• The Wolverines move on to the Sectional Finals.   Friday night they topped the Harley-Allendale-Columbia (HAC) Wolves 23-0.  The game was quite competitive for awhile, then it got weird in the end.  As I mentioned in the previous recap, Sectionals would seem to be the time of the season when the 10 run rule would be very beneficial.   Perhaps there will be changes in the future, as I have noticed several other scores this spring being very tilted. Player safety should be the obvious reason.

    From the Semi Final game.  I don’t recall the baseballers ever squaring off with HAC.  The game was delayed about 45 minutes as first thunder, then kind of a hard rain slowed things.  There wasn’t supposed to be anything all evening.  So much for “the most accurate weather forecasts” from the Buffalo stations, BAH!

    Trey Buchholz and Wyatt Karnuth combined on the 3 hit shutout.  Trey’s line had 8 Ks, 2 hits and an HBP in 5 innings of work.  Wyatt fanned 5 in his two innings of work giving up a hit and a walk.  Two base runners for the visitors made it to second.

    Trey plunked the first batter of the night, so right away it was one of those Maalox moments.  The second man up hit a grounder to Karnuth at third, he turned and fired to Ian Unfus covering 2nd for the front end.  Ian made the pivot but the throw to Cam MacDonell at first was off the mark, (you can’t assume the double play).  The batter turned and tried to take advantage of the situation, but catcher Aydin Sisson had hustled down the line for the back-up. He retrieved the ball and fired a strike back to Unfus who applied the tag to complete the textbook 5-4-2-4 DP.  Third out was a fly to right with Caden Allen running to his left for the catch.

    BR’s chance at the plate.  Landon Danaher earned a walk to start things. He had second base stolen, but his momentum was so great that on the slick carpet he slid past the bag and the fielder was able to recover to apply the tag.  Trey earned his own walk then moved up on a wild pitch.  Karnuth singled to left giving Buchholz enough space to score.  While Cam was at the plate, Karnuth stole second.  The Wolves tried to pick him off but the throw went into center field, and Karnuth sprinted home. Cam finished his walk. Allen singled to center.  Reiss Gaines drew a walk to fill the bags.  Sisson singled to right to score Cam. BR 3-0.

    Two Ks by Buchholz surrounded a grounder to Karnuth to Cam in the top of the second.

    Trey hit a one out single past second base. Karnuth singled up the middle, to put two on.  Another errant pickoff attempt allowed Buchholz to score and Wyatt to second. A walk by Allen was all that was left in the BR tank in the second.  BR 4-0.

    A fielding error by BR put one on.  But Buchholz left him at first, striking out the side from there with Sisson making the clutch stab on the foul tip third out.

    BR added more in their part of the 3rd.  Sisson walked, then stole second.   Ethan Childs singled to center moving Sisson to third.  Childs took second when the Wolves tried one of those rope-a-dope first and third defensive plays.   Sisson was not fooled.  So now BR had two in scoring position.  Evan Pinney lifted a fly ball into right for the sac fly.  Childs advanced to third on the play.  Buchholz ripped a triple to right center, Childs easily crossing the plate. Karnuth followed with a single to left, driving home Buchholz. BR 7-0. 

    HAC got two of their hits in the 4th.  Neither got past first base.  After the lead-off single, Buchholz caught the runner leaning and the Wolverines erased him on the 1-3-6 hot box play.  Danaher being the 6 and chasing the kid back towards first before applying the tag.  The batter that was up during this, fanned.  The third man up in the inning singled to center.  The final out was a fly to Allen, this time ranging to his right.

    BR was held scoreless in their 4th.   Two walks going for naught.

    Another K sandwich in the 5th with an Unfus to Cam groundout in the middle.

    A two out, hard shot off the second baseman by Karnuth got things up for BR.  Wyatt stole his way to third. Cam drew a walk.  Allen reached on an error, allowing Karnuth to score.  BR 8-0.

