Bruins triumph at baseball home opener

Jackie Nichols

Senior John Osborne throws a pitch during the first game of the season March 16. The Bruins beat the Waynesville Tigers 2-1. Photo by Shawn Crouch
The Bruin boys started their season playing successful defense, obtaining three quick outs against the Waynesville Tigers in a matter of minutes Friday.
When it was the Bruins’ turn to bat, senior pitcher Ryan Phillips was first to step up to the plate. Phillips hit a double off of Waynesville pitcher Romeo Flores and advanced to third after a wild pitch. Moments later senior right outfielder Beau Burkett hit the ball, driving Phillips home and scoring the opening run of the game.
“We got off to a slow start with the bats,” Burkett said, “but we played extremely well defensively and on the mound.”
Senior pitcher John Osborne stepped in during the second inning and forced three quick outs, bringing the Bruins up to bat with a 1-0 lead at the top of the third. Senior Kory McDonald hit a double but ended the inning when he was tagged out at third.
At the top of the fourth, the Tigers hit a single off of Osborne to right field, and then stole to take second. The next batter smashed a line drive to third base which McDonald caught and subsequently tagged out another player, resulting in two outs for the Tigers. Toward the end of the inning, junior Shelby Wilson caught a pop fly to centerfield at the bottom of the fourth, and the Bruins swapped gloves for helmets and bats.
Flores walked Burkett and junior second baseman Jansen Smith, and senior pitcher Ryan Schmidt bunted to move the runners to third and second, respectively. Senior catcher Jeffrey Ausmus’s hit to brought Burkett home making the score 2-0 Bruins. A pop fly by Tigers’ freshman pitcher Logan Twehous ended the fourth.
Sophomore Kyle Teter came in for Osborne as pitcher, and after two wild throws to home, a single and a walk, the Tigers scored with zero outs. After a talk on the mound, Teter ended the Tigers’ run with three infield hits and three outs.
With the Bruins up to bat, a double by junior Mike Nemec and single by Burkett brought Smith to the plate. After tapping a few foul balls down the line, Smith striked out and the Tigers returned to bat at the beginning of the sixth.
Both teams swiftly take the other out to finish the game 2-1 Bruins.
“I think the rest of the season will depend on how hard we work,” Burkett said. “I think the rest of the season will depend on how hard we work. We just have to keep getting better; there is a ton of room for improvement.”
By Jackie Nichols