Bobcats barely beaten

Published 1:00 pm Saturday, May 1, 2004

By By DAN WEISS / Niles Daily Star
THREE OAKS -- A pair of unusual plays allowed River Valley to remain unbeaten in Lakeland Conference baseball play Friday evening.
The Mustangs, which are ranked No. 3 in Division 3, beat Brandywine 2-1 and 3-2 to improve to 16-1 overall and 7-0 in conference play. The losses dropped Brandywine to 6-11 overall and 4-4 in the league.
Trailing 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning in game one, River Valley's Kevin Zabel and Caleb Dryden each hit short fly balls to right field that dropped in between the Bobcat defenders to put both runners in scoring position.
The Mustangs then tried a squeeze play as Danny Baker laid down a bunt. Zabel easily scored from third and an overthrow to first base allowed Dryden to plate the winning run.
The overthrow was Brandywine's only error of the game and River Valley was perfect on offense.
The Bobcats scored their only run in the third inning when Andy Low led off with a single up the middle and stole second base. He moved to third on Billy Syrette's sacrifice ground out and came home on a single by Casey Udell.
Brandywine managed eight hits off Valley's Steve Terry but left seven runners stranded throughout the game.
Kory Bridges took the loss for the Bobcats but gave up just five hits and struck out nine batters.
River Valley got off to a good start in the second game, scoring two runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Brandywine, however, kept the Mustangs at bay for the next five innings and tied the game at two apiece in the fifth inning.
River Valley scored the winning run on a bizarre play in the bottom of the sixth inning. A broken-bat sacrifice fly to center field allowed Dryden to score and the Mustangs held Brandywine scoreless in the top of the seventh.
Brandywine was once again effective at the plate in the second game, sending seven hits back at Mustang pitcher Bobby Schiller.
Bobcat starter Zach Bennett allowed just four hits in the loss.
Holy led the Bobcats with a double and two singles on the day while Low added three singles. Udell and Josh Dickeson each hit two singles while Matt Wieger doubled in the first game.
Josh Atwood, Tim Douglass, Matt Koller, Billy Syrette and Bridges each hit one single.
Despite his team's high ranking, Carter was not surprised with how difficult it was to beat the Bobcats.
The Bobcats will host Centreville in a non-conference doubleheader Monday at 4:30 p.m.