By Connor Wiggins
There was not a lot that separated St. Louis Force and Omaha Tigers Black in the first three innings of Wednesday’s 10:15 AM game, but the tides turned in the fourth inning of the ballgame.
The Force looked very convincing in the first inning of play as they plated two runs on four hits and left two runners on the bags, but the Tigers responded quickly in the bottom of the first inning.
The Tigers had their lead-off hitter walked to begin the day, and he was driven in by the next hitter. The Force’s starting pitcher was pulled in the first inning after he proceeded to hit the next two at the plate with pitches.
The Force’s next pitcher came into the game in the first inning and struck out three batters, but also hit one with a pitch with the bases loaded to make the game 2-2.
The Tigers started the second inning with a new pitcher, who got a flyout to the right fielder, a groundout to the shortstop, and a flyout to the second baseman to go 1-2-3 in the inning.
Things got interesting in the bottom of the second inning as the Tigers plated five runs on three hits and made the game 7-2. It looked like the Force were in trouble, but the Tigers didn’t plate another run the rest of the game.
In the top of the third inning, the Force got started quickly and knew they needed to respond to the Tigers’ five runs. The Force plated 4 runs in the third inning, but had an astounding seven stolen bases as well. The Tigers’ pitcher didn’t let the St. Louis side threaten anymore than they already had as the struck at the last two at the plate in the inning.
The Force sent Tommy Gibbar to the mound in the bottom of the third inning, and he had the stuff to halt the hot bats of the Tigers.
“I had my changeup working and was hitting the spots with my fastball,” Gibbar said. The Force’s pitcher struck out two in the inning.
The Tigers made some mistakes in the top of the fourth on the mound, and it cost them. The Force scored 5 more runs in the inning without getting a single hit. There were 6 walks in the top of the fourth, one being a hit batter. The Force also plated a run on a wild pitch with 2 outs to make it 11-7, but the Tigers managed to strikeout the 6-hole hitter of the Force to make the deficit at least manageable to comeback from.
Tommy Gibbar stayed in for the fourth inning, as the Tigers had three hits. None of them were enough to plate a single run though, as The Force caught one trying to steal second base and one fell victim to a ground ball at second base. The fourth inning ended at 11-7 on a lineout to the third baseman.
The Tigers kept the deficit at four runs in the top of the fifth inning with a groundout to the shortstop, a runner thrown out at second, and a looking strikeout to the Force’s leadoff hitter.
The Force started to finish their business on the mound in the bottoms of fifth and sixth innings, as both were 1-2-3 innings, but the action came in the top of the sixth inning for the Force.
Five. That’s the number of home runs the Force hit in the top of the sixth inning, including two from Bret Yarger and Brysen Nepute.
“I was just thinking line drive,” Yarger said. “I wasn’t trying to hit it over, I was just trying to hit it hard.” The Force plated an outrageous 12 more runs in the top of the sixth to seal the deal.
Head Coach Sal McGhee of St. Louis Force was pleased with his team’s performance at the plate in Wednesday’s game.
“We just started hitting the ball, and when we started hitting it, everything took care of itself,” McGhee said.
McGhee also complimented the bats of their opponents in the game. “That’s a good hitting team,” he said. “We’ve played them before and they’re real disciplined at the plate.”
St. Louis Force will play against CBA Sacramento Wildcats National on Thursday at 8:00 AM as Omaha Tigers Black will play the same Sacramento side at 12:30 PM on Thursday.