Eighth-inning rally lifts Jackrabbits past ButlerJune 22, 2016
KOKOMO, IND. – Kokomo Jackrabbits’ field manager Matt Howard was looking for a spark late in a pivotal late first-half clash against the Butler Bluesox Wednesday, June 22.
He got it in the form of three errors and key singles from catcher Mitch Stoltzfus of Millersville University and third baseman Ryan Hutchinson of Illinois State that led to a seven-run outburst, propelling the home team to an 8-3 decision for its first-ever victory over Butler.
“The guys started to feel (the comeback) when the error occurred with one out,” Howard said. “If they make that play, there’s two outs and nobody on. It totally changed the inning, as our big guys were coming up right after that.”
The rally, which brought a crowd of nearly 1,600 to its feet at Kokomo Municipal Stadium, highlighted a clash between two sides separated by only two and a half games on the PL’s Eastern Division standings. The victory, the Gold and Brown’s second straight in the current four-game home stand, moved Kokomo to within two games of first-place West Virginia, who was idle due to weather, with six games remaining on the first half slate.
Right fielder Griffin Harms of Wayne State University led the offense with two hits in five at-bats. Left fielder J.R. Reimer of Northwestern University, the Coca-Cola Player of the Game, scored two runs without an official at-bat, as he was walked four times. On the mound, the Jackrabbits’ bullpen proved strong again, as Indiana University’s Parker Sanburn, Butler University’s Quentin Miller, Indiana University – South Bend’s Trey Bickel and Indiana University – Southeast’s Ryne Underwood blanked the Bluesox on just two hits over the final four innings.
Kokomo and Butler resume their two-game set Thursday, June 23. First pitch is 6:35 p.m.
Butler 001 200 000 3 7 3
Kokomo 001 000 07X 8 8 1
WP – Bickel
LP - Switalski
Attendance - 1557