Bulldogs prevail in extras over Raiders
MANCHESTER — In a battle of two evenly matched opponents, the game between the Burr and Burton baseball team and Rutland on Tuesday came down to which team would make a mistake first.
That mistake ended up being a Rutland throwing error in the bottom of the ninth inning, one that sent BBA's Scott Mooney to score the game's winning run and leave with a 6-5 comeback victory.
Coming off back-to-back losses for the first time this season, the Bulldogs were staring in the face of a third straight loss after Rutland score five runs in the third inning to take an early 5-0 lead.
Needing to find a way to score some runs, BBA got their answer when Griff Stalcup hit a solo shot to deep center, getting the Bulldogs on the board in the fourth.
"He had been throwing his changeup to me a lot in my at bats [earlier in the game], so I was looking to see if he throw it again and he did and I was able to get a good swing on it," Stalcup said. "I was happy that it got us going offensively and made for us to get back into the game."
Stalcup not only came up big for the Bulldogs at the plate, but he was even more impressive on the mound.
Coming in to relieve starter Jon Iris in the third inning, Stalcup pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings to keep the Bulldogs in the game, picking up five strikeouts in the process.
"Griff was lights out for us today," said BBA coach Ed Lewicki. "That was the most innings he has pitched for us in a game this season and that performance allowed us to stay in the game and have chance to come back and win it."
The Bulldogs added another run in the fourth when freshman Chandler Pouk worked a bases loaded walk to score Cody Roberts to pull within 5-2.
Still down 5-2 going into the bottom of the sixth, BBA got their offense going again with some timely hitting and aggressive base running.
First it was Pouk who slapped his second RBI of the game to cut the Bulldogs deficit to two at 5-3 and after the next batter, Daniel Hatheway, walked to load the bases, Cooper Weir scored on a wild pitch and all of a sudden it was a one-run game.
Then with second and third and two outs, the Raiders decided to intentionally walk Stalcup to pitch to Roberts.
That decision backfired immediately as the first pitch to Roberts went to the backstop, scoring Pouk from third to tie the game.
Both offenses came up empty in the seventh to extend the game into extra innings. Neither team could get in a runner from scoring position in the eighth, the Bulldogs got another chance to walk off with a victory with in the ninth as they had first and second with one out and Weir up.
The junior then hit a smash right to Rutland shortstop Jacob Godfrey for what looked like a sure fire double-play, but Godfrey's throw was offline, allowing senior Scott Mooney, who reached to start the inning, to score all the way from second base and give the Bulldogs their 10th win of the season.
"I didn't see what happened but coach just told me to keep running and then I saw that it was a bad throw and I booked it to home," Mooney said. "Scoring the game winning run is a great feeling and I'm happy was able to that for my team today."
With the win, BBA improves to 10-2 on the season.
Junior Tyler Kraehling finished with a team-high two hits in the win for the Bulldogs.
"I'm proud of the team and how they fought back to win the game," Lewicki said. "I told them after we got down early that we still had a lot of the game left to come back and we were then able to chip away at their lead and find away to win. This was a great win for us and hopefully it propels us going forward into the last couple of weeks of the season."
BBA will next travel to play rival Mount Anthony on Friday at 4 p.m.
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