BUCKLEY -- Josh Krumwiede has noticed at least one difference between last year and this year for the Buckley Dutchmasters.
Last year, we did a lot of winning and losing – a lot of splits. This year, we’ve had the luxury of taking two a lot of times," Krumwiede said after game one of Sunday's Eastern Illinois Baseball League game against the Royal Giants. "We just want to keep that going.”
The Dutchmasters were able to obtain their fourth doubleheader sweep of the season via a 7-3 victory over the Giants in game one and a 6-2 triumph in game two.
The wins extended Buckley's winning streak to eight. They also extended the Dutchmasters' lead in the EI League's regular-season standings as they improved their record to 12-3 while the Gifford-Flatville Giflats (9-5) and Giants (8-6) are in second and third place, respectively. Buckley leads the standings by 2 1/2 games with five contests remaining in the regular season.
The Dutchmasters won the league's regular-season championship in 2016 and 2017. In 2018, the Giflats won the regular-season title.
“Looking back to last year, it’s nice to get back up in the standings," Krumwiede said.
Krumwiede helped the Dutchmasters sweep Royal with a big day at the plate as he followed a 3-for-3 day in game one with a 2-for-4 performance in game two.
“I’ve been struggling all year just to have a multi-hit game," Krumwiede said. "It really feels good for me and my confidence.”
Krumwiede was not the only Dutchmaster who produced multiple hits in game one, as Buckley produced 13 hits as a team. Tanner Russell and Jay Eshleman each hit 2-for-4 while Nathan Walker went 2-for-5.
“It feels good. I think a lot of our guys had good days," Krumwiede said. "We felt a lot of confidence in the box. It seemed, from top to bottom, a lot of us were getting good at-bats and hitting the ball all over the field. They had a really good day at the plate. We scored seven runs, but you could probably argue that we could have had more.”
The Dutchmasters took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning.
Trey Russell hit a leadoff single to center field and Drew Schrodt was hit by a pitch before Tanner Russell lined a one-out base hit to center field to send Trey Russell across home plate for the go-ahead run. In the next at-bat, Jay Eshleman singled to right field to send Schrodt and Tanner Russell home.
“I think it’s really important to get on top early, and we were able to do that, and we never looked back," Krumwiede said.
After an RBI double by Roberto Gonzalez cut the Giants' deficit to 3-1 in the top of the third inning, Buckley answered back with a run of its own in the bottom half of the third inning as Krumwiede hit a leadoff double to left field and advanced to third base on a passed ball before crossing home plate on a sacrifice fly ball hit to left field by Quinton Hatfill.
The Dutchmasters scored a couple of runs in the bottom of the fourth to extend their lead to 6-1.
Tanner Russell hit a leadoff single to center field before scoring on a Walker base hit to right field. With two outs, Krumwiede singled to center field to send Walker across home plate.
Gonzalez hit a one-out triple to center field to lead off the top of the fifth inning for Royal before scoring on a Nick Meredith single to center field.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Walker and Evan Regez each hit a two-out single before Krumwiede sent Walker home with a base hit to right field to extend Buckley's lead to 7-2.
“It helps our pitching staff when they can pitch with a lead and not fear whether one or two runs is going to make or break them," Krumwiede said. "It gave our pitchers a chance to do their job and gave us an opportunity to win.”
The Dutchmasters' starting pitcher, Scott Runyon, allowed two runs -- one earned -- on seven hits and six walks with three strikeouts through 6 1/3 innings en route to being credited with the win.
With Andy Davis on the mound, Toby Rigsby was hit by a pitch before Hayden Cargo doubled to left field to send Rigsby across home plate to cut the Giants' deficit to 7-3 in the top of the eighth inning.
Davis finished his outing allowing one earned run on one hit and no walks with two strikeouts through 2 2/3 innings.
In game two, the Dutchmasters produced 12 hits as a team as Hatfill, Schrodt and Walker each hit 2-for-3.
Jim Brandt pitched a complete game for Buckley as he allowed two runs -- one earned -- on five hits and two walks with five strikeouts.
The Dutchmasters claimed an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.
Walker hit a leadoff single to center field before Krumwiede singled to left field to put runners on the corners with one out. In the next at-bat, Hatfill lined a double to left field to send Walker and Krumwiede across home plate.
After Trey Russell singled to center field, Schrodt doubled to center field to send Hatfill home for Buckley's third run.
The Dutchmasters tallied three more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning to extend its lead to 6-0.
After Hatfill led off with a single to center field, Schrodt tripled to center field to send him home. Schrodt then scored on a base hit to left field by Mitch Rhoades.
After Tanner Russell singled to right field, Rhoades crossed home plate on a wild pitch.
Cargo hit a leadoff triple to center field in the top of the sixth inning before scoring on a Thomas Wolken groundout. Jake Cribbett reached base on an error before scoring on a Casey Dillman sacrifice fly to center field in the top of the seventh inning.
The Dutchmasters will travel to Gifford to face the Giflats at 1 p.m. next Sunday.
Buckley Dutchmasters 7, Royal Giants 3
ROY 001 010 010 -- 3 8 1
BUCK 031 201 00x -- 7 13 1
W -- Scott Runyon, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, ER, 3 K, 6 BB. L -- Wilson, 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 K, BB.
Royal -- Carr 3-4, 2B. Hoveln R. Gonzalez 2-3, 3B, 2B, RBI, R, 2 BB. Meredith 1-4, RBI. Rigsby R. Cargo 2-4, 2B, RBI.
Buckley -- Nathan Walker 2-5, RBI, 2 R. Evan Regez 1-4. Josh Krumwiede 3-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, R. Quinton Hatfill 1-3, 3B, RBI. Trey Russell 1-4, R. Drew Schrodt 1-3, 2B, R. Tanner Russell 2-4, RBI, 2 R. Jay Eshleman 2-4, RBI, 2 R.
Buckley Dutchmasters 6, Royal Giants 2
ROY 000 001 1 -- 2 5 2
BUCK 300 030 x -- 6 12 1
W -- Jim Brandt, 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, ER, 5 K, 2 BB. L -- Carr, 4.2 IP, 12 H, 6 ER, 4 K, 2 BB.
Royal (8-6) -- Flowers 1-4. Cargo 2-4, 3B, R. Wolken RBI. Gonzalez 1-3. Cribbett R. Rigsby 1-2. Dillman RBI.
Buckley (12-3) -- Nathan Walker 2-3, R. Jay Eshleman 1-3. Josh Krumwiede 2-4, R. Quinton Hatfill 2-3, 2B, 2 RBIs, 2 R. Trey Russell 1-4. Drew Schrodt 2-3, 3B, 2B, 2 RBIs, R. Mitch Rhoades 1-3, RBI, R. Tanner Russell 1-3.