Comeback bid falls short

Published 10:13 pm Monday, April 9, 2012

Brandywