Early long balls doom Bruins at LincolnBy: Joshua Gutierrez / Special to the Journal
In a Pioneer Valley League matchup, the Bear River varsity baseball team gave up two home runs in a 7-1 road loss to Lincoln Friday.
Despite being charged with six earned runs, Bear River starting pitcher Andrew Reis finished the game strong, collecting seven strikeouts, and allowing two hits after the second inning.
Lincoln struck early, as Isaiah Garcia hit a two-run homer to deep center in the first inning. Immediately after an error allowed the inning to continue, James Pallas gave the Zebras a 4-0 lead with a single.
An inning later, Lincoln’s Ethan Liddle contributed his own two-run home run to give the Zebras a 6-0 lead.
Reis got out of the second inning with a strikeout, then proceeded to do the same to three-of-the-next-four batters.
Though unable to make up the runs, Reis’ pitching allowed Bear River (7-9, 2-4) the opportunity to compete in the game.
“I thought Reis did a great job, coming back from two home runs early in the game,” said Bear River head coach Dahorl Ennis. “He was a trooper, he did what a starting pitcher is supposed to do.”
In the third inning, Bear River found themselves in position to cut into Lincoln’s lead. With Tyler Toft on first base, Ryan Anderson doubled to the left-field wall, narrowly missing a home run.
On the ensuing at-bat, Jake Sypnicki flied out to right field with one out, deep enough to score Toft on third base. But the alert Zebras’ fielding caught Anderson as he strayed too far away from second, ending the inning with a double play.
An inning later, Brodie Beck and Reis opened with consecutive walks. After a strikeout, Travis Anderson had an opportunity with a hard-hit liner seemingly bound for the outfield fence. But an acrobatic catch by Lincoln’s Kody Kencke stopped Bear River from putting points on the board.
To lead off the fifth inning, Andrew Harris doubled to right center and would eventually score on a Sypnicki single. Loading the bases later in the inning, the Bruins were unable to capitalize as Lincoln (12-4, 4-1) got out of the jam.
After the contest, Ennis spoke about returning to the basics of the game.
“That seems to be the problem this year, a lot of individualism, not going up there with a plan for the at-bat, and putting ourselves in a hole early,” Ennis said. “It’s just basic baseball for us.”