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Dons come from behind to beat Bruins

May 1, 2012
By RALPH COX - Sports correspondent , The Herald-Star

WELLSBURG - Madonna scored seven runs in the last four innings to earn a 7-5 come-from-behind win over homestanding Brooke Monday.

Four Blue Don pitchers issued nine walks, but limited the Bruins to four hits. Meanwhile, the Blue Dons pounded three Brooke pitchers for 11 hits.

Blue Dons coach Jeff Baire felt that his annual doubleheader with his alma mater, Cleveland Lakewood, could be a turning point in the Madonna baseball season after the Blue Dons posted their 15th victory against eight defeats.

"We let Lakewood come from behind to beat us in the first game, but we got ourselves focused to win the second game 12-2," Baire pointed out. "To follow that up with this win today is huge for us.

"I see us as being more focused and having good at-bats when we had runners in scoring position. We made the plays defensively and our pitching held on. That is more like the way we used to play."

The Bruins (12-13) got on the scoreboard first as they plated a run in the bottom of the first inning without the benefit of a hit. Madonna starting pitcher Will Bowser opened with control problems, walking three Brooke batters in a row to load the bases, and, after an out, Bruins designated hitter Kellen Welch walked to force in a run.

Brooke came back with two more runs in the second. After two outs, Russell Schwertfeger walked and went to second when Heath Hildreth followed with a hit down the left field line. After Nick Breen walked to load the bases, Paul DiPasquale laced a sharp single to right field, scoring Schwertfeger and Hildreth.

"We had a ton of opportunities with runners in scoring position, but we couldn't get the hits we needed," said Bruin coach Ron Ujcich. "We just left too many runners in scoring position and then we didn't play well defensively.

"I keep telling the kids that we can't afford to let our opponents expand the innings. Our pitchers have to learn to work ahead. We had a lot of 0-2 counts, and when you do that the batter is no longer guessing. They can set on the fast ball and Madonna took advantage of that tonight."

Madonna got a run in the top of the fourth. Catcher Chris Duerr got the first of his three consecutive hits and scored on a Bowser double to right field.

The Blue Dons marched nine batters to the plate in the fifth inning and scored three runs to take the lead. It started with a leadoff walk to Ross Comis.

Logan Linder followed with a single to right field and Connor Mogan loaded the bases with a walk. Duerr's double to the left center field gap plated Comis and Linder and Duerr eventually scored when Dan Pietranton laced a single to right field.

Madonna scored two more in the sixth inning.

With one out, Linder singled and scored on Duerr's third consecutive hit. Nick Ossman followed with another single to send Tori Fuscardo, Duerr's courtesy runner, all the way home from first base.

Brooke got back to within one run in the bottom of the sixth when it scored two runs. Welch led off with a double down the left field line and scored on a Schwertfeger bloop down the right field line. Ethan Sole, who was pinch running for Brent Pellen, scampered home as Austin Schambach singled past third base. Pellen had worked a walk.

Madonna got an insurance run in the top of the seventh inning in quick fashion.

With two outs, Nick Battista singled to center field, moved to second on a wild pitch and scored when Comis singled to left field.

Madonna travels to Morgantown High today for a double header while the Bruinis host Weir High.

Madonna 7, Brooke 5

Madonna 000 132 1 - 7 11 2

Brooke 120 002 0 - 5 5 1

MADONNA: Bowser (0K, 6BB); Baire (WP, 2, 3K, 2BB); L. Fuscardo (6, 0K, 0BB), Linder (7, 2K, 2BB) and Duerr. Duerr 2S, D, 3R, 3RBI; Comis 2S, R, RBI, Linder 2S, 2R; Battista S, R; Ossman S, RBI; Pietranton S, RBI; Bowser D, RBI.

BROOKE: Walker (LP, 2K, 4BB), Lombardi (5, 1K, 1BB), Jeffries (5, 0K, 0BB) and Breen; Hildreth S, 2R, RBI; DiPasquale S, 2RBI; Schwertfeger R; Welch D, R, RBI; Sole R; Schambach S.

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