"We are hitting the cover off the ball," underestimated Bellmont baseball coach Ben Fawbush after his Braves delivered a 19-4 spanking to the Concordia Cadets Monday night at the Bellmont diamond in non-conference play.
Fawbush attributed a batting practice session recently in which "they got about 500 cuts each and it showed. The last four games we have had 13, 14, 15, and 18 hits respectively. These guys know what they are capable of and they are proving it."
The home run parade for the Braves continued with both Gunnar Cale and Brian Hakes getting a chance to show off their trot around the bases. They added four doubles in an 18-hit attack against three Concordia hurlers.
Bellmont spotted Concordia an early 2-0 lead in the first frame as the first three batters reached base before BHS pitcher Nick Fuelling got three straight ground outs.
The Braves then staked a claim to the lead with three in the bottom of the inning, a lead they would never relinquish, as Cale was hit by a pitch, Brandon Voglewede reached base on an error scoring Cale and Hakes punched out a RBI single and later scored on a Ben Baker single.
To add salt to the Cadet wounds, the Braves came up with five runs in the second and then had additional batting practice in the third with 11 huge runs.
In the second Brooks Faurote and Busse got on via a walk and being hit by a pitch respectively. After two were out, Hakes walked to load the bases and all three runners passed Go and collected $200 when Landon Baker ripped a double down the right field line for a 6-2 edge. The long-ball rally wasn't over, yet, however, as Matt Stidam drove a high fastball to the centerfield fence for a double and he rode home on another Ben Baker single.
The third inning found the Braves smashing 10 hits and accepted a Concordia error enroute to their 11 run blast. The star of the inning was Hakes who doubled deep to left center early in the inning to score Voglewede and after the Braves had batted around, he stepped in to bat against a new Concordia pitcher and parked the hurler's first offering over 385 feet away over the center field fence. Cale also delivered a two-run blast in the inning while Voglewede doubled deep to left center field.
Defensively, the Braves also had it together ending a pair of Concordia rallies with inning-ending pickoff plays at third base when Ben Baker alertly saw the Cadet runners were a tad bit tardy in going back to the base. His throw to third baseman Hakes snared both runners.
Concordia added single tallies in the fourth and fifth but it was nowhere enough to offset the large Bellmont lead.
The offense continues to be a source of pride for Fawbush as the Braves have had 60 hits and 55 runs in the last four games. There have been only two innings in those games that Bellmont has not scored at least one run.
"I couldn't have been any happier with today's outcome. I don't think anyone except the coaches and the players expected the type of beating that we put on Concordia today. Everyone did their job. Nick pitched much better today. Ben and Brian had the chemistry working by picking those guys off third. Gunnar and Brian were huge at the plate and Landon is just in a groove right now," Fawbush praised.
Hakes, Fuelling and Stidam both finished the game with three hits while Cale, Voglewede, and Landon Baker all had a pair. Nine different Bellmont batters in all hit safely. Fuelling fanned five in going the distance for the win and scattered 11 Concordia hits while walking a pair.
Weather permitting, the Braves are slated to play tonight at South Adams in a 5 p.m. game at Harry F. Anderson Field.