Swanton took advantage of two third inning errors to take a 5-1 lead, then had to fight off an Evergreen rally for a 5-4 victory at Swanton to go to 3-0 on the young season Monday.
“We didn’t necessarily square some balls up that inning at the plate but they found a hole,” said Bulldog coach Tim McCarthy.
“We were pretty aggressive on the bases too. It almost cost us late in the game but we just have to be a little bit better there.”
Evergreen scored without the benefit of a hit to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second.
Phoenix VanOstrand drew a leadoff walk from Swanton starter Austin Luce, then went to third when Luce’s pickoff move went wide.
Freshman Jack Krispin’s flyball marked VanOstrand to give the Vikes a one run lead. Swanton came back with the tying tally in the bottom of the inning.
Josh Adcock was hit by a pitch, was sacrificed to second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Noah Johnston’s soft liner fell over the Viking infield.
Swanton then used a four run third to take the lead.
Roman Epley’s ground ball was misplayed for an error and after a walk, Gunnar Oakes’ sharp single to right put the Bulldogs ahead.
Mason Henricks’ throwing error on Michael Lawniczak’s grounder, Adcock’s fly ball, and Johnston’s second run scoring hit produced four unearned runs to give Swanton a solid lead.
Luce got out of trouble in the fourth after he put himself in a jam with a hit batter and a pair of walks to load the bases with two out by striking out Zack Lumbrezer to end the inning.
However, the Vikings rallied against reliever Zack Bloom in the fifth.
Teagen Pinkelman’s bunt single opened the inning and Henricks followed with a sharp grounder through the hole into left. Bryce Eisel’s single to right brought home one run and VanOstrand’s base hit scored another.
Then, after Bloom retired the next two Viking hitters, Bryce Hudik rammed a two out single through the infield to slice the Swanton lead to 5-4.
Swanton had a chance to add on in their end of the fifth after Oakes walked and moved to second a wild pitch.
Lawniczak blooped a base hit to center but Pinkelman blew away Oakes trying to reach third, then on a short wild pitch, Krispin shot down Lawniczak trying to get to third to take away a scoring chance.
Despite the missed opportunity, Bloom made it a moot point, putting down the last six Evergreen hitters to end the game.
Eisel started for the Vikings and probably deserved a better fate after going four innings and allowing one earned run on four hits. The sophomore walked two and struck out five.
VanOstrand went the final two innings, striking out three while giving up a hit and walking one Bulldog.
Luce went four innings of hitless ball but walked four and hit a batter while striking out three to pick up the victory.
Bloom was touched up for three earned runs on five hits and struck out one. Johnston was the hitting star for the Bulldogs with his pair of run scoring singles.
Three-run sixth pushes Delta past Evergreen
Sometimes it isn’t the big bomb over or off the fence that wins or loses a baseball game.
Sometimes it’s the ball that’s supposed to go 40 feet on the ground that either scores a key run or takes you out of a big inning.
The execution of the bunt proved big in a three-run Delta sixth inning as the Panthers scored a 4-1 victory over the Vikings Tuesday.
“We executed the suicide squeeze today and they had trouble getting their’s down and I think that was the difference in the game,” Panther coach Damon Mattimore explained.
Both those issues came long after each team had scored an unearned run to force a 1-1 tie heading into the sixth.
The Panthers scored in the opening inning when Gabe Freeman walked, went to second on a wild pitch, and scored when Travis Barnes’ sacrifice bunt was thrown away.
Evergreen countered in the third.
Teagen Pinkelman walked, moved to third on Mason Henricks hit-and-run single, then after getting caught in a rundown, Panther catcher Jason Beverly’s throw went over the Delta player covering third’s head to allow the run to score.
Beverly made amends by opening the decisive sixth with a base hit and Rob Arredondo chased him home with a loud double into the left field corner closing the day on Viking starter Bryce Hudik.
After a sacrifice got Arredonodo to third, Cole Mattin’s squeeze bunt brought home an insurance run.
Chris Brick extended the Panther inning with a two-out double off Pinkelman and after a fielding error, Tristan Saeger also doubled to bring home the fourth Panther run of the game.
Evergreen came right back in the bottom of the sixth.
Pinkelman got hit by a pitch, Henricks singled for the second time in the game, and after a double steal, Evergreen had runners on second and third for Bryce Eisel.
However, Eisel bunted through a two-strike pitch with Pinkelman breaking to the plate which resulted in a double play that allowed Panther Travis Dunning to escape any damage.
Dunning also got out of a jam in the second by getting two strike outs with two on and got even more help in the fourth when a 5-4-3 double play diverted a Viking rally.
“We spent some time in the gym early on, this is probably only our fifth or sixth time out on a field,” said Mattimore. “And the kids have bought into a philosophy we are either going to field ground balls or we are going to do push-ups and they hate doing push-ups so they field ground balls.”
Dunning went the distance giving up four hits and three walks while striking out seven.
Hudik took the loss but the Evergreen sophomore only allowed two earned runs on four hits while walking three and striking out four.
Delta goes to 2-0, while the Vikings are 0-4.
Reach Joe Blystone at email@example.com