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Steers split doubleheader against Seminole

March 16, 2012

Gunnar Kennedy connects for a hit in the first game of a doubleheader Thursday at Steer Park.

Mix baseball with a prize fight and you'd have an idea how the Big Spring-Seminole baseball doubleheader went Thursday.

The Steers and Indians traded leads instead of haymakers, and the end result was a split decision — Big Spring came from behind to win game one, 11-10, before dropping game two 6-2.

With the results, Big Spring's record now stands at 10-9.

Game One
The Steers started off strong in Thursday's opener, scoring the game's first two runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Gunnar Kennedy, who doubled, and Max Pappajohn, who drew a walk, scored the first two runs for the Steers when Joseph Morelion hit a double of his own.

Seminole battled back, however, scoring seven runs in the top of the second inning.

The third inning was all Big Spring, as a pair of walks and a Kennedy single loaded the bases with only one out. Morelion also walked, allowing Haegan Rodriguez to score, making it 7-3 Seminole. Jarred DoPorto then hit a grounder into right field, picking up two RBI and cutting the Indians' lead to two runs. Garrett Stuteville then walked before Brett Brorman's two-run single tied the game at 7-7.

The Steers retook the lead in the bottom of the fourth after Rodriguez, who got on base by a walk, was driven home by Morelion to make the score 8-7.

Neither team was done, however.

Seminole tied the game again in the fifth after a double and a well-placed bunt that resulted in a RBI. In the sixth, the Indians tacked on two more runs, increasing their lead to 10-8.

Then, it was the Steers' turn.

Big Spring began its winning rally when it was needed most — in the Steers' final at-bat in the bottom of the seventh, Pappajohn singled and went to third on a ground-out by Morelion, then scored on DoPorto's grounder to first, making the score 10-9 with two outs.

Zach Hernandez kept the Steers alive with a base hit, Stuteville reached base when he was hit by a pitch, setting the stage for Brorman, who capped off the rally with a game-ending double.

BSHS Coach Bert Otto enjoyed watching his team's comeback win.

“We came out, scored two runs, but (Seminole) answered back,” he said. “(Seminole) has nine seniors, we knew they would be tough, but we kept throwing strikes and we had a great seventh inning. It was the most exciting finish we have had around here in a long time.”

Adam Franco picked up the complete game win for the Steers, striking out one Seminole batter and giving up zero bases on balls during his mound appearance.

Game Two
The nightcap didn't end as nicely for Big Spring.

As they did in the first game, the Steers struck first. Pappajohn reached base after a single and went to third on Morelion's double, before scoring on a groundout from DoPorto. Another groundout, this one by Hernandez, drove Morelion home to give the Steers the 2-0 lead.
Unfortunately for the Steers, that was the extent of their offensive highlights.

Seminole took the lead for good in the fourth, scoring four runs, then tacked on another two runs — one in the sixth inning and one in the seventh.

BSHS starter Max Pappajohn picked up two strikeouts and allowed no walks in two innings pitched. Jarred DoPorto struck out one Indian batter and gave up four walks in the remaining five innings.

Otto was disappointed with the loss, but believes the Steers will be a factor in district play which opens Tuesday on the road against Snyder at 7 p.m.

“I thought we competed well,” he said. “It is what it is, we all learn from our mistakes. I think we can compete in district, and we feel we will be right there in the thick of things. But, every night will be a dog fight. The Steers are one game above .500 with an overall record of 10-9 on the season.

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