Road sweep moves Brown and Gold close to .500June 22, 2017
LAFAYETTE, IND. – Fans may want to mark down Wednesday, June 21, on their calendars.
After an early-season first half road that’s seen many ups and downs for the Kokomo Jackrabbits, a completion of a suspended contest and a full nine-inning game against Prospect League rival Lafayette could easily be a turning point. The signs were there … rallying from a 5-2 deficit after three frames to win a match-up that had started the night before at Loeb Stadium and then producing a second rally with three tallies in the eighth inning of the nightcap. When the dust had cleared, first-year field manager Gary McClure’s squad headed back down State Highway 26 with the season series against the Aviators tied at 4-4 with 11-6 and 6-4 victories in hand.
The evening’s heroes were plentiful for the Brown and Gold.
In the opener, the University of Indianapolis’ Storm Joop, in his first game in a Kokomo uniform, homered, scored twice and reached base four times, while designated hitter Alex Del Rio hit a big fly and drove in three runs, and center fielder Imani Willis jacked a home run among three hits while driving in two scores. Wayne State University’s J.T. Conti and Indiana University – Southeast’s Ryne Underwood took advantage of the power display, coming out of the ever-steady Jackrabbits’ bullpen to surrender only one earned run on six hits while producing eight strikeouts between them.
Kokomo’s bats picked up where they left off in the second tilt. Left fielder Frankie Jezioro, Conti, who turned his pitching tools in for a first baseman’s mitt, and second baseman Jarrod Watkins each registered three safeties with Jezioro adding a double to his resume. In the end, the bullpen, as it has been throughout the nine victories to date, played another pivotal role, as Lock Haven University’s Mike Anthony and IU-South Bend’s Trey Bickel compiled a combined six strikeouts and just one earned run on three hits allowed over the final three frames. Newcomer catcher Bailey Partlow, shortstop Sam Troyer and Jezioro helped that pitching effort stand up, each sending home tallies in the eighth inning comeback to seal the victory.
The Jackrabbits, tied for third with defending league champion West Virginia in the PL’s East Division, begin a four-game home set Thursday, June 22, against the Miners with a 6:35 p.m. first pitch.