The Brazos Valley Bombers can’t lose and the Baton Rouge Rougarou can’t win.
The Bombers made it four straight over the Texas Collegiate League’s first-year franchise with a 10-4 victory Wednesday night at Travis Field.
The Rougarou (0-7) had an early lead for the second straight game but couldn’t slow down the Bombers (6-0), who scored the game’s last eight runs. The Bombers had eight extra-base hits, the biggest being a two-run, inside-the park home run by Tyler Smith in the sixth inning to break a 4-4 tie. It came three pitches after Smith failed to sacrifice bunt.
“I’m not very good at bunting,” Smith said. “It’s something I’m going to work on.”
Smith hit a fly ball to the deepest part of the park that Baton Rouge center fielder Reid Baty tried to make a diving catch on. Baty missed, which allowed Smith to circle the bases.
“It was a fastball inside corner, and I turned on it,” said Smith, who saw Baty dive and miss as he neared second base and knew he had a chance to score.
Bryant Shellenbarger followed with a home run over the right-field fence for a 7-4 lead. The Bombers added two more runs in the inning on four more hits. Ridge Rogers made the inning’s first out by trying to stretch a double into a triple. Texas A&M signee Logan Sartori followed with a triple, getting lucky when the relay throw hit him in the back well short of the bag.
The Bombers tied the game at 4 in the fourth inning with back-to-back triples by Smith and Shellenbarger and a two-out RBI single by Rogers.
The Bombers ended with 15 hits. Smith, Shellenbarger and Cam Haller, the bottom third of the lineup, went 6 for 12 with five RBIs, five extra-base hits and five runs scored.
“We’ve got really good hitters,” Bombers coach Brian Nelson said. “We feel real good about the whole lineup every time. We put those guys down there to see if they can get a few more fastballs and get them in rhythm, but hitting is contagious right now, and they’re all doing it.”
The Bombers have scored at least seven runs in every game since the opener, including outscoring the Rougarou 38-12 in four games.
Prairie View A&M junior Bryan Williams was the winning pitcher with four scoreless innings. The right-hander who played at Rudder allowed two hits. He struck out three with a walk and a hit batsman.
Williams entered after starter Christian Vega hit a batter and walked a batter to open the fourth. Williams struck out the first two batters he faced then got a ground-ball out. He got help from his defense, which turned double plays in the next three innings. Williams joined in by catching a line drive to start an inning-ending double play in the fifth. The Bombers also turned a double play to end the second.
All the Bombers except Jordan Yeatts had a hit, and Yeatts was hit by a pitch to start the seventh and scored on a groundout by Smith.
The sixth inning started with Sam McElreath getting hit by a pitch, prompting Nelson to call for the bunt.
“The situation at the time dictated that we wanted to make something happen,” Nelson said. “It was also a dual purpose — we we’re trying to bring the infield in a little bit, trying to create some lanes for him. So that’s actually why I took it off instead of sticking with it.”
Baton Rouge’s Lukas Palanco hit a pair of two-out, RBI singles to help the Rougarou build a 4-2 lead after three innings. Palanco had three hits. Trevor Rugg added two, and Brennan Lambert had a single and twice was hit by pitches.
Shellenbarger fell a single short of hitting for the cycle. Cole Coker added three hits and three RBIs.
The Bombers will host the Acadiana Cane Cutters on Thursday and Friday at 7:05 p.m.