• Any hopes for an undefeated Wolverine baseball season were dashed on Saturday.  The boys fell to the host Bloomfield Bombers, 11-10 in the ninth inning.  The conditions of the day were probably more fitting for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the CFL, but both teams were out in it and only one prevailed.   I guess you could look at the 11-inning affair the night before or the five games in six days as additional marks against BR.  But those sound remarkably like excuses AND you know what they say about those…

    The Wolverines had perhaps their worst fielding day in years.  An eyepopping 6 errors were charged against them with probably a few others that aren’t the chargeable sort.  Their run game also was held somewhat in check by the conditions and the strategy the Bombers utilized.

    BR had numerous opportunities to do good things, but unfortunately they didn’t take advantage of many of them.  The game did have its share of highlights for the travelling Wolverines.   Included in that were two “leave the park” homeruns and the resiliency to climb back from 4 down to get to extras.  Like Friday night’s marathon, this was also evenly played.  Both teams had 11 hits.  Bloomfield had one fewer error, BR one extra base on balls. BR had one more extra base hit.

    Three BR hurlers took to the mound.  Landon Barkley, Reiss Gaines, and Braden Zilker. All deserved better than what the baseball gods served up.  Barkley went six and struck out six but was saddled with 7 runs, NONE of them earned on account of the defensive struggles. Gaines went 2 +, and Zilker was out there at the end.

    As the road (and what a long road it seemed to be) team, BR batted first.  However, it seemed the bats were left on the bus.  Aydin Sisson got aboard on a two-out infield error.  A well tracked fly ball in center cancelled that.

    The home first hinged on a couple of whatif kinds of things as the Bombers jumped up 3-0.  A one out infield error started them up.  Barkley was dinged on a balk call, moving the runner up.  I can only speculate that shook him a bit.  The batter he was facing proceeded to go yard.  A single, then a double scored their 3rd run.   The outs were a K, diving liner catch by Tavyn MacDonell, and finally Zilker to Caden Allen for out 3. 

    Both teams went in order in the second. BR’s defense was K, Zilker to Allen, then Barkley to Allen. 

    BR got on the board in the third.  Zilker hit a one out single to left. He was erased on a fielder’s choice by Trey Buchholz.  Buchholz stole his way to third.  Gaines singled to center to score Trey.  Sisson walked to put two aboard.  Another well tracked fly to center ended the BR inning.

    The home third was not without some issues.  An error put one on.  A fielder’s choice got one, but not both outs, which seemed like a strong possibility.  A K and ground out Buchholz to Allen ended the challenge.  But in the what if column, extra pitches need to be thrown by Barkley.

    BR evened things in their 4th. Barkley walked.  He was caught stealing, which may have caused BR to pump the brakes in the run game later on?  MacDonell drove a double over the center fielder’s head.  Maddox Davison put the ball in play reaching on a throwing error by the 3rd baseman which allowed MacDonell to score and Davison to reach 2nd.  Zilker also reached on an error as the fielder flat out dropped it in short right, Davison running on contact was able to come home.   Another sharp shot to center was tracked down to end the fourth.

    Bloomfield started the 4th with a single to left.  That was quickly erased, Zilker snared a liner at second and fired to Allen for the double up.  A single and a walk kept them batting.  Finally, a fly to Kingston Loucks in right field ended the rally.

    A two-out walk to Allen and a single to right by Barkley had two aboard for BR, both runners advancing on the throw in.  But nothing doing on the key hit.

    The home side got back in the lead in their 5th.  Another K for Barkley started things. A walk and two straight infield errors loaded the bags.  The next man dropped a nubby fly ball into right to score two.  Bombers at the corners.  An unconventional Double Play ended the rally. The nubby fly ball hitter kid stole 2nd.   BR tried the “cut off throw down” to guard against the third base runner from advancing.   So, with first base empty, what transpired was possible. A dropped third strike had the batter going for the base.  Sisson’s throw to Allen was on the money. The kid at third broke late, and Allen was able to fire it back to Sisson with the tag.  But, Bombers 5, BR 3.  

    BR went pretty quickly in the 6th with 3 Ks.

    Hoping to hold the home nine in check to allow for a possible comeback, BR was unable to obtain that objective.  A single, a fielder’s choice, Buchholz to Zilker to get the lead, one away. An error put two on. Infield Fly to Barkley and it looked like BR would be good on the plan.  A single to left plated one.  The runners advancing to second and third on the throw in. A wild pitch scored number 7 for the Bombers.  Barkley recorded his last K for the end of the 6th.

    Buchholz doubled.  Gaines singled.  A flyout wasn’t quite deep enough to move the runners.  Allen first pitch swinging drilled one over the fence in right, for the 3-run shot.  An out later, MacDonell homered in the same general area for the tie score.    Sweet Fancy Moses are you kidding me?! Loucks reached on an error and Davison by way of the dropped third strike.  Maybe BR can take the lead? Not quite, as a sharp defensive play ended the chance.

    Bottom of the seventh.  Gaines on the hill. Grounder, Zilker to Allen, one down.  A single to left went for naught as it was followed by two Buchholz to Allen groundouts.

    On to extras!  

    Buchholz singled to left. Gaines was plunked.  Sisson singled to left field.  I have to speculate that Coach Allen thought about sending Buchholz, but he held at third.  Bases juiced, nobody out, big inning, right!  All BR could manage in the next sequence was a walk to Barkley but it was good for the lead 8-7.

    A K to start, looking good! A walk.  A groundout with Allen making the diving stop, flip to Gaines covering, two away.  Looking better!  Control, in the eyes of the energetic ump, evaded Gaines for awhile as two straight walks, loaded the sacks. Gaines was called for a balk as the runner at third broke for the plate and while BR thought they had him in a hot box, after several throws, the balk was finally called by the field ump. Hmm?! Run scores others move up.  Tie Game.  Pop foul to Allen, on to the ninth.

    Davison started with a single. Buchholz, a one-out single to right, both runners moving up as the fielder fumbled it. Davison was erased at third on a hot box.  Buchholz was able to get to third during the fray.  Gaines walked.   During Sisson’s walk, Buchholz scored on a passed ball, Gaines to third.  Gaines scored on a wild pitch during Allen’s walk.  BR 10-8.  Maybe a happy bus ride home?

    That didn’t happen.  A walk and a double gave the Bombers life with a run. A sharply hit ball to the outfield and a walk had the bags loaded.  A sac fly tied it.   A single over the drawn in infield ended it. 

    In the immortal words of Charlie Brown, “AAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

    This one, like horseradish ice cream, is going to leave a bad taste in the mouth.   And there’s not much time to lick the wounds as the always tough Fillmore Eagles fly into town for a 5 o’clock tilt on Monday.

     

    Stat rundown:  Buchholz 3 hits, 4 runs scored. Gaines a hit, an RBI, two scored. Allen, the three-run bomb.  Barkley had a hit and an RBI.  MacDonell had two hits, one his solo blast. He also scored another. Davison had a hit and a run.  Zilker and Sisson chipped in hits.