    Coach Allen started moving things around in the sixth.  Karnuth, now on the mound, struck out the first two batters he faced.  A single to left and a walk provided the visitors with the first best chance to erase the 0.  Strikeout 3 ended the threat. 

    Sisson singled. Childs singled.  Matt Mitchell hit into a fielder’s choice, short to third erasing Sisson.

    This is where it all got weird.

    Danaher popped one up over the shortstop’s head.  The ball was dropped.  Everyone was safe.  The visiting coach came out and asked why the Infield Fly rule was not in affect.  Possibly a legit question.  The base umpire said it wasn’t a routine fly ball thus nullifying one of the criteria.  As well, the ball did go maybe 10 feet into the outfield, so no Infield fly. That explanation did not satisfy the coach who continued the discussion, thus leading to his early departure from the proceedings.  All the time I’ve been doing this, that was a first.

    At the same time, the Wolves’ pitcher had reached the pitch count limit.  They had not begun to warm up anyone in between innings.  It was still 8-0 at this point. So, a relatively cold pitcher took over.  The BR bats remained warm.  

    Buchholz was hit by a pitch for the RBI, scoring Childs. While Karnuth was at the plate, the pitcher was charged with a balk. Mitchell scored, Danaher to 3rd and Buchholz to second.  Karnuth walked to fill the bags up again.  Cam hit a Sac fly to center to score Danaher, Cam reaching base when the ball was dropped.  Bases still loaded.  Caden Gaines drew a walk to force in Trey.  Karnuth scored on a wild pitch. Cam and CGaines moving up. Sawyer Johnson walked to load them up again.  New pitcher for HAC, Landon Barkley in for his cousin, Aydin. He ripped a liner to center that fell in for an error, Cam and CGAines crossing the plate, Johnson to third, Barkley to second.  Childs singled to short, scoring Johnson, Barkley to third.  Mitchell reached base on a fielder’s choice, erasing Childs at second but scoring Barkley.  Danaher hit one that was misplayed by the second baseman, giving BR first and second. Buchholz singled to right, bases loaded.  Karnuth double to center bouncing it off the fabric fence. MIthcell and Danaher scoring, Buchholz to third. Cam ripped one that maybe in a different ball park was gone, but instead, he got a single, while Buchholz and Karnuth scored.  Caden Gaines, up again, drew a walk.  Sawyer singled to center, bases loaded.  Barkley singled to left center, Cam scores.  Childs hit another single to center to plate Gaines.   Mercifully, a groundball out ended things.  Yeah, probably should have been called early on?

    Three outs and a handshake. 

    Ground ball to Trey who was at third toss across to Cam for out one.  Then the last 2 Ks from Wyatt.  

     

     

    Rounding up the numbers…

    BR totaled 18 hits, 16 RBIs, they earned 13 walks, and they benefitted from 7 errors.

    Karnuth went 5 for 5 at the plate, one a double, scoring 4 and driving in 4.

    Childs had 4 hits, scoring two and driving in two.

    Trey had three hits, the one being a triple.  He drove in two and scored five.  

    Sisson had two hits with an RBI and a run scored.

    Cam had 3 RBIs, scored three and collected one hit.

    Evan Pinney drove in a run.

    Matt Mitchell drove in one and scored two.

    Johnson had a hit and a run.

    Barkley had a hit, a run, and an RBI.

    Cayden Gaines while not having an official at bat, (2 walks), scored a pair and drove in a run.

    Caden Allen had a hit.

    Danaher scored a pair of runs.

     

    BR’s Finals opponent has not been determined, as the other semifinal game was rained out up north. It will either be Cal Mum or Northstar Christian.  We DO know the game will be played at Houghton College on Tuesday.  The start time has not been determined yet, either.  It will be $5, again, to get into the game on Tuesday.  The weather guessers are calling for a high in the 80s, so pack your parkas, it might snow!