Courtesy of GoBonnies.com
EMMITSBURG, MD – Tyler Kelder and Brendyn Stillman put on a power display for the ages as the St. Bonaventure baseball team completed a series sweep of Mount St. Mary’s in a doubleheader Saturday afternoon.
It was a day that won’t soon be forgotten by anyone associated with the Bona baseball program.
Kelder homered five times in the two games – and finished with six for the weekend – Stillman went yard four times and the pair combined to go back-to-back three separate times in the middle of the Bonnies lineup.
No, none of that was a typo.
One day. Two games. Two players. Nine combined home runs.
“I’ve never seen anything like this in a three-game series. Stillman went 9-for-10 with four home runs and still wasn’t the story because Kelder hit five home runs today and six for the weekend,” St. Bonaventure head coach Larry Sudbrook said. “Out of the 10 home runs those guys combined for, maybe one or two were line drives over the fence but the rest were just bombs. These were balls that were gone from the moment they hit them – they would’ve been gone in any ballpark in the country, including Yellowstone. It was an unbelievable thing to see.”
Kelder, a junior outfielder, went 7-for-11 with his five bombs Saturday, driving in eight runs for the day. Not to be outdone, Stillman had an equally jaw-dropping line of nine hits in 10 at-bats including four homers, plating eight runs.
“They did everything they could do to pitch to those guys,” Sudbrook said. “They brought in a lefty in to pitch to Stillman; they tried to pitch away, inside, off-speed, everything they possibly could. Those guys were so locked in there was nothing a pitcher on the other side could do. It was incredible to see.”
GAME 1 – ST. BONAVENTURE 11, MOUNT ST. MARY’S 9 | Box Score (PDF)
St. Bonaventure rallied, built a lead and then head on late to win the opener.
The Bonnies opened up the early lead as Stillman and Kelder went for back-to-back homers and an early 2-0 advantage.
The Mount would respond with two of its own runs in the home half, but the Bonnies went long ball again in the second to re-take the lead.
Stillman, making his Bonnies debut this weekend as a junior college transfer, and Kelder reenacted their power from the first inning as they each went deep again in the second – Stillman blasted his second of the day to right, this time with a man on, then Kelder drilled a no-doubt bomb to left for a 5-2 lead.
The hosts put a four-spot on the board in the third, however, and grabbed their first lead at 6-5 after three.
A sac fly off the bat of Kevin Higgins tied it in the fourth, then the Bonnies moved back ahead in the fifth. Jeff Palczewski gave Bona the lead with a single through the left side before Stillman doubled down the right field line to plate another.
Kelder pulled his third homer of the day down the left field line in the seventh, but it was just a 9-8 lead after seven.
Freshman catcher Jackson DeJohn helped keep the Bonnies in front – he threw out the potential tying run at second twice in the home half of the eighth and the inning ended on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out as Murphy O’Brien caught a Mount batter looking before DeJohn threw a laser to second to retire the runner.
St. Bonaventure scored what turned out to be two very important insurance runs in the ninth off a run-scoring single from Kelder and a walk worked by Ben Berger with the bases loaded.
Mount loaded the bases and put the tying run in scoring position in the bottom of the ninth, but Branden Myers made a diving stop at short and completed the force at second to end the game.
Andrew White made his Bonnies debut after missing last year following Tommy John surgery and picked up the win with 3.1 innings of relief, allowing two runs on just one hit with four strikeouts. O’Bren earned the save with 2.2 innings, allowing one run on three hits.
GAME 2 – ST. BONAVENTURE 11, MOUNT ST. MARY’S 2 (7 inn.) | Box Score (PDF)
The Bonnies kept the power surge going in the second game – Stillman blasted a two-run shot to start the scoring and Kelder again made it back-to-back jacks with another round-tripper for a 3-0 lead.
Bona doubled its lead in the second, plating three more with the highlight being a two-run single from Matthew Williams.
The Mount (0-3) got on the board with a run in the third, but another three-spot from the Bonnies followed in the fourth. Kelder went yard again, this time with a three-run shot that essentially put the game on ice.
Danny Manion had his first career RBI with a sacrifice fly as well.
Donovan Moffat had plenty of run support on the hill as he worked five innings of two-run ball with six strikeouts for the win. Kyle Caringi worked his first two collegiate innings, allowing just one baserunner in scoreless work.
The Bonnies next travel to Florida next weekend for their annual trip to the Sunshine State.