Oxley

Conner Oxley (32) heads down to first base Saturday for the Dubois County Bombers against the Muhlenberg County Stallions. The Bombers erased a 2-0 deficit in the later innings and had a 5-4 walkoff win in the bottom of the ninth. 

HUNTINGBURG - The Dubois County Bombers experienced a lot Saturday night at League Stadium against the Muhlenberg County Stallions - from trailing for much of the game to tying and taking the lead in the later innings to an error that cost them a win in the top of the ninth to having that walkoff jubilation, 5-4, in the bottom half of it.

The Bombers (5-3) needed one out to go with a 4-2 lead in the top of the ninth when a grounder came to pitcher Cory Anderson, whose high throw to first base got away, scoring Kail Hill and Jaccar Watkins to tie the game for the Stallions, 4-4.

But Josh Newton proved to be a sparkplug in the bottom of the ninth, getting a one-out single and then on a close play, got in there safely to swipe second base.

"I just saw (pitcher Tim Gooden) had a very high leg kick and wasn't very to the plate," Newton said. "And I just figured I'd use my speed to my advantage right there.

"We encourage these guys to be aggressive on the bases," Bombers coach Travis LaMar said. "It's just one way to learn how to play the game is learning how to steal bags, and he had the pitcher timed up. And once he felt comfortable and he got a good jump, they're green light to go no matter what."

Terrick Thompson dug in at the plate in the very next at-bat. He put the ball in play, but the high hop could not be played by second baseman Justin Massingle, scoring Newton from second for the win.

The Bombers' only base knock through the first six innings came on a one-out double in the bottom of the second, but everything changed beginning in the bottom of the seventh.

Harvey walked to lead things off. He then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. That opened the door for Dustin DuPont to single him in. With one out, Drew Howard's RBI single into center plated DuPont.

They had to wait until the bottom of the eighth to take the lead, with Thompson tripling in Newton to give the Bombers the lead, 3-2, and an RBI groundout from Tucker Schank brought Thompson in for the insurance run.

"They locked in, the communication in the dugout got a lot better - just trying to figure out what they were doing," LaMar said. "We made the adjustments when we needed to and capitalized there at the end of the game. I guess...five runs in the last three innings is better than not scoring any."

The Bombers sent Ethan Bell to the hill to start the game off. He struck out five and walked none through five innings of work. His only hiccups came in the top of the third when Garrett Causey led off with a double, and scored in the next at-bat off an RBI single from Camden Fisher. Fisher himself scored the insurance run later in the inning on an RBI sacrifice fly from Mack Clark.

"I thought Ethan pitched really well," LaMar said. "He got ahead of the first batter, and then left an 0-2 pitch right down the middle, and then it was like three pitches in a row they got three hits. But he kind of limited the damage there and gave us a chance for another couple innings, and then we were kind of able to continue on his momentum on the mound."

The Bombers are scheduled to be back at it Sunday in Owensboro to play the RiverDawgs, a team they're 2-0 against in 2022, and LaMar thinks they're one of the team's rivals, along with the Henderson Flash, citing geographic proximity.

It is part of a grind they're currently in, with seven more games scheduled from now through June 19.

"With the way the schedule works out this year, there's a lot of stretches where you got to play a lot of games," LaMar said. "And it comes down to just being able to take care of your body. The weather next week is going to be a bit of an issue as well because I think we're supposed to have record heat.

So, we're just going to emphasize they need to take care of themselves, make sure they get plenty of rest, drinking lots of fluid," he continued. "When you play every night of the week and it starts getting hot, it can turn into a grind and it can be tough to recover and bounce back sometimes. They're young, but we've got some older guys that hopefully can kind of them the right ways to take care of themselves and just keep working, keep grinding - that's what we're going to have to do."