Bucks win pitcher’s duelPublished 5:19pm Sunday, June 3, 2012
CASSOPOLIS – A pitcher’s duel Saturday between Brandywine’s Alex Erwin and Buchanan’s Justin Henderson in a Division 3 baseball district semifinal game eventually ended with the Bucks outlasting the Bobcats, 5-2, in 12 innings.
In the other semifinal, defending district champion Bridgman beat Cassopolis, 7-4.
Erwin and Henderson each pitched 10 innings before departing. Pitchers can only throw 30 outs in one day during the state tournament. The game was tied at 2 when the relievers entered.
Erwin allowed one earned run, six hits, struck out 11 and walked two. Henderson gave up one earned run, five hits, struck out 11 and walked two.
The tie was broken in the 12th when Buchanan scored three runs on four hits. Cash Krumrie’s squeeze bunt RBI single gave the Bucks a 3-2 lead.
Nick Troxel then followed with an RBI double and Dalton Shearer hit a sacrifice fly.
Shearer relieved Henderson in the 11th and allowed no hits and struck out four in picking up the win.
“We didn’t hit consistently all year long,” said Brandywine coach Dave Sidenbender, whose team finished with only five hits.
In the bottom of the second, Brandywine scored a run on a wild pitch to take back the lead.
That 2-1 score lasted until the fifth inning as Buchanan got an RBI single from Henderson to tie the game.
Over the final two innings, Brandywine had only one batter reach base and that came on a hit by pitch.
Austin Searles singled twice for the Bobcats. Troxel collected three hits for the Bucks, while Henderson and Shearer each had two.
Cassopolis never led in the other semifinal game as Bridgman jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning after No. 8 hitter Brock Belanger hit a three-run homer. Two walks came before the homer.
Cassopolis tied the game at 3 in the third inning after scoring two unearned runs. Lance Sheteron had an RBI single in the inning.
Bridgman then took the lead for good in the fifth. After a walk, Adam McLean hit a two-run homer to give the Bees a 5-3 lead. Cassopolis’ pitchers issued eight walks and hit three batters. Four Ranger pitchers also combined to strike out 11.
Despite the wildness on the mound, Cassopolis was still very much in the game, especially after Dwayne Morgan hit a solo homer in the fifth for the Rangers to cut Bridgman’s lead to 5-4.
Division 3 District semifinals
Buchanan 010 010 000 003 – 5 11 4
Brandywine 110 000 000 000 – 2 5 4
Justin Henderson, Dalton Shearer (11-W) and Jeff Mucha; Alex Erwin, Kyle Duncan (11-L) and Austin Searles
2B: Jeff Mucha (Buchanan), Nick Troxel (Buchanan)
Buchanan 14-15, Brandywine 17-14-1
Bridgman 030 020 2 – 7 5 1
Cassopolis 012 010 0 – 4 6 1
Tyler Gnodtke (W) and Brady Wasko; Dwayne Morgan, Kevin Hatcher (2-L), Nate Blad (5), Taylor Baker (7) and Jeremiah Hartsell
2B: Gnodtke (B)
HR: Brock Belanger (B), Adam McLean (B), Morgan (C)