By Steve Gunn and Dave Hart
Buchberger, playing in only his third game for the Muskegon Clippers since his high school career ended two Saturdays ago, knocked in four runs with a pair of doubles to lead the Clippers to a come-from-behind 7-5 victory over the Holland Millers Monday at Marsh Field.
The Clippers improved their record to 9-1 overall and 9-0 in the Michigan Collegiate Summer Baseball League.
Buchberger’s biggest hit came in the bottom of the eighth inning, when he smacked a double to right field that knocked in Cameron Bair and Will Harris for the tying and go-ahead runs.
He scored an insurance run later in the eighth on a wild pitch by Holland.
“In my first game I was really nervous in my first at bat, but I realized it’s just another game with a bunch of guys playing baseball,” said Buchberger, who will be playing football and baseball at Davenport University. “I just come out and hit the ball. If I see it I hit it. I’m lucky that I’ve just been hitting it where they are not.”
“Jacob has only played three games, but so far he shows that he puts the ball in play,” said Clippers Manager Walt Gawkowski. “I am very happy with his play.”
Buchberger had a lot of company in the hero’s circle for the Clippers.
Starting pitcher Kyle Lawson pitched six innings, striking out 12, scattering five hits and walking only one. He also helped contain the Millers by picking two runners off base – one off second and one off first.
He left the game with the score tied 2-2.
“Kyle just got better as the game went on,” Gawkowski said. “But we have to watch his pitch count, so (relief pitcher) Andy Null needed to come in and give us two quality innings, but Lawson was outstanding.”
Matt Williams added a three-hit, two-RBI night for Muskegon, then took the mound in the ninth inning and got the save with three strikeouts in the ninth inning.
Bair had two hits for Muskegon.
The Clippers took a 2-0 lead in the second inning on a two-run single by Buchberger.
Holland tied the score in the top of the third on RBI singles by Ty Painter and Jack Gainer.
Muskegon moved ahead 4-2 in the fourth inning on a two-run double by Williams.
Holland jumped out to a 5-4 lead with a three-run homer by Adam Purdy in the top of the seventh.
The Clippers took the lead for good with three runs in the eighth, highlighted by Buchberger’s two-run double.
Null tossed two innings for Muskegon and collected the win.