was able to round the bases and score. Two batters later, Dustin Johnson singled in Freed to tie the game at two.

"We swung them okay but we have to swing them better," Minner said. "We've got to put it in play and make them make the plays."

Needing more than the planned five innings to finish it, the Bulls finally did so in the sixth.

Following a lead off walk to Heuring, Dollins smoked a change up from Russell which cleared the left field wall for a two-run home run.

"It's hard to get focused after a game like the first one, but our guys came back and did the job," Wood said. "Our pitching held up pretty good. We're just in a situation where we usually play Friday through Sunday so we just had to have a couple of guys throw a few innings here and there to get ready for the weekend."

Ethan Browning led of the Squirrels' sixth inning with a single up the middle off of Bulls reliever Grantham. But Grantham struck out the next batter and coaxed a game-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Dollins led the Bulls with two hits. Rodgers and Brandon Peters each had doubles for the Squirrels.

In their first game, the Bulls proved they could swing the sticks in a 17-6 win.

The Bulls (15-4) pumped out 15 hits including six extra base hits.

The Squirrels gained an early 3-0 lead on the Bulls after the first inning, but the Bulls eventually went up 6-4 after four innings.

They seemingly put the game away with six runs in the fifth and five more in the sixth.

Heuring went just a home run shy of the cycle with a 4 for 4 day at the plate and three RBI. James Naile went 2 for 4 with a triple and five RBIs while Cody Heisserer had two hits including a double, a home run and three RBI.

Ethan Browning hit a home run for the Squirrels as well.

Game 1

Bulls032 165 -- 17 15 2
Squirrels300 112 -- 6 7 5

WP -- Jordan Anderson. LP -- Bobby Clark. 2B -- (B) Cody Heisserer, Tyler Heuring. 3B -- (B) Cameron Wallace, James Naile, Heuring. HR -- (B) Heisserer; (S) Ethan Browning.

Game 2

Bulls200 002 -- 4 6 1
Squirrels000 200 -- 2 6 1

WP -- Adam Grantham. LP -- Mikey Russell. 2B -- (S) Nathan Rodgers, Brandon Peters. HR -- (B) Logan Dollins.