• The Wolverines finished the 19-1 regular season on Thursday night with a hard fought 5-3 win over the host Campbell-Savona Panthers.  Save for a few stats, the big one being the runs, this game was about as even as could be imagined.

    Both teams had six hits, both teams worked three walks, both pitchers went over 110 pitches, both teams had some good defensive plays, then again there were 8 combined errors.  BR’s pitcher had a slight edge in strikeouts (8 to 6) but he also hit some batters.  One statistical anomaly for the evening, of the eight runs scored, absolutely none were earned.  Each side had 1 RBI.

    Trey Buchholz took the ball for Coach Allen and he worked a whale of a game against probably the Panthers ace pitcher.

    After the long drive east on 86, BR took a few innings to get things in gear.  Their first trip to the plate, Landon Danaher hit a sharp ball to left for a single.  He would later be erased on the base paths.  Trey and Wyatt Karnuth followed and they hit balls smartly to the outfield, but the Panthers’ center fielder covered a lot of ground in tracking both flies down.

    The home first was very much the same.  A line out to Ian Unfus at second.  A ground ball to Danaher at short, who made the throw to Cam MacDonell for out 2.  A hard shot to deep third put a man aboard with the infield single.  But a pop foul out to Cam at first ended any threat.

    BR looked to have something going with two down in their second at bat.  Reiss Gaines singled to left.  Aydin Sisson and then, Ethan Childs drew walks to load the bags.  Unfortunately, a defensively well-played groundout, ended the potential score.

    The Panthers got the lead in the bottom of the second.  A lead off hit batter is just as detrimental to the cause as a lead-off walk.  A single to right put two on.  The next man bunted to the space between the mound and third.  Buchholz hopped off the mound to gather up the bunt and threw to second for the out.  The boys tried to get a DP on the play but didn’t get things right and the error allowed the man who started at second to come around and score the game’s first run, leaving a man on first. Two strikeouts ended the damage.   BR down 0-1.

    It did not take long for the Wolverines to make amends.  Danaher led off the third with a single to third, beating the throw by a step.  Buchholz surprised the Panthers with a nice bunt, made even nicer on the error by the home side, Landon getting to third.  With men at the corners, Buchholz broke for second, nearly getting picked off, but then the defense got distracted by Danaher heading toward home and got no one out on the play.  Danaher scored and Trey made it to second.   Wyatt singled to third beating out the throw, Trey advanced to third.  Wyatt would then steal second to put two in scoring position. Cam lifted a fly to right that would have been a sac fly, but the ball was dropped in the outfield.  Cam got credit for the RBI as Trey came home.  Wyatt got to third on the play.  The ball was misplayed on the throw in from the outfield, so Wyatt sprinted home with another run.  Cam moved up on a right side ground out. With two away, Sisson walked to put men at the corners.  Very similar to the play earlier in the frame, Sisson broke for second, got caught up in a rundown just long enough for Cam to get home with the fourth run of the inning for the visitors.   BR 4-1.

    The Panthers answered right back with a pair in their part of the inning.  A single to left started things. During the ensuing strikeout, that runner stole second, just getting in under the tag.  A BR error allowed that runner to score.  To make matters worse, in an attempt to get the runner at the plate, another error allowed the batter to move along to third.  A groundout to Danaher at short plated the run.  Another K then a groundout to Karnuth ended the threat.  Little did anyone know but the home side was done scoring for the game, BR 4-3.

    The Wolverines went quickly and quietly in the top of the fourth, going down in order.

    The home team had a threat building in their part of the 4th as strikeout, walk, strikeout, walk had two aboard.  A wild pitch moved the runners up, before Buchholz induced the fly ball to center with Reiss making a nice grab for the third out.  

    BR’s 5th wasn’t any better than their 4th.  Fly to left, groundout to short and a K.

    After the lead off batter got plunked starting the bottom of the fifth, one of the nice BR defensive plays followed. Groundball to Wyatt at third, he turned and threw to Unfus at second for one.  In that instant of time, I think the BR coaches would have been happy with that result.  Unfus made the pivot and threw a dart to Cam who made a nice stretch to complete the 5-4-3 DP.  The third man up flew out to Evan Pinney in left.

    BR continued to have some issues at the plate in the 6th. A popper to short, a fly to a running centerfielder and a K.  So, three straight frames down in order.  The tension was building to an almost painful level.

    The home side made some noise the 6th but BR quieted them.  An HBP started things. The next man bunted him over, Trey dove for the popped up bunt and almost caught it, but then had the presence of mind to collect himself and get the man at first for one away.  A grounder to Wyatt at third with the strong throw got the batter for out two, the runner advancing to third.  The last man of the inning was Trey’s 7th strikeout.  BR still just had a one-run advantage.

    BR got some insurance in their last at bat.   A one out single by Pinney past the second baseman got things going. Danaher followed with a rip to left center that missed going out by maybe two feet as the ball caromed off the fence.  Pinney was held at third, so two within scoring position.  A passed ball allowed Pinney to cross the plate and Landon to take third.   However, strikeout victims 5 and 6 ended the inning.  But BR 5-3.

    Things got beyond scary in the last at bat.   A hard luck single to short right put one on.  He was erased trying to steal second, Sisson to Danaher on the play.  The second batter hit one that was mishandled by BR.  The next man doubled to right, the runner at first had to hold up a bit as it looked like it might be catchable, so only 2nd and 3rd with one away.  After falling behind in the count, BR intentionally walked the next kid to load the bags and put the force at any base.   Strikeout number eight was delivered by Buchholz for 2 down.   A grounder up the middle, could have been trouble but Unfus snared it and stepped on second to get the force and the ball game was over.

    Encapsulating, the BR runs were scored by Danaher, Buchholz, Karnuth, MacDonell, and Pinney.

    Cam had the lone RBI.  Of the six hits, Landon had three, including the big double. Wyatt, Reiss and Evan had one each.

    No telling at this point how the standings are going to shake out as many teams still have games to play which will alter seedings.  That info will not be completely finalized until Sunday.