PERU — Adam Burgess earned a lot of style points Tuesday.
The senior lefty hurled the Bruins to a 11-3 win over Princeton at the Academy, scattering three hits and a walk while striking out five Tiger batters over six innings.
At the plate, he helped his own cause with three hits and three RBIs.
And he belly-flopped heading into second base on a RBI double in the fifth inning. That received the biggest charge out of the Bruins bench.
“Yeah, they were laughing about that one,” Burgess said.
The big inning for the Bruins (8-4) was the third, scoring seven runs on just two hits, helped by two Tiger errors, three walks and a hit batsmen to take an 8-1 lead.
Brad Groleau led off with a walk, Logan Bima drew a one-out free pass and Brandon Pietrowski was hit by a pitch thrown by Tiger starter Southern Foster to load the bases. Burgess ripped a base hit over the first base bag for a two-run single to lift the Bruins to a 2-1 lead.
Consecutive errors fueled the Bruins’ charge, leading to another pair of runs. Sam Lucas drew a bases-loaded walk to plate another. Groleau greeted Tiger reliever J.J. Viccaro with a RBI hit and Joel Inciong’s fielder’s choice brought in the Bruins’ seventh run of the inning.
“That’s the way our season’s gone. Unfortunately, we seem to give up a lot of runs in one inning. Once we fix that we can be a solid team all the way around,” PHS coach Tim Taylor said.
The Tiger coach said it has been a snowball affect as things go awry “it grabs some of them and pulls them down and haven’t been able to overcome that.” Taylor said the seniors are “doing everything they can” to keep everyone’s spirits up.
Austin Schwab had a RBI single in the fourth and Pietrowski (2-for-3) and Burgess added RBI hits in the fifth as the Bruins went up 11-2.
“We were stringing our hits together and putting some runs up and kept our errors down,” Burgess said.
The Bruins lefty said he didn’t throw many curve balls, but used his fastball to set up his change-up. Senior reliever Ronnie Mudge set the Tigers down in order in the seventh, striking out the first two he faced.
The Tigers (5-13, 0-1) were fortunate to score in the first inning. Isaiah Taylor led off with a solid double to right and took third on Vaccaro’s base hit. Unable to score on a deep fly to left by Matt Hayes and a fielder’s choice off the bat of Nick Rolando, Taylor came in with two outs when Bruin shortstop Bobby Morrow double-clutched Foster’s grounder.
PHS picked up another run in the fifth on Taylor’s bunt back to Burgess, who initially looked to make the play at first, but turned and threw too late to catch the sliding Sam Schlesinger at home. Foster dashed home on a wild pitch in the sixth inning to make it 11-3.
• Notes: The Bureau County rivals will meet again at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at PHS’ Prather Field as part of the NCIC’s home-away series. Burgess said he knows the Tigers will come back and give the Bruins a good game. Taylor plans to give the Bruins a left-handed look, going with the sophomore Isaiah Taylor on the mound. Gametime is 4:30 p.m.
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