Texas Collegiate League

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The fields in Brazos Valley and Duncanville held up as Wichita Falls and Colleyville couldn't withstand the rain again.

The Brazos Valley Bombers took on the Texas Collegiate League’s top team, the McKinney Marshals, Sunday afternoon in a game that was billed as a pitcher’s duel. In the end, it was a ninth-inning Bombers rally that brought the fans to their feet, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Marshals in a 6-4 defeat at Brazos Valley Bank Ballpark.  The Bombers’ Casey Whitmer (1-1) took on Justin Murray, McKinney’s ace. Whitmer, the league’s strikeout leader, was coming off a seven-inning, 14 strikeouts on Tuesday.  Murray entered the game with a 0.53 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 17 innings – with no walks.  Unfortunately for Bombers fans, it was Whitmer that blinked first. The Marshals scored a run in the second inning on a sacrifice fly and added another in the fifth on an RBI single.  Whitmer lasted five innings, allowing five hits and two runs, walking three and striking out six.Meanwhile, Murray was rolling through the Bombers lineup. He went six innings and allowed three hits while striking out seven, though he did surrender his first walk of the season.The Marshals added a run in the seventh and three more in the eighth off of Bombers reliever Tyler Davis.  Davis went three innings and allowed eight hits and three earned runs, the first earned runs he has allowed all summer.When McKinney pushed its lead to 6-0, the four runs appeared at the time to be inconsequential insurance runs.  In the ninth, the Bombers made the Marshals cash in that insurance policy.With McKinney closer Chris Wright on the hill, Mark McGonigle opened the inning by reaching on an error by the shortstop. Pinch-hitter Doug Simmons singled, followed by an RBI double off the bat of Keith Stein. Blake Walker came up next and grounded out to the first baseman; as the play was being made at first, Simmons broke for home and was tagged out to complete the double play.It appeared the air might have come out of the Bombers rally, but that was just the beginning. Pinch-hitting for Joseph Towns, Miller Aldrich earned a walk.  Chris Wallace then singled to load the bases. Shortstop-turned-pitcher Ryan Weber, who had just struck out two in the top of the frame as a reliever, stepped to the plate and promptly hit a bases-clearing double, closing the gap to 6-4. TJ Mittelstaedt took the next turn at the plate and gave the ball a good ride to left, but it resulted in a game-ending flyout.

Duncanville's Brent Harris pitched a solid outing going 5 1/3 giving up one earned run and four strikeouts.  Brandon Kendricks led the Deputies bats going 2-for-3 with two RBI.  Lack of production tied down the Steam as they never cam up with the big hit and left 13 runners on base.  Bo Coffman went 2-for-4 with an RBI and starter Wade Mackey gave up three runs in five innings pitched.

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