• The Wolverines took two from rival Cuba-Rushford on a summery Monday evening.  Both games were pitching gems by BR hurlers, as the visitors never crossed the plate. 

    Game one (which was deemed the back half of the BR Tournament) was controlled by Trey Buchholz.   Trey went the distance, striking out 11, scattering 3 hits, hitting a batter and walking two.  It looked as if the boys would be able to finish this one early, but the baseball fates are a fickle bunch.

    The quite literal nightcap was commandeered by Landon Barkley.  He also went the full seven innings, fanning 9, walking just 1, and surrendering 5 hits. AS was the case in the first game, it seemed as if BR was on the verge of sending people home in time to get their homework done.  However, much to the chagrin of the faithful, key hits did not develop.  To the credit of the Rebels, they were oftentimes well positioned, so that many of BR’s sharply contacted balls were the “right at the kid” kind.  

    BR now gets a few nights off before starting a “six games in nine nights” journey heading towards the playoffs.

    Monday’s first game, in the top of the first, Buchholz got the Rebels in order.  A K, a liner to Barkley at short who made a nice grab, and finally Barkley to Caden Allen at first.  All neatly tied up on 11 pitches.

    In the home half, Buchholz led off with a sharp single to left.  He stole second just before Reiss Gaines was dotted, two aboard.  A double steal put them both in scoring position.  Aydin Sisson lifted a ball into the short outfield.  Not sure if Buchholz  would have made it on the sac fly, but the ball was dropped allowing Trey to come in easily.  Gaines to third and Sisson got to second.  Caden Allen grounded out to the right side, moving both runners up 90 feet.  But that would be it for the first.  BR 2-0.

    A fly to Tavyn MacDonell in left was one out. A single up the middle, Braden Zilker laid out to keep the ball in the infield, but just didn’t have the time to turn and get the runner at first.  Base hit. Another fly to MacDonell and a K, left the runner at first.

    Walks to Charlie Militello and Maddox Davison started the BR second.  Zilker hit a ball to third and beat the throw to load the bags, with no one out.  Gaines walked in a run, by the name of Charlie. A sac fly by Sisson, and a  nice running grab by the CR defender, scored Davison.  But the Rebels messed things up for themselves, allowing Zilker to also score with Gaines going to third on the play.  During Allen’s at bat, Gaines made a pure steal of home for the run.  By that I mean, it wasn’t (obviously) the back end of a double steal.  He just flat out burned down the line and beat the tag.   BR 6-0.

    Another quick one for Buchholz, two Ks and a popper to Barkley.

    Good play in the field, good at bat.  Yeah, you could say so.  Barkley, first pitch swinging, ripped a ball down the right field line into the corner of the field by the someday soon STEAM center.  Barkley would motor around the bases completing the inside the park HR with a flourishing head first slide, roll, and jump up!   MacDonell followed with a walk. He advanced to third on an errant pickoff attempt.  Militello singled to right, scoring  Tavyn. Charlie made his way around the bases, first on a steal and then to third on a passed ball. He came in on Zilker’s right side ground out, one of the many just at the kid plays.  BR 9-0 after three. 

    Most in attendance probably thought, there’s no way this is going the distance and we were wrong.

    A lead off HBP started the top of the 4th. Fielder’s choice, Barkley to Zilker to get the lead runner for one down. Another K for Trey. Finally a fly to Tavyn who made up a lot of ground to get to it.

    A steady stream of frustrating innings followed.  BR wasted Allen’s double in the fourth was the first.

    Buchholz kept dealing for BR, though the top of the fifth saw the Rebels’ best chance to get rid of the zeroes.  A strikeout started things.  A walk and bobble on a fielder’s choice had two aboard for CR, their best chance in this game.   Buchholz composed himself and Kd the next two batters.

    BR again might have been able to end the game, but came up empty.  MacDonell was plunked.  Davison would single to the hole, two on.  A baserunning slip up and a BR k would end any chance of a threat.

    Zilker to Allen on another nice play by Zilker, this time able to get the out.  Another K and finally an unassisted grounder to Allen.

