BROWNSTOWN – Just two weeks ago, sophomore Calvin Boggs had back surgery.
In his first game after being cleared to return to the baseball field, no one would have guessed that Boggs had just recovered from a medical operation.
Boggs singled in his first at-bat on Tuesday and showed tremendous hustle on a pair of defensive plays, giving the Bombers something to be excited about on a day they lost to North Clay, 14-4.
“He thought he would have (the surgery) and be right back, but it took a bit” said Brownstown coach Ken Milano. “I don’t know if it’s healed or not, but he’d run through a brick wall, apparently.”
Boggs, who had two non-cancerous tumors removed from his lower back, came into the game as a pinch hitter in the fourth inning, shooting the fourth pitch he saw into left field for a single. He would score on a single from Austin Hunter.
But where Boggs really impressed was in the field, as he made a diving stop on a ball hit down the third-base line in the top of the fifth, and then collided with the fence while chasing down a foul ball a couple of batters later.
“It hurt,” Boggs said of the dive. “I could feel it pulling, but coach said to stop the ball, so I did.”
Like Boggs, the rest of the Bombers also turned in a strong effort despite the lop-sided decision.
North Clay posted five runs on five hits in the first inning, but that didn’t change Brownstown’s demeanor.
Hunter led off the bottom of the first with a single, and he was brought home by his brother, senior Colten Hunter, who hit into a fielder’s choice.
The second inning was the only one in which Brownstown (1-1) did not record any runs, but two runners still reached base, which happened in every inning.
North Clay had tallied up nine runs by the third inning, but the Bombers got one of them back after sophomore
Jacob Behrends saw eight pitches before singling. Colten Hunter and senior Brady McDowell followed with singles to bring in Behrends.
Brownstown also got an eight-pitch at-bat from freshman Nate Matthews during the game, and Milano was very pleased to see his young players working the count.
“That makes our future look a little bit brighter,” he said.
Austin Hunter drove in Boggs in the fourth, and Eddie Carson doubled to bring home Colten Hunter in the fifth, but North Clay added four runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to get a 10-run lead.
“We pitched well, but they hit great,” Milano said. “I’m not mad at my pitchers.”
Behrends took the loss, pitching four innings, but his strike-to-ball ratio was 65:25 and he did not walk anyone.
The Bombers also turned in a strong defensive effort, committing just two errors.
“We may not be as baseball-gifted as the teams in the past,” Milano said, “but these guys come out ready to play every day.”
Tuesday, March 20
North Clay 14
LP: Behrends (0-1); 4 IP, 9 ER, 16 H
Offense: A. Hunter, 2-for-3, RBI, run; Carson, 1-for-3, 2B, RBI; C. Hunter, 1-for-2, RBI, run; Behrends, 1-for-2, run; McDowell, 1-for-2, RBI, SF; Boggs, 1-for-1, run
Monday, March 19
WP: C. Hunter (1-0); 7 IP, 12 K, 2 ER, 5 H, 1 BB
LP: Clinton Hood (0-1); 3 IP. 7 K, 1 ER, 2 H, 1 BB
BHS Offense: A. Hunter, 2-for-3, RBI, 2 runs, SB; C. Hunter, 4 SB, run; McDowell, 2-for-4, 2 SB, RBI; Behrends, 2 runs, SB; Drake Hall, 1-for-3, run, SB; Matthews, run, SB; Jeff Taylor, SB.
PHS offense: Brandon Budds, 2-for-3, run, 2 SB; Seth Allen, 1-for-3, RBI; Johnnie Clift,m 1-for-4; Jake Orrell, 1-for-2; Mark Rogers, SB.