FULTON, Ill. — As Fulton baseball coach Kyle Miller put it after losing both games to Morrison on Monday, the losses were tough to swallow, but all the Steamers could do afterward was tip their hats toward the Mustangs.
Morrison won 1-0, then 11-4 in the nightcap.
“We all kind of struggled at the plate against (Joey) Brackemyer,” Miller said, referring to the opener. “He’s one of the better pitchers in the league, and today, he certainly showed it.”
Brackemyer went the distance for the Mustangs, throwing 117 pitches, 70 of them strikes.
Brackemyer had to sweat a little in the bottom of the seventh inning, however. Jake Vanzuiden led off with a single to right field, which was the Steamers’ third hit of the night.
At that point, the Steamers were trying to wear down Brackemyer, who surpassed the 100-pitch mark in the preceding inning.
However, Cody Huff swung on the first pitch and hit the ball to shortstop, where Morrison tried to turn a double play but could not. Huff reached safely with one out.
Jack Lemke then walked with two outs, giving Tyler Sweenie a chance to be the hero on Wounded Warrior Night. Despite forcing a seven-pitch at-bat, Sweenie struck out swinging to end the game.
“Our hits will come,” Miller said. “I hate to say it at this point, but we’ll find a way to score. It was frustrating to not scrape together more runs.”
Meanwhile, Brackemyer was responsible for starting the Mustangs’ rally in the top half of the seventh.
Justin Jensen brought in Brackemyer on a single after Brackemyer stole third base on the previous pitch.
“We were looking for guys to execute and we did,” Morrison coach Ben Sondergroth said. “Jensen came up there, and he’s only a sophomore, and he stepped up, and I’m glad we executed down the stretch.