• Yawn!  Ho hum!  Another game, another W for the Wolverines!  Just kidding, paraphrasing the words of Sergeant Murtaugh in the Lethal Weapon movies, “I am getting too old for this S … aturday is fast approaching.” 

    The Wolverines put another in the win column Friday evening with a thrilling 5-4 win over the visiting Port Allegany Gators.   It is just that this took 11 innings to finish the job, (BR’s previous two games combined, +, if you will!).  Digging through the cobwebs in my head, I think you’d have to go back to maybe 2010-ish to find a BR game that went this long.  Ingie going to maybe the 13th (pre-pitch count era) in a playoff game versus Alfred Almond, conditions just a touch different, as that game was really hot and muggy.  Correct me if I am wrong.

    Both teams played well, and both teams had numerous chances to end things earlier.  In the best, Captain Obvious way of looking at things.  It was a very evenly matched game.  The Gators had 41 at bats, BR 40. Each team had ten hits.  Each team committed 2 errors. But also, each team had some Web Gems to keep the scoring down.  

    Possibly the big difference maker in the game, BR was able to amass 11 stolen bases. The Gators had two runners thrown out by BR catcher Aydin Sisson and another runner picked off by BR hurler Caden Allen.  All three of those defensive gems by BR cut short much potential for the visitors.

    Okay, the bus for Bloomfield is warming up, so get on to Friday night. 

    Allen started for BR and threw a complete game, in normal circumstances.  He went 7 striking out 7 and was charged with the 4 Gator runs.  Trey Buchholz came on in the 8th, going 4 scoreless for the W, fanning 5.

    Things started a little bumpy for BR as the Gators put up a run in the first.  A single to the left side started things.  Second man hit a fielder’s choice and BR was unable to connect for any outs, so 2 on.  Next man hit a groundball to Landon Barkley at second, he turned to Buchholz at short who flipped to Davison in time for the Double Play, though the lead runner got to 3rd. The next batter hit a blooperish, dying quail thing down the first base/right field line that Kingston Loucks just missed making a spectacular diving catch on. It fell in for the single, and the run came across to give the Gators the lead.  The final out of the inning was a comebacker to Allen with the toss to Davison.

    BR wasted little time getting that one back and then some.  Buchholz “went oppo” dropping a fly over the left fielder.  To the kid’s credit, he held Buchholz to 2 on the play.  Reiss Gaines followed, also going to the left side to drive in Buchholz.  Gaines stole second.  Allen ripped a shot to center to plate Gaines.  Landon Barkley singled to the right side, beating out the defense to the bag, Allen to third on the play.  Barkley stole second to put 2 in scoring position, unfortunately, they were left there. 

    Allen struck out the side in the second.

    BR almost answered in kind in their half, but they got 2 two out walks (Trey and Reiss), but again they didn’t get the hit that would cash them in.

    Allen fanned the lead off in the third, Sisson to Davison to complete the strike out.  Grounder to Buchholz and another comebacker to Allen, both tossing to Davison, finished the frame.

    BR went three up and three down in their 3rd.

    A lead-0ff single for the Gators started the 4th.  He was promptly picked off by Allen, officially, Allen to Davison, to Buchholz on the out.  Very fortuitous based on what was about to happen.  The second man up singled to center.  The next batter got ahold of one, hitting the right center gap to the chain link scoring the previous runner.  A right-side ground out gave the boys from PA the lead, 3-2. Allen finished the inning with a K.

    BR went in order, once again, in the 4th.

    A lead off single was erased at second on the first of the hosings by Sisson, Barkley on the tag. Another single went for naught for Port Allegany as Allen registered another K and a 4-3 groundout, (Barkley to Davison).

    BR took the lead in their 5th.  Though it could have been more!  Buchholz ripped one that looked to be going for extras, but a great running grab by the Port A right fielder nullified the effort.  Gaines drew a walk. Sisson singled to the hole, Gaines getting to 3rd on the play. Sisson stole 2nd pretty easily.  Allen grounded to the right side scoring Gaines and moving Sisson along to third. While Barkley was earning a walk, a passed ball let Sisson score.  A walk to Tavyn MacDonell had two Wolverines on the bases, but a sharp throw by the Gator third sacker, just nipped Kingston Loucks at first, ending the rally. But BR stood in front. 4-3.

    That didn’t last long. 

    The lead off Gator ripped a gapper for three but a bobble en route to getting the ball in, allowed the batter to complete the trip around the bases, though not by much!  The next man lined on to Braden Zilker who made the quick glove save for the lineout.  Barkley to Davison was out 2.  Another web gem as Davison laid out crossing his body to snare a grounder destined for the outfield.  Maddox calmly got off the turf and took it himself for the unassisted put out.  But the visitors had knotted it at 4.

    I think I’ll stop there for the night……

     

     

    Bottom of six, BR went quickly.

    Top of the seventh Port A did as well, two 6- 3 put outs surrounding Allen’s final K of the night.

    BR of the seventh BR went 3 up 3 down.

    The dreaded lead-off walk got the Gators going in their 8th.  Sisson’s second “caught stealing” dart took that away.  Barkley (at short) to Allen (at first was the second out.  The first of many cans of corn to Gaines in center. 

    BR couldn’t do anything with MacDonell’s single in the 8th.

    The Gator 9th started the way the 8th ended.  Easy fly to Gaines. A single to left got no farther. Trey’s first K and another popper to Gaines was the end of things.

    BR made some two-out noise in the 9th, fingers crossed to end it?   Not so lucky. Gaines singled to center.  He stole his way to third as Sisson walked and moved up with his own stolen base.  A nifty defensive play by the Gator’s first baseman prevented Allen from closing this one out.

    A K started the 10th.  A single fell in front of Gaines.   An infield error put a second man aboard for the Gators.  Once again, Gaines corralled a fly ball and made a strong throw into the infield to keep the runners at first and second.  Zilker (at second) to Allen stopped the threat.

    Once again in the 10th BR didn’t get anything cooking until there were 2 gone.  Loucks singled to center, and stole his way to second, getting third as the throw went into center.  But another fine play by the defense prevented us from leaving.

    Three strikeouts was the Port Allegany 11th.

    Zilker ripped a ball to the left center gap, and by running all the way, he was able to get into 2nd base to start the last inning.  A misguided pickoff attempt allowed Zilker to get to third.  Buchholz finished his walk and moved to second uncontested.  Gaines finally ended things with a single to left, allowing Zilker to walk in with the decisive tally.   Almost three hours after they started!!!!

    Looking back on this recap, I really haven’t done justice to the thrills and intensity that were felt when this was in the present tense.

     

    Gaines had three hits leading the way for BR.  He also had two RBIs including the final and he scored twice.

    Buchholz had a hit (double) and a run.  Allen had a hit (a double) and 2 RBIs. Sisson a hit and a run, too..

    Barkley, Loucks, and MacDonell each chipped in with a hit. Zilker had the clutch double and the winning run.

     

    Not too much time to relish this one, as BR will be going up to Bloomfield in the morning for an 11 o’clock start.   According to the schedule, if it is any consolation, Bloomfield also had a game on Friday evening.  Though they started at 4:30 and probably didn’t go as long, just guessing!.