Rolla runs away from ‘Jackets

By Israel Potoczny The Daily Record

What started out as a pitchers duel between senior No. 1 pitchers — Lebanon’s Justin Breedlove and Rolla’s Cole Roark — ended in a runaway win for the Rolla Bulldogs on Monday at Oley Scott Field.

The Ozark Conference opener for both teams was tied through the first four innings at 1-1, and the ‘Jackets were within 3-2 after five before the Bulldogs broke the game open with five runs off Lebanon’s relief pitchers in the sixth.

The loss drops the ‘Jackets to 0-3 this season, and 0-1 in league play.

“It started out as a great ballgame, (it was) a nice, tight game through four or five innings, but we made some mistakes and let things get away from us,” Lebanon head coach Paul Dudley said. “They (Rolla) are a good ballclub and we are so young and inexperienced it is just a process.

“There are a lot of things that, as we go along, we have to aaddress.”

The ‘Jackets scored first in the bottom of the first thanks to a one-out walk and a stolen base by sophomore Rocky Long, and an RBI double by senior catcher Tayler Black.

After going scoreless through the first three innings, the Bulldogs finally got on the board in the bottom of the fourth after loading the bases with no outs via a walk, a single and an infield error.

Breedlove appeared to be on his way of pitching out of the bases-loaded jam as he followed with consecutive strike outs of Rolla’s No. 6-7 batters.

But Rolla got on the board thanks to a scratch hit on the infield before Breedlove ended the bases loaded threat with a called third strike on a 3-2 pitch to the Bulldogs’ No. 9 batter.

The ‘Jackets appeared to have solved Roark in the bottom of the fourth as Josh Bennett, Tyler Bare and Ryan Oursbourn strung together consecutive singles with one out, and despite No. 9 batter Dylan Bradshaw recording the ‘Jackets’ fourth straight hit on an infield single, Lebanon failed to score as they lost a baserunner at home plate on a strong throw from Rolla right fielder David Roberts, erasing a would-be RBI hit from Oursbourn.

The frame ended with the ‘Jackets stranding the bases loaded and Rolla responded by scoring twice in the top of the fifth to take a 3-1 lead. Lebanon scored its second run of the contest in the bottom of the fifth to pull within 3-2 thanks to a dropped infield fly ball and a two-out RBI hit by Breedlove, but Rolla broke the game open as they added five more in the top of the sixth against Lebanon’s relief pitchers.

Breedlove went the first five innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out five.

The last of three pitchers to throw in the five-run sixth inning, senior Dalton Armstrong threw to just one batter, recording a ground ball out. Sophomore David Johnson threw a scoreless seventh.

Roark went the first six and improved to 2-0 on the season for Rolla. He allowed six hits, walked three and struck out six.

Roark allowed just one baserunner in a scoreless sixth (a walk to Oursbourn) before making way for relief pitcher Allan Anderson in the sixth.

<p>Lebanon senior Dalton Armstrong puts the tag on Rolla baserunner Jesse Skaggs during a high school baseball game on Monday at Oley Scott Field. Rolla won the contest 8-2.</p>

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