• Wow!  A full seven inning game in under ninety minutes.  BR and the Cameron County Raiders (Emporium, PA) squared off in a pitcher’s duel on a summery Friday night. The Wolverines came out on top 2-1.  Some great plays on defense on both sides of the turf to compliment the fantastic pitching.  Both teams were hacking, as there were very few deep counts, only one walk on each side, only one error in the game, and as a fan pointed out on the way out, much more fun to watch than the landslide kinds of games.

    Caden Allen took the ball on the mound and went 6 innings, striking out 2, spreading out 8 hits and he was charged for the Raider run.   Trey Buchholz came on in the seventh and struck out the side for the save.  I think it was the team’s first save of the season.

    For BR, a run in the second and in the sixth, both scored by Allen, proved just enough for the home side.

    For the Raiders in the top of the first, three hits were not enough to get on the board. A dozen pitches were all that Allen had to throw.  First batter singled to the left side.  Next man K’d.  Allen picked off the runner during the next at bat, Maddox Davison, at first, sharp with the tag. A single to left, then a single to right put them back in business.  Fielder’s choice to Buchholz at short, taking it himself to step on 2nd.  End of inning.

    BR didn’t fare much better in their half.  Going down on just 7 pitches.  Reiss Gaines singled to right but was later erased on the bases. 

    Allen matched the seven pitches in the second.  First pitch swinging liner to Landon Barkley at second, one away. Strike out for 2 down.  Nice running catch to Kingston Loucks in right for out 3.

    The BR second started with Allen walking.  He was sacrificed to second by Barkley. Tavyn MacDonell singled to left scoring Allen.  BR 1-0.

    CC answered right back.  Another three single inning this time bore fruit for the Raiders.  Two hard shots up the middle, one just out of reach of a diving Barkley, put them in business.  A bunt took away the lead as Allen scrambled off the mound and threw to Braden Zilker at third. A hard shot to left scored the runner from second, tie ball game.  Runners still at first and second. Fielder’s choice Buchholz to Barkley to get the one, they didn’t have enough time to turn the DP with the speedy runner down the line.  No worries next batter flied out to Gaines in center roaming to his left.

    BR didn’t cash a single by Gaines in their 3rd.

    CC 4th. Zilker to Davison one away.  Allen’s lone walk. Then the pitcher’s best friend, the 4-6-3 DP.  Barkley to Buchholz to Davison.

    BR was looking for some insurance in their 4th.  But the Raiders replied with a double play of their own.  Barkley dropped a one out single into right. MacDonell blooped one into short center, Barkley could only get to second as we weren’t sure it wasn’t going to be caught. First and second for the Wolverines, but a fine play and stretch for the visitors. End of threat.

    For Cameron County, a single and a hit batter, had them in business starting the fifth. A pop up behind the plate, with Aydin Sisson making the nice catch moving away from the field of play.  A pair of fielder’s choices put them down for the frame. A swinging bunt fielded by Allen who turned and threw to Buchholz covering the bag at 2nd.  Then Zilker made a nice scoop on a grounder to third and he tossed to Barkley at second for the third out.

    BR looked, once again, to be ready to break the tie in the fifth. Zilker was hit with one away.  Buchholz singled to center, Zilker deftly advancing to third and Buchholz following up when the throw went to third.   Two in scoring position with only one away...  The defense made the plays.  GUH! 

    Again, in the sixth, Cameron County got a man on.  A liner just off the end Barkley’s outstretched mitt, started it.  A popper in foul ground to Davison. Ground ball up the middle, Buchholz snared it and stepped on second. Two gone. Finally, a beautiful snare of a line shot to first by Davison.  If he doesn’t make that play, its fair to say that ball was destined for that “death valley” corner of the field out by the creek. 

    Bottom of the sixth, Allen leading off with a single to center. MacDonell was hit with a pitch, BR first and second.  Loucks hit a ball the was mishandled by the defense, Allen scoring from second on the play, MacDonell to third.  Loucks would eventually steal second, again giving BR two in scoring position with only one away.  But again, solid defense shut them down. 

    Three outs and a handshake.  And that is exactly what Buchholz delivered.  Swinging, swinging, and looking. PHEW!

    BR gathered 7 hits, all singles. Buchholz, Gaines twice, Allen, Barkley and MacDonell twice. MacDonell had the lone RBI. The weirdities (new word) of baseball, Loucks, statistically gets no credit for putting the ball in play that brought in the winning run, but his contact on that play made all the difference!

    BR gets two nights off before a run of three in a row starts on Monday.  Another south of the border invasion comes to town as Coudersport will cross the state line.

    Tuesday is Senior Night versus Friendship-Scio.  Game starts at 5.  The ceremony will probably crank up about 4:45ish, there are seven seniors on the squad.   The weather guessers are not giving us much hope for all of next week’s activity going off as planned.  Stay tuned.