The Wolverines began their climb for a Sectional Title with a 14-4 victory over the Lyndonville Tigers on Wednesday evening. Due to Sectional rules regarding travel distance on school nights, the game was played at the Keshequa Rymer Athletic Complex in Nunda. Another Sectional rule, the ten-run rule is no longer in effect. It would seem this would be a really good part of the season to have that rule and maybe save some arms. Thank you to Nunda and the Keshequa schools for hosting this game.
BR and Lyndonville have squared off many times over the years at this point in the season and quite often right in Nunda. Typically, they are hard fought, intense games. Despite the score, for the most part, this one followed suit. The game was still very much in doubt until BR put up a five spot in the fifth.
Coach Allen had a trio of pitchers combine on the hill. Landon Danaher, Caden Allen and Reiss Gaines, in that order, worked the bump, surrendering a combined four hits and an equal number of walks. They also rung up a dozen batters with Ks. Some uncharacteristic, possibly unlucky, fielding chances stretched their pitch numbers to near the limit for “not available for Friday”, but all are good to go if needed. However, as the coaches noted and told the team after the game, they will need to clean up those miscues pretty darn quickly if they want to play beyond the next round.
At the plate, every BR starter registered at least one hit as the team racked up the baker’s dozen number of hits. They also collected five free passes, one hit batter, and were assisted by a six pack of fielding errors by the Tigers.
As noted, Danaher got the start, though it wasn’t the start most would have anticipated. A lead-off walk and a wild pitch had the Tigers in business right away. A ground ball out (Trey Buchholz to Cam MacDonell at first base), then the first two of Landon’s five strikeouts left the goose egg on the board.
BR’s night at the plate began inauspiciously, as they were 2 down pretty fast. Wyatt Karnuth started things by hitting a shot past the Tiger fielder, reaching base on the error. He was balked to second and stole third. Cam ripped a ball to the right center gap for three bases. Wyatt scoring easily. Another fielding error put Caden Allen on base and sent Cam home with the 2-0 lead.
The lead was short lived. After a swinging strikeout, another free pass was issued. A hit batter put two aboard. A ball that got through to the outfield, scored a run and left two on. Strikeout two, gave hope for minimal damage. However, a double down the line in left scored a pair, Lyndonville 3-2.
BR bounced right back. Aydin Sisson and Ethan Childs both singled to start the home second. Danaher drew a one out walk to fill the bags with Wolverines. Buchholz went the opposite way to left to plate Sisson and Childs, with Danaher getting to second. Landon promptly stole third. Karnuth tripled over the centerfielder to drive in Danaher and Buchholz. BR 6-3.
Caden took over on the mound to start the third. An error put the lead man on. A passed ball moved the runner up and a single to left scored the run. Caden’s two Ks and a grounder Danaher (at 2ndbase now) to Cam ended the inning.
Reiss drew a walk to start the BR 3rd. He moved up on a wild pitch during Sisson’s AB, which ended in a walk. A fly ball while the runners had taken off, meant they had to scramble back or else get doubled up, so one away and still first and second. Gaines took off for third during Evan Pinney’s at bat. The throw to get him at third went into left field, allowing Reiss to get up and score. Sisson getting to second on the play. Pinney singled to left, sending Sisson home. A single by Danaher was remainder of the BR offense for the third, but now they were doubling the Tigers, 8-4.
Some defensive switches to start the fourth proved very prescient. A popper to Danaher at short, then one to Buchholz at second and two away quickly. A walk then a liner to Danaher, quick inning with no score change.
After an out, Cam took a pitch and sent it out to the row of cars beyond the center field fence. I don’t recall there being a parking area out there in the past. If I had driven, I don’t think I would have parked there, either. Cam exclaimed, as he was coming down the third base line before crossing the plate, “I do believe I hit that ball quite well!” or words to that effect.
A single by Allen, one by Gaines, Sisson getting hit by a pitch and it looked as if BR had some more scoring to do. Unfortunately, a base running snafu took a lot of wind out of the sails for the inning, but the extra run was something! BR 9-4.
Gaines took over on the hill to start the fifth. And it was as if his teammates don’t like him. First two batters reached base on errors?! A wild pitch moved both runners up. Gaines got the next batter to strikeout, with Sisson making a nice squeeze on the foul tip third strike. A walk loaded the bases, keeping the Tiger hopes alive. A K for out number 2 then a groundball to Buchholz with the toss to Cam ended the threat, Phew! Still 9-4, though closer than the score would indicate.
For the bottom of the fifth, BR sent eight men to the dish to put the game on ice. Pinney led off with a walk. Danaher singled to left. Buchholz ripped one up the middle to score Pinney, Danaher to third on the play. Caden Gaines ran for Buchholz in a coaching strategy move. Karnuth walked to load ‘em up. Danaher caught the defense with their guard down and stole home with a tough slide. The other runners also moving up. Cam singled to left scoring both Caden Gaines and Karnuth. A fielder’s choice took Cam off the bases, replaced by Allen at first. A groundout moved Allen up 90. Sisson grounded to third which probably should have ended the inning, but the throw sailed over the first baseman, allowing Allen to score. In trying to get more, Sisson was tossed out at second following the error as the defense made a quick recovery. BR 14-4.
Two strikeouts and a grounder, Karnuth to Cam, were wrapped around a single by the Tigers.
Pitching change for the Lyndonville squad to start BR’s last at bats. Childs hit a popper to right that fell in for an error, Ethan speeding to second on the play. He was eventually removed on the bases and BRs last two batters couldn’t get on.
Gaines, who had settled in nicely after the rough beginning, got two ground ball outs and a K to finish the contest. One grounder was 5-3, the other was 3 unassisted.
Running down the stats:
Danaher had two hits and scored a pair.
Buchholz had two hits, driving in three and scoring one time.
Karnuth had a triple, scored twice and drove in two.
Cam was a double short of the cycle, scoring two and driving in three others to go with his “Uh, Oh you better get Maaco” solo shot. (Ask an older person!)
Caden Allen had a hit and a run scored.
Reiss Gaines did as well.
So did Childs.
As did Pinney and Evan drove in one.
Sisson had a hit and scored twice.
Caden Gaines scored one on his pinch running assignment.
For the Semi Finals, BR will host the HAC Wolves on Friday night at home at 5:30. Weekend games, teams can travel all night!