    Again, BR could have closed things up, if only…  Waide Karnuth, who entered the game the previous inning hit a one out single to left. Caleb Miller, walked.  Allen took one for the team, bags full one away.  But in the words of Homer Simpson, “D’OH!” and “D’OH!”

    Well it was now down to three outs and a handshake time. Though not without some stress.  Lead off walk, never a good thing. Two Ks, getting better. Single to center, which included a rather fortuitous bounce off Karnuth’s foot, fortunately right to MacDonell.  Runners only to 2nd and 3rd.  It was almost as if he meant to do that!  And maybe he did?  Popper to Buchholz to end it.

    Game one:  Trey had a hit and a run and pitched one HHHHHE-ck of a game. Gaines scored twice and drove in one.  Karnuth had a hit.  Sisson drove in 2. Allen had his double and drove in a run. Barkley had a hit, RBI and a run scored. MacDonell scored once.  Militello had a hit, an RBI and two runs. Zilker had a hit, run scored and RBI.

    For their efforts over the two nights, the Wolverines named to the All-Tournament team were Buchholz, Allen, Barkley, and MVP Sisson.

     

    In the seven o’clock hour, Cuba-Rushford was the home team, to make up for the one they missed out on a few weeks ago on the really messy Saturday (I know, which one?!) .

    So BR led off and again looked like they would get things done in short order.  Hold that thought.

    Buchholz led of with as single to right. He stole second and moved to third on a wild pitch.  A walk to Gaines had the corners. Gaines eliminated the force play by stealing second.  Sisson grounded out to third, scoring Buchholz and moving Gaines to third. Allen followed with a triple and made it in with less flailing than we’ve seen!!  But he never got home.

    Bottom of one, CR home team remember, lead off walk, Oh No!  But a popper to Allen in foul territory, then two Ks ended any threat.

    Militello led off the 2nd, getting on after an error. A one-out walk to Militello had two on and thinking big.  An infield fly was the second out. Gaines singled to left to score Militello.   BR 3-0.  But it would stay that way for a bit. 

    A BR error put one on.  Two Ks and a caught stealing, Sisson to Zilker for the put away.

    BR got two on in the top of the 3rd.  A 2 out single by MacDonell started something.  Catcher’s interference allowed Militello to get aboard.  And nothing doing.

    Grounder, Zilker to Allen for one gone.  A single to right put one on.  Line drive to Militello, Charlie finding out on the play why they call third “The Hot Corner”, flip to Allen to double the runner off first.

    Zilker started the BR fourth getting dotted.  And for his efforts, his teammates did not reward him.  

    Bottom of the 4th:  Flyout to Davison, K and another fine play at third Militello to Allen for the out.

    BR’s fifth picked up two.  Allen was hit again.  Barkley singled to right, Allen hustling to third. Barkley stole second.  Ground out by Tavyn, scored Allen. While Charlie was at the plate, a wild pitch put Barkley across.  BR 5-0.

    Things got a touch hairy for Barkley in the home 5th. Two 2-out (4-3 for one and popper in foul to Allen) singles put two aboard.  A nice scoop and toss by Militello to Allen.  Still 5-0. BR sixth not nice.  Sisson’s two out single was all of it.

    Foul tip K, nice squeeze by Sisson, to start the bottom of the 6th. Pop up to Zilker. AN uneventful single crept in. Comebacker , Barkley to Allen to stop the Rebels.

    MacDonell hit a ground rule double, under the cloth part of the fence.   He finished his trip around the bases on wild pitches.  Two more walks didn’t pan out for the Wolverines.  But 6-0.

    A two out single was all in the bottom of the seventh, with 3 Ks accounting for the out.

    Hits by Buchholz, Gaines, Sisson, Allen (3B), Barkley and two from MacDonell, one a double.

    Only 4 RBIs. Gaines, Sisson, Allen, and MacDonell.

    Run scorers Buchholz, Gaines, Allen, Barkley, MacDonell, and Militello.

     

    As stated above, the Wolverines have a few nights off to get their heads on straight or out of their..

    They next take on Andover-Whitesville in Andover on Thursday at 6. 

     

     

    If there are typos, well, more than the usual assortment, I apologize, it’s late!