The Commerce High School Tiger baseball team finished off the year with a sweep of Highway 24 rivals Cooper, capping off the feat with a 15-9 win on Friday.
This was the final game for several seniors on the team, and they made an impact.
Both teams got the offense started early with a pair of runs in their respective halves of the first inning. Commerce broke open a lead with five unanswered runs in the second and third frames and it seemed like they could easily run away with the game.
Cooper hung tough though, and after pushing across a run in the third, went on a tear of their own, ripping off four across the plate to tie the game at 7. Starting pitcher Zach Jensen began to lose his command and plunked three batters in the fourth before being pulled for Justin Holt.
Commerce broke ahead once more in the next inning, plating four. After a scoreless sixth, Commerce added four insurance runs in their half of the seventh to take an eight-run lead into the final at-bats for the Bulldogs.
Senior Colton Broeske was called in to pitch the sixth and seventh innings, and after allowing a few runs across in the final frame, forced a groundout to close the game for the Tigers in his final appearance. The team huddled around and celebrated with an emotional Broeske after the final out was made.
Broeske went one-for-four from the plate with a triple, a walk and four rbi. He also pitched two innings, allowing two hits and two earned runs while walking one and striking out three batters. Fellow seniors Isaac Hundley and Dalton Hampton got on base a few times. Hundley was hit by pitches twice, walked once and scored a run. Hampton didn't have a hit either, but sent the Commerce faithful in attendance wild after reaching on a throwing error in the seventh inning, advancing to second and then third while the defense tracked down the ball, and then scampering home when the throw to third went wide to score Commerce's final run of the game.
Other Tiger statlines include Brody Baumann, who went one-for-four with two rbi and three runs scored. Gauge Elliott also scored three runs on a one-for-four night. Justin Holt went one-for-three while scoring a run.
Jensen started the game and went 3.1 innings, allowing seven runs, five of which were earned. He struck out five, but hit four batters. Holt pitched 1.2 innings in relief, striking out four batters.
Commerce used its speed and smart baserunning to win, only getting six hits but taking advantage of seven errors by Cooper.
The win brings Commerce's season to a close with an overall record of 5-20 and a district mark of 3-9.