Back-and-forth thriller slips past Brown and GoldJune 18, 2017
KOKOMO, IND. – A Father’s Day crowd of nearly 1,500 at Kokomo Municipal Stadium Sunday, June 18, was treated to what easily could have been likened to a heavyweight championship fight.
The Prospect League West Division leading Lafayette Aviators and host Kokomo Jackrabbits rope-a-doped for the first three and a half innings due the stellar starting pitching of the Brown and Gold’s Tucker Waddups and Lafayette’s Mitchel Janssen. In the bottom of the fourth, heavy punches from the offenses began, as the home side posted four, highlighted by a two-run triple from designated hitter Collin Butkiewicz. The visitors answered with four of their own in the fifth, but the home crowd got to its feet again in the fifth as four successive hits sparked a three-run scoreboard barrage. Holding a 7-4 advantage, first-year field manager Gary McClure turned to his bullpen to salt away the victory.
Unfortunately, the Battle for State Highway 26 saw the 2017 edition go to a 3-3 tie instead of a 4-2 Kokomo edge. The Aviators got off the ropes with single runs in the fifth and sixth and felled the Jackrabbits with a two-run double by Ethan Crout in the top of ninth. Kokomo nearly answered the count, as outfielder Luke Fegen banged a triple off the wall in left center, but Lafayette closer Hunter Dame got a line out to second and a fly ball to center to close the 8-7 final.
Five players wound up a brief two-game home stand with two hits. Butkiewicz, the Coca-Cola Player of the Game, led the charge with a pair of safeties to go with two RBI, while outfielders Fegen and Frankie Jezioro; second baseman Jarrod Watkins; and catcher Alex Del Rio produced two hits as well.
The Brown and Gold (7-10) take to the road for back-to-back tilts against the rival Aviators Tuesday and Wednesday, June 20 ad 21. Game times are 6:35 p.m. each evening.
Lafayette 000 041 102 8 13 0
Kokomo 000 430 000 7 12 0
Tucker Waddups, Jack Wolfe (5), Collin Lollar (6), Josh Konecek (7), Trey Bickel (8) vs. Mitchell Janssen, Brandon Phelps (4), Alex Moore (6), Hunter Dame (9)
WP – Moore
LP – Bickel
S – Dame
Attendance – 1474