Bulls blast A's in Game 3
ADRIAN -- Jumping out to a quick five-run lead and pounding out 18 total hits Saturday night, the Jackson Bulls earned a 16-3, seven-inning victory over the Adrian A's in Game 3 of their Region 13C amateur baseball series.
Jackson leads the best-of-five series 2-1, with Game 4 to be played at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in Jackson. Adrian can force a Game 5 (Thursday at Adrian) with a victory Tuesday.
Nine different Bulls combined to rack up 18 hits, including six with two or more. Adrian, meanwhile, had just three hits.
The first five hitters in Jackson's lineup reached base and scored in the top of the first inning, producing a 5-0 lead for the Bulls.
Andy Wolf (2-for-3) and Kody Johnson (2-for-3) were each hit by a pitch, sandwiching a single to right by Jon Hummel (3-for-4) to load the bases with no outs.
Kip Wachal (3-for-4) followed with an RBI single to deep left-center, keeping the bases filled for Blaise Jacobsen (1-for-3), who roped a three-run double to left-center.
Jacobsen went to third on the throw home after his bases-clearing two-bagger and scored on a groundout to shortstop by Jordan Lewis (2-for-4) -- increasing Jackson's lead to 5-0.
Jackson scored another run in the third, as Johnson and Wachal singled in consecutive at-bats to start the frame. Jacobsen then plated Johnson (who advanced to second on an error and went to third on Wachal's single) with a sacrifice fly to center, giving the Bulls a 6-0 advantage.
However, Adrian answered with a three-run bottom half to trim the lead to three (6-3).
Matt Gades drew a lead-off walk before Levi Bullerman reached on an error to give the A's two on with no outs.
A wild pitch allowed Gades to reach third before Glen Kruger scored him with a sacrifice fly to left.
Brandon Wolf (1-for-3) then blasted a two-run home run to left (his second of the series) to cut the lead in half and get Adrian right back in the game.
Jackson, though, came right back with three runs in the fourth and six more in the fifth to build a 12-run lead (15-3).
Trent Sukalski walked to lead off the fourth, and Caleb Rossow (2-for-5) followed with a single to left.
After Wolf flied out to center, Hummel delivered an RBI-single to left-center. Sukalski scored, and both Rossow and Hummel moved up a base on an error on the play.
Wachal later reached on another A's error -- allowing two more runs to score and give the Bulls a 9-3 lead.
Jackson continued its offensive surge in the fifth, as seven hits helped produce six more runs and a 15-3 bulge.
Back-to-back lead-off singles by Lewis and Jared Rahe (2-for-5) got the Bulls going, and after a groundout moved the runners to second and third, Rossow slugged a three-run home run over the left-field fence to extend the lead to 12-3.
The next four hitters also ripped a hit, as Wolf (double), Hummel (RBI double), Johnson (RBI single) and Wachal (double) each got on base. Wachal scored the frame's last run on an error off the bat of Jacobsen.
Jackson added a run in the seventh, as Jason Cook's RBI single brought in Grant Carlson (who walked with one out).
Jason Stubbe (infield single in the second) and Cody Kontz (double to right in the seventh) had the only other hits for Adrian, but the A's had several defensive highlights.
Kruger (third base) and Jordon Kontz (shortstop) each caught a line drive and doubled off a runner to end an inning, and Kruger made a spectacular catch in the seventh -- leaping and reaching over the fence in foul territory on a pop-up by Rahe.
The A's also cut down another runner at the plate, as Wolf (center field) relayed the ball to Stubbe (second base) on Wachal's double in the fifth. Stubbe fired to Bullerman (catcher) to nail Johnson at the plate.
Ryan Rasche earned the victory for Jackson, tossing five innings and fanning three batters. Tom Schuller, Ben Rops and Rossow each pitched in relief over the final two frames.
Kevin Nowotny, Cody Kontz, Jordon Kontz and Gades shared the pitching duties for Adrian.
R H E
Jack. 501 360 1 -- 16 18 2
Adrian 003 000 0 -- 3 3 4