The Wolverines pushed their record to 2-0 on the season with a 10-1 besting of the host Cuba- Rushford Rebels on Monday evening. In all manner of cliché, the score was not indicative of the game. But for a “circus came to town” play in the home second it would have been a shut-out. Also, there were a few occasions where BR just needed a key hit to blow the roof off the place.
Landon Danaher and Wyatt Karnuth worked the bump (Literally!) for BR. The two senior hurlers pretty much kept the home team scared hitless. Danaher went 4 innings, fanning 10. While Karnuth worked the final three with 7 Ks. But for a single in the first, the Wolverines would have recorded the no-no.
At the plate, BR collected 11 hits, 4 of them two baggers, as they scored in all but the 2nd and 4th innings.
As the guests, BR batted first and put up a three spot in their inning. Trey Buchholz worked a walk, then stole second. Danaher ripped a gap shot to the outfield easily scoring Buchholz. While Karnuth was working a walk, Danaher took third. After completing his walk, the home side developed some cranial flatulence. The throw back to the pitcher was off the mark, allowing Danaher to score and Karnuth managed to get to third as the throw to get him at second sailed into center. Cam MacDonell gapped a ball, as well, scoring Karnuth for the 3-0 edge. While Caden Allen was working a walk, a wild pitch allowed Cam to go to third. Following his free pass, Allen stole second. Second and third and no one out, looked like a really big inning was brewing. Following two BR Ks, Aydin Sisson laced a ball to the outfield, but the centerfielder for CR was able to track it down to strand two on the bases. Opportunity just missed.
The Rebel half of the first brought to mind many BR/CR games over the years, though the Rebels were held off the board, they did just enough to leave an uneasy feeling in the BR stomachs (or maybe it was just me?). The Rebel leadoff batter hit a ball to left that Matt Mitchell stayed with as it moved him around a tad. Out 1. A walk and a sharp single to right and, uh-oh… but the first 2 of Danaher’s Ks ended the threat.
BR went in order in the top of the 2nd. For the second straight inning, the Rebel centerfielder ran down a ball that certainly appeared to be destined for extras.
In the CR second, the first two batters were strikeout victims 3 and 4 against Danaher. The third man up drew a five-pitch walk. What followed was an entry in the “I wish I could do THAT over again” journal. An errant pick off throw turned into a run as the throw back into the infield was also off-line and the Rebel runner was able to make it home. Danaher was able to compose himself to get the third K of the inning. BR 3-1.
Karnuth led of BR’s third, reaching base as his grounder was mishandled by the shortstop. Karnuth stole his way to third. Allen put a charge into one to right center. Looked like it was going to be 2 maybe 3 for Allen. But for the speedy centerfielder. The ball was deep enough, though, to allow Karnuth to tag and score for the Sac Fly. BR 4-1.
Cuba-Rushford went in order in their third. A liner from their centerfielder to Allen in right( payback?) and two more Ks.
BR’s other scoreless frame followed. Mitchell cracked a ball over the left fielder’s head and hustled to 2nd. He moved up on Ian Unfus’s well placed sac bunt. Unfortunately, BR couldn’t bring him in the final 90 feet Another fine play by the Rebel outfield prevented the run.
Danaher struck out the side in the 4th and his time on the mound would come to an end.
The Wolverines jumped the lead up by three in the 5th.
Danaher ripped a ball by the shortstop to get on. He then stole his way to third. Karnuth singled up the middle for the run. Karnuth proceeded to steal around the bases. Allen grounded out to the first baseman, allowing Karnuth enough time to beat the throw home. Reiss Gaines singled to center and stole second. Sawyer Johnson drove a ball to right plating Gaines, moving the score to 7-1 visitors.
Karnuth took over at pitcher for BR. Two strikeouts and a fly to left to Evan Pinney, who, though seemingly losing it for a second, stayed with it for out number three.
One of baseball’s countless adages/ truthisms/ unwritten rules, “make a good play in the field, make a good at bat” (or something like that). So Pinney led off the BR 6th with a hard grounder through to right field. He stole second and scored on Buchholz’s rip to the left side. BR 8-1.
Another three strikeout frame in the home 6th.
BR tacked on a pair in the 7th. Gaines earned a one out walk and stole second. He moved to third on a groundout. Sisson slashed a ball to right, running all the way he legged it out for a double while Gaines crossed the plate. Pinney ripped a ball up the middle, scoring Sisson.
A 4-3 ground out and the two final Ks ended things in the growing evening gloom.
11 hits with Danaher, Cam, Mitchell and Sisson good for two baggers. Pinney and Danaher had multi-hit nights.
Crossing the plate: Karnuth 3 times, Danaher and Gaines twice, Buchholz, Pinney and Sisson accounting for the other 3 runs.
RBIs Allen leading the way with 2 on a Sac Fly and a groundout. Buchholz, Danaher, Karnuth, MacDonell, Johnson, Sisson and Pinney all driving in 1. BR scored one unearned.
BR hosts the border crossing Coudersport Falcons on Wednesday at 5.
Then they are right back at it to face the Scio/ Friendship team in Friendship, Thursday at 5, before the school break.