The Wolverines are once again Champions of their Section V classification. The official name has meandered through the alpha-numeric designations that the Section and State attach to these things. Regardless, for the FOURTH consecutive season the Wolverine Baseball Squad has collected the brick like trophy.
This marks the ninth such title under the tutelage of Coach Allen, who took over the team in 2003. Unlike last year’s title which just ended the season, there is still much more to play for on the horizon.
BR will next square off against the winner of the first C Crossover game. That will be Oakfield-Alabama or Letchworth. They will play on Wednesday evening. Then that winner will play BR on Th. Quite possibly back in Houghton.
There are 37 Class C size schools in Section V broken down into 3 divisions. So, the winners get an extra round of play in compared to the other Class Sizes. Seems maybe the state could tweak some numbers so maybe some of the bigger Cs become Bs and maybe a few of the smaller schools become Ds. But, what I think are good ideas, most people really don’t want to hear!
Back to the Title game. BR bested a very scrappy, Northstar Christian Knights team by a score of 6-3. BR jumped out to a sizeable 6-0 lead and had to battle to finally put the thing away.
A trio of pitchers combined on a 2 hitter for the Wolverines. What was troublesome for BR was the 8 free passes and two hit batters. There were also 3 errors on the bouncy Houghton turf.
Landon Danaher started and went three innings striking out 6, but taking the credit for half of the walks and one of the hit batters. Wyatt Karnuth took over in the 4th and got to one out in the seventh. He fanned 4. Trey Buchholz came on to get the final 2 outs, one via the K.
At the plate, BR collected 8 hits and received an equal number of bases on balls.
From the jump, it looked as if BR would be able to have the kind of game we have seen MANY times this season. Danaher got 2 swinging Ks sandwiched around a grounder, Trey to Cam MacDonell, to get through the top of the first quickly.
BR got out to a quick 2-0 lead in their half of the opener. Trey ripped a one-out single to center. Wyatt followed by lacing a shot to the right center field gap. Trey scored and Wyatt was standing on third when all was said and done on the play. Cam then lifted a ball into left, plenty deep to score Karnuth.
Caden Allen and Reiss Gaines followed with singles to give the impression that there was a lot more scoring to be had, but with already 2 down in the frame BR was unable to move them around.
The second started swimmingly. Two more Ks to start the frames. Then some wildness crept in and in a blink, bases were full. Finally, the third out was K number 5 for Landon.
BR finished their scoring in the bottom of the second. Ethan Childs stared with a ground ball to third that he was able to beat out the throw. Evan Pinney popped one into no-man’s land in left field, pushing Childs to third and Pinney to second. Danaher sac flied into deep center, scoring Childs. Pinney advancing as well. Pinney raced home on a wild pitch during Buchholz’s at bat. Trey would later draw the walk. Karnuth doubled to center with Trey stopping at third. Cam hit his second Sac fly of the contest again to left, scoring Buchholz and moving Karnuth to third. After a pitching change for the Knights a wild pitch allowed Karnuth to cross the plate. BR 6-0. Again, it seemed like one of those games that we’ve seen at least a dozen times this year. BUT
Things were a little sloppy in the top of the third. A hit batter and a walk put two aboard. A fielder’s choice, Ian Unfus to Buchholz to get the runner at second for 1. Runners at the corners. Another grounder was misplayed allowing the first run on the board by the Knights. Another groundout and the 6th K of Danaher’s night ended the chance of any further damage.
The Wolverine bats went uncharacteristically silent for a frame or two, starting with the bottom of the third. BR only had Childs reaching on an error and getting to second on the same play to show for the 3rd.
With Wyatt coming on to pitch the 4th, things quieted for the Knights as well. They went in order with 2 Ks and a pop out to Allen who was now on first.
BRs 4th was not as pretty as the third, the boys went in order with two Ks surrounding Buchholz’s liner to center.
Karnuth fanned the lead-off in the 5th. A ground ball turned into a base for the next batter as BR ‘s third error of the night came up. A deeper fly to center was out 2, with no advancement by the runner. The final out of the inning was a grounder to Danaher who rifled the ball to Allen at first. Still BR 6-1.
BR looked to be getting something going in the bottom of the 5th. Two out walks to Gaines and Sisson put two aboard. A wild pitch moved them both into scoring position. But that was as far as they got.
Onto the sixth. A strikeout by Karnuth started things. The first hit of the night by the Knights was a clean single to center. That runner moved up on a passed ball. A liner to Gaines in center was out 2. A walk put two aboard. The final out was a little comeback ball to Karnuth. Good thing he is tall as he was able to sky for it, collect the ball and himself, and make the throw to Allen at first.
Buchholz hit a two out single to left, but that was all BR could manage in the 6th. Still just “three outs and a handshake” and it would be Championship time.
Eh, that took a little bit more doing…
Groundball Cam (at third) to Caden at first, one away!
A walk then a single to center had two on. Another walk loaded the bags. The collar seemed a little starched at this point. Coach Allen went to Buchholz to try and get out of this jam.
Weeellllll, it didn’t start so well. The first batter got grazed by a pitch, forcing in a run and keeping the sacks full. Next man, strikeout. TWO GONE!
A wild pitch moved all the runners up 90 feet, scoring the third run for the Knights. Another freebie loaded things up again. We’ll say at that point it was a strategic base on balls to allow the force play at any base.
Games end in all sorts of ways and this one was no different! On a pitch that briefly eluded Sisson, the runner from third broke for home. Sisson found the ball and tossed to Buchholz who sprinted off the mound to cover the plate. The ball and Trey arrived in plenty of time to put the tag on the runner. Ball game, jubilation, celebration, Happy Wolverine Nation.
Danaher drove in a run with a sac fly.
Buchholz had two hits and scored twice.
Karnuth had two extra base hits, a double and a triple, he also scored twice and drove in one.
Cam had two sac fly RBIs.
Caden Allen and Reiss had a hit each.
Childs and Pinney had a hit each and each crossed the plate.
Awards announced after the game- though two had been announced at a Monday Morning Breakfast of Champions in Canandaigua.
Class C3 Tournament Most Outstanding Player, Wyatt Karnuth.
Class C3 Player of the Year, Landon Danaher.
Class C3 Coach of the Year Coach Allen.
As mentioned above, BR will have to wait until Wednesday to find out who their next opponent will be.