The new baseball team in Schaumburg might be called the Boomers, but their scoring Friday night started with a very quiet hit.
A bunt single by second baseman Drew Heithoff to lead off the bottom of the sixth inning ignited a 5-run burst for the Boomers, who went on to capture a 5-2 victory over the Florence Freedom on Opening Night at Schaumburg Baseball Stadium.
The big inning came after the Boomers were held to 2 hits over the first five innings by the Freedom.
Boomers manager Jamie Bennett said the bunt was meant to provide a spark.
“Not that we were flat, but we really just hadn’t had much action at all and we’ve got a lineup of guys that can do that kind of thing,” Bennett said.
“(The bunt was) just to get somebody on base.”
Capping the rally was a 2-run homer by right fielder Nate Baumann — his first at the professional level — and the Boomers never looked back.
Baumann, a college teammate of Heithoff, said he wasn’t at all surprised by the unconventional start to the rally.
“He’s fast, so he’s going to bunt a lot when he leads off innings,” Baumann said. “When you’ve got a guy like that leading off innings, getting on with nobody out, it opens the door for big innings like that.”
Baumann was glad to savor his own moment of glory in front of the big opening-night crowd.
“It felt really good to do it on Opening Night here in Schaumburg,” Baumann said. “My parents are in the crowd, Drew’s parents are in the crowd. There were so many people I know here.”
The fans, estimated at well over 5,000, responded to the Boomers’ rally with a standing ovation as the sixth inning ended.
“The crowd definitely helped,” Baumann said.
“That inning for sure, the crowd was absolutely electric.”
On the mound, Cameron Roth held the Freedom to 5 hits over 7 innings.
“He did an unbelievable job,” Bennett said.
“When things are slow offensively to start, that’s a lot of pressure on the pitcher to keep things held down, and he did a great job.”
The win improved Roth’s record to 2-0 with an ERA of 1.35, and his performance earned him a loud ovation when he was taken out of the game.
The Boomers will look for their second home win tonight in the second game of the series, with Tyler Watkins scheduled to start.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.