Baseball: Bombers advance with comeback winCannon Falls trailed Byron until the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday but the Bombers rallied for a 4-2 victory in Cannon Falls during the first round of the Section 1AA West subsection playoffs.
By: Chris Harrell, The Republican Eagle
Cannon Falls trailed Byron until the bottom of the sixth inning Tuesday but the Bombers rallied for a 4-2 victory in Cannon Falls during the first round of the Section 1AA West subsection playoffs.
Senior Cedric Dicke started the sixth inning with a strikeout for third-seeded Cannon Falls but reached on a wild pitch and the Bombers took advantage with two RBI doubles in the inning to take their only lead of the game.
“I always have confidence in our offense,” Cannon Falls senior Michael Growette said. “We have too many good hitters to not score runs at some point.”
Senior Trevor Sullivan led the Bombers, going 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI. Senior Tyler Boyle-Hoban was 2-for-3 with a double and an RBI.
Growette got off to a rough start on the mound for Cannon Falls in the first inning, giving up four singles and a run, but he got better as the game wore on to receive the complete game victory. Growette allowed seven hits and one walk while striking out three. He gave up just two hits in the final five innings.
“Overall, he kept his composure so well,” Bucky Lindow said of Growette. “He uses his defense. He’s not going to walk people. He throws strikes and that’s great.”
Byron added its other run in the second inning on a single by No. 9-hitter Matt Dammen. Dammen finished 1-for-2 with an RBI.
Dammen also did his best on the mound for Byron, keeping the Bombers at bay for the first four innings but he finished with the loss, giving up three runs on seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. He had five strikeouts.
The Bombers were hesitant at the plate in the early going because they were having trouble picking up Dammen’s breaking ball, Lindow said, and they mustered just three hits and zero runs through four innings.
“He had a different arm slot,” Boyle-Hoban said. “It looked normal all the way until the last second. I think it added some natural tilt to his ball.”
But as the game progressed, Cannon Falls became more aggressive with fastballs early in the count.
The Bombers got on the board in the fifth inning on consecutive hits by senior Trevor Sullivan, who doubled, and an RBI single by junior Paul Rolfes to cut the lead to 2-1.
Then, with the season on the line in the sixth inning, Cannon Falls’ energy picked up as they changed their approach at the plate.
“We started to get more aggressive and we started to pick up emotionally,” Boyle-Hoban said.
Dicke’s speed allowed him to reach first on the strikeout to start the inning and Growette followed with a sacrifice bunt to move Dicke to second base. Then, Boyle-Hoban uncorked the biggest swing of the night on a rocketed RBI double over the center fielder’s head to score Dicke. Junior Noah Callister singled as the next hitter, junior Tanner Jackson reached on a fielder’s choice and Sullivan provided his second double of the night to plate Jackson from first base.
“There was no hesitation in those swings,” Lindow said of Boyle-Hoban and Sullivan. “Not necessarily adjustments but something they did well.”
It was all the offense the Bombers needed as Growette induced a groundout to Rolfes at second base with two outs and runners on first and second in the seventh inning to preserve the victory.
“It just helps the confidence,” Lindow said. “If we do get behind we won’t panic. If we can put one crooked number up, we’ll be alright.”
The Bombers play again Thursday on the road against second-seeded Kasson-Mantorville.