If you follow Major League Baseball, you probably know that on May 3rd in Houston, Dusty Baker reached a managerial milestone with his 2000th victory. In sort of a weird alignment of the cosmos, (perhaps it is just me being weird) on May 13th in Whitesville, BR’s Dusty Allen (most call him Dustin, however…) reached a career milestone with his 300th victory. Now, Mr. Baker has been doing his thing much longer than Mr. Allen. MLB plays eight times as many games per year, so, yeah, the scales are tilted his way. Coach Allen has to retool every year, not from scratch, ever, but the team goes though many changes and still the double digit wins and sectional titles keep piling up.
Following the Whitesville game, as per usual, Coach did not want the spotlight on him but rather on the players, past and present, who contributed to the numbers. Quite a few players from the past have weighed in on the Facebook photos of the post-game and I am sure Coach is very appreciative of that. This year’s team has already added 16 Ws to that total, one can only guess (dream) as to how many more are to be tacked on after the 3. Congratulations Coach!
On to Friday’s action.
The Wolverines traveled to Whitesville to face off against the Andover/Whitesville squad. Both teams have had busy weeks, with the hosts playing their 5th game of the week, while BR was on their 4th contest. Having just played each other four days ago, there wasn’t much mystery to things. I would guess that is why things were a little closer this time around than at home.
Reiss Gaines got the start on the mound for Coach Allen for this monumental game. He pitched a great game, going 4 innings, striking out 7, with only a slashing double to right in the first and a run surrendered. Caden Allen pitched the fifth and had one K to show for it.
At the plate, BR surprisingly had just eight hits. They did earn five walks and were helped by two A&W errors that were recordable. Mental errors (bouts of cranial flatulence) do not show up in the box score, but there were several of those. A final stat for the Wolverines plate time, a number I have never seen, BR batters were hit 5 times in this game!
As the guests, BR batted first and were looking to jump out to a quick start. That didn’t really happen as planned. Landon Danaher was the first plunkee, adding to his team leading total. He then stole second and got to third on an error on the throw down. Trey Buchholz lifted one to center, plenty deep enough to score Danaher. After out 2, Cam MacDonell was HBP #2. Unfortunately, that was all the scoring for BR in inning 1.
The dreaded leadoff walk proved itself once again. The runner stole second, during a strikeout, then moved to third on a wild pitch. He came home on the previously mentioned double. However, two perfect relays from Evan Pinney in right, who tracked down the hit. He threw to Trey in the cutoff spot. Trey to Wyatt Karnuth, who received the ball plenty early and was waiting for the runner at third for a good couple of steps. A final liner to Trey ended the inning.
BR stretched their lead in the second. The leadoff walk again playing into things. Gaines drawing the free base. Reiss made it to 2nd on a passed ball, then he stole third. Aydin Sisson was plunked. Putting runners on the corners. Yes, Sisson stole second. Ground ball to third they got the out, but Gaines scored, and Sisson got to third. Pinney singled to center, scoring Sisson. An out later, Buchholz tripled to right driving in Pinney. While Karnuth was earning a walk, Buchholz came across on a wild pitch. BR 5-1.
Two strikeouts and a Buchholz to Cam groundout was all for the home side, in their second.
BR added one in the third. A one out walk to Gaines, who stole 2nd. He tagged up on a fly ball from Sisson to reach third. Something I can’t recall seeing anytime recently, he scored on a pure steal of home. No back end of a double steal or anything like that. He took off for home while the left handed pitcher was still in the beginning of his delivery. Reiss easily scored. BR 6-1.
The first man in the bottom of the third struck out. A walk put one on base. Next man grounded to Danaher at short, he flipped to Buchholz covering 2. On the turn to maybe make the throw, there was contact between the runner and Trey, and the umpire deemed it was offensive interference, double play.
Quite the mixture of things contributed to BR’s next at bat. Danaher was hit, AGAIN. He was balked to 2nd, then scored on two consecutive wild pitches. Buchholz singled to center. Karnuth got aboard on an error as the throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Trey to third. Cam, then Caden hit sacrifice flies. Cam scoring Buchholz and Allen plating Karnuth. BR 9-1.
Two more Ks and a comebacker to Gaines, finished his evening’s work.
BR got to the magical number in the fifth. A one out double by Matt Mitchell got them going. On a pickoff attempt, Matt jammed up his foot. As they say in hockey-speak, he suffered a lower body injury. Hobbling, but needing to stay in the game as Coach Allen had used up all the subs, Matt gritted on. Pinney doubled to right. Matt struggled to get to third as the ball, at first, looked to be playable. Darien Champlin hit a sac fly to score Mitchell, Matt just getting there before the ball. Ian Unfus got aboard working back from a 1-2 hole in the count for the walk. Pinney came in on a pitch issue. Karnuth was hit by a pitch. Sawyer Johnson walked. Unfus and Karnuth both scored on the same wild pitch. Allen doubled to right. On the throw in, Johnson scored while Allen took third. Gaines dropped a ball into center scoring Allen. BR 15-1.
The home side went rather quietly to end it. A K, then a grounder to Allen. BR’s lone error put a man on for A&W. Fear not the game ended on a grounder to Gaines who had taken over at short.
Statistically speaking, Danaher scored a run after being hit twice.
Champlin got an RBI on the sac fly.
Buchholz had twos all over the place. Two hits, two runs scored and two RBI.
Unfus had a big run after a walk.
Karnuth scored twice.
Cam had an RBI for the night.
Johnson scored following a walk.
Allen drove in two, had a double, driving in a pair, and he scored once.
Gaines also had a double, scoring twice (one on the steal of home) and driving in one.
Mitchell hobbled in with what proved to be a key run. He had two hits, including that double, and scored once and driving in one.
Sisson scored a run.
Pinney had two hits, one a double, driving in one and scoring 2.
BR starts the climb toward 400 on Monday evening in Belfast at 7 pm. They do like to use their lights over there.