With two numbers at the bottom of the sixth, Ethan Faure reads the pitcher’s delivery and anticipates a throw to the ground. So as soon as the ball slipped by the catcher, Faure took off from the third base.
Although the ball is only about 8 feet behind the catcher, Faure slides safely to the house. Insurance runs helped Bozeman close Tuesday’s 6-3 victory against Billings Royals. The Bucks won the first doubleheader game too, 5-3.
Manager Garrett Schultz called Faure stealing the house “the night peak.”
“The ability to trust readings from the hands of pitchers is a big game,” Schultz said. “To go up three runs helps us play a little more lenient and that is a great way to build momentum to close the ball game.”
With two wins on Tuesday, Bozeman (33-10) increased to 9-1 in the conference game. After the Bucks offense was committed by the team through the early part of the season, pitching and defense had increased to the point that Bozeman could win the match even when the offense was not fully clicked.
“Pitching and defense lead,” Schultz said. “Our pitching and defense have been very good lately. It was very good (Tuesday) night and the conference sweep was a good thing. “
In conference games, Bucks has an average of 7.6 runs and 2.8 runs permitted.
Sage McMinn started Game 1 on Tuesday, launching 5 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and one run while hitting seven. Drew Roberts appeared relieved in both matches, sealing both wins.
Parker McMan threw six innings of a three ball run in the second doubleheader game. He attacked four batter, did not walk and allowed seven blows. McMan’s performance continued a series of solid events as he became more reliable.
“He gets better every time he comes out,” Schultz said. “He’s faster to the plate. … He can find the fastball. He does it well.”
At the start of the season, the Bucks’ offense was so hot that the recent stretch seemed like a pause. In both matches on Tuesday, Billings recorded more hits than Bozeman. But Bucks, even though there were only three hits in Game 2, was opportunistic on the bottom line.
As the season progresses, players become more comfortable with each other, accepting more opportunities to sharpen their defense. The latest increase in the mound and on the field has allowed Bozeman to continue to win.
“It’s not every day you shoot all the cylinders, that your offense, defense and throwing are done,” Schultz said. “We have the ability to be good at all three and sometimes one or two take the other.”
Schultz drew up the Bucks schedule to prepare for the state tournament. June is filled with battles against foreign opponents who can challenge Bozeman.
The next two weeks include the last 13 matches of the regular season. All three are conference games and Schultz said the team emphasized the contests.
“We have handled the business the way we need to do it,” Schultz said. “We will start a good start.”
to request modification Contact us at Here or [email protected]