Bombers Win Game One; Can Clinch Tonight At Home
HOPKINSVILLE, KY (By William Wells) – Fresh from claiming the 2015 regular season championship in the Ohio Valley League, the Dubois County Bombers opened the league playoffs with an impressive 7-2 road victory over the Hopkinsville Hoppers in the first game of a best-of-three league semifinal series Friday night.
Starting pitcher Ryan Dills dominated the Hoppers on this evening, showing why his 5-0 season record led the league. Dills still had a no-hitter going as the fans rose for the seventh inning stretch. A walk in the first inning had been the only Hopper baserunner through six frames. After that, Dills retired the next 17 Hopkinsville batters.
His performance provided the Bomber offense ample opportunity to take control of the game. Although the contest had remained scoreless with little action through three innings, Dubois County broke through in the fourth, scoring four times. With two down and the bases empty, Nick Gobert singled to ignite the rally. Drake McNamara, the regular season league batting champion, doubled him in. Noah Sadler made it 2-0 with a base hit that scored McNamara. Mark Giesler stepped to the plate and launched a ball over the outfield wall to put the Bombers up 4-0.
Dubois County would add single runs in the fifth, eighth and ninth innings, but the story of the night was Ryan Dills. After Pepperdine’s Bo Coolen singled in the seventh for the Hoppers first base hit, Dills answered by striking out the next three batters. He added one more in the eighth inning, giving him eleven strikeouts for the night. He had limited the Hoppers to just the one hit and a pair of walks in eight innings.
With a 7-0 lead, Dills turned the game over to Bellarmine’s Hunter Spencer for the final inning. The first two Hoppers singled off of Spencer and came in to score on a two-out double, but a grounder to Gobert ended the rally with the Bombers holding on to the 7-2 final margin.
Everybody in the Bombers offense contributed to the final tally as all nine batters had at least one hit. As he had done so many times during the regular season, McNamara led the onslaught, going 4-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored. Noah Sadler and Cody Krumlauf had a pair of hits each. Giesler’s home run was his second of the summer.
The playoffs continue tonight at League Stadium with 2-for-1 tickets. Game time is 7:00 p.m. If the Bombers win, they will open the playoff championship series on the road next Tuesday at either Madisonville or Fulton.
If the Bombers should lose tonight, a third semifinal game would be played Sunday at League Stadium to determine who advances to the championship series.