Sunday, April 17, 2016

Ben Hart's Grand Slam Powers Mustangs Past Braymer 13-10

North Nodaway put themselves back into the driver's seat of the Northwest Missouri Baseball Conference. Off to a rocky start after losses to West Nodaway and East Atchison, North Nodaway played themselves back into the race with two wins over Platte Valley and one over Northeast Nodaway. With another game against East Atchison on tap along with another game against West Nodaway, North Nodaway is in control of their own destiny in the conference if they win out. That would be their first-ever banner on the wall for the baseball team.

Against Braymer on Friday, they had every reason to be underdogs as the Bobcats have wreaked havoc on the conference over the last two years, including a district win over the Mustangs last year at Beale. The Bobcats had beaten Platte Valley earlier in the year and looked to continue that trend after first baseman Ben Hart dropped a pop fly that the wind pushed away and Gabe Rogers scored with two outs.

But then Peyton Coleman reached on an error by shortstop Keaton O'Dell and took second on a balk and third on a wild pitch. As Bobcat pitcher Gabe Rogers was fighting the strike zone, Dakota Smyser walked and Koby Reynolds grounded out to score Coleman. Smyser went all the way from first to third on the play and dove in safe under the tag. Arron Coleman's pop fly single to center scored Smyser and North Nodaway was up 2-1.

Braymer tied the game at 2 in the second as Corbin McCulley was picked off third by catcher Daytona Lutz only to escape the rundown and score, but then North Nodaway used a two out rally to score four runs. August Hoepker and Daytona Lutz struck out to start the inning, but then Rogers began fighting the strike zone again and walked Wyatt Tate and Peyton Coleman. They went to second and third on a wild pitch and then Dakota Smyser singled to center to score both of them to make it 4-2. Koby Reynolds grounded to second baseman Drake Parker, but he misplayed it and then Jake Gladieux misplayed it in right as Reynolds took second and Smyser third on the play. Ben Hart walked and then Arron Coleman's pop fly to center dropped just before Logan O'Dell could get to it to score two more and make it 6-2.

Braymer cut North Nodaway's lead to 6-3, but North Nodaway stopped any more damage from being done. Logan O'Dell singled down the right field line and stole second despite North Nodaway pitching out on the play. Jordan Miller grounded out and Drake Parker singled him home and took second as the cutoff throw got away. Parker reached third on a wild pitch with one out, and then Jake Gladieux grounded to Peyton Coleman at short. Coleman froze Parker at third perfectly and threw out Gladieux at first and Robbie Shoe popped out to end the inning.

Rogers had been fighting the strike zone throughout the game and when he walked Hoepker to start the third, he was finished for the day. Keaton O'Dell came in to pitch, but Daytona Lutz hit a slow chopper into no-man's land between the pitcher, shortstop, and third base positions and was safe. Wyatt Tate was plunked to load the bases, but it looked like the inning might die as Peyton Coleman got down 0-2 in the count. He fought back to 2-2, however, and hit a shot off shortstop Jordan Miller's glove into left field as two runs came across.

Dakota Smyser walked and Koby Reynolds flied out too shallow for Coleman to take third. But then Ben Hart hit a screamer over left fielder Corbin McCulley's head under the goalposts and to the edge of the brush 350 feet away by the bridge. He circled the bases for a grand slam before the Bobcats could get it in. Arron Coleman restarted the inning with a single to left and first baseman Gabe Rogers dropped third baseman Tanner O'Dell's throw as Kendrick Calfee was safe. August Hoepker laid down a bunt and was out at first; Kendrick Calfee was picked off second as he rounded second too far, but Coleman scored on the play before the third out to make it 13-3.

That could have ended it by the ten run rule, but Braymer started teeing off on Kendrick Calfee, getting two in the fifth to stay alive down 13-5 and four in the sixth to make it 13-9. Arron Coleman came on with one out in the sixth and walked a batter, but settled down and got Shoe on a forceout and Derrick McElwee on a called third strike after fighting back from a 2-0 count. In the seventh, Coleman walked McCulley and plunked Rogers on the foot. Keaton O'Dell singled down the right field line to plate McCulley and bring the tying run to the plate with the heart of the order coming up. But then Koby Reynolds came into pitch and Ben Hart snagged a chopper down the right field line to retire Logan O'Dell for the first out. Jordan Miller hit a screamer that looked like it was headed for extra bases, but Peyton Coleman snagged it on the backhand to take extra bases and two runs away from Braymer. With two outs and two strikes, Drake Parker struck out and the ball got away from Daytona Lutz. The ball, Ben Hart, and Parker all got tangled up at first and one run had crossed home, but to Parker's consternation, Hart snatched the ball just before Parker reached base and got the final out of the game.

No comments: