Hit and Run
Coast Guard extends win streak to eight with win over DMA
By Brandon Bieltz
The rally, however, wasn't enough as a seventh-inning, walk-off single by Tim O'Donnell sealed a 16-15 Coast Guard win, keeping the team on top of the Division I standings. O'Donnell led the Coast Guard's charge with five RBIs to help the team improve to a 10-1 record, extending its win streak to eight games.
"We had them down, and we went flat. They came all the way back and took the lead and we tied it up," O'Donnell said following the game on Donahue Field. "This is why we're out here."
After losing by one run to the 241st Military Police Detachment on May 23, the Coast Guard began a dominating seven-game win streak, averaging 14 runs a game while allowing only five. The strong showing is a product of the same players showing up every week, Coast Guard's Sam Smutz said.
"We're basically bringing in all new people," he said. "Luckily, they've been able to work together."
With only letting up an average of six runs a game, sound playing in the field has helped the team shut down opponents while its bats rack up points with the team averaging 15 runs.
"We play smart, make the simple play," Smutz said.
At the midway point of the season, DMA was on the upswing. Having won seven of its last nine games, the team pulled into a solid fourth-place standing, with a three-game lead on the fifth-place Renegade Panthers.
This season, however, started a little rough for the first-year team as it dropped its first two games and team members struggled to keep a consistent roster of players. DMA players credit the turnaround to team chemistry.
"We started out a little ragtag," Scott Speaks said.
Despite taking an early lead in Monday night's game, DMA was unable to contain the Coast Guard's batting power. The Coast Guard jumped out to an early 5-1 lead.
DMA's hole grew deeper in the third as Coast Guard retired the first three batters and then added another three runs to its lead. Arturo Munoz led the third-inning surge with two RBIs.
In the fourth inning, DMA's Johnnie Hines cut into the team's deficit with a home run for an 8-2 game. But O'Donnell responded for the Coast Guard with a three-run, in-the-park home run to extend the team's lead to 11-2.
DMA started its late game rally in the fifth inning as the Coast Guard defense began to struggle. Jade Velez shifted the momentum DMA's way with a three-run, in-the-park home run to cut the score to 11-5. Hines and Roberto Velez each provided another run in the inning, keeping DMA in contention in the 11-7 game.
The Coast Guard struggled in the sixth inning as pitcher Jimmy Gibbons walked in two runs. With the bases loaded, a deep single by Hines brought in two runs to tie the game at 13. An Aaron Bailey double gave DMA a 14-13 lead late in the inning.
Coast Guard's Jeff Brown tied the game at 14 in the bottom of the sixth, forcing extra innings.
DMA opened the seventh inning with Greg Hall's sacrifice fly ball, bringing in the go-ahead run, but the Coast Guard shut down the offense with a double play to close out the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Coast Guard continued its offensive woes. But with two outs and runners on second and third, O'Donnell's single powered in the two runs to win the game 16-15.
Hines led DMA's rally with four RBIs, while Velez added another three. O'Donnell's five RBIs and Smutz's three provided enough batting power to win the game.
"It's been a rough season, I haven't been doing very good," O'Donnell said. "It felt good to finally come through."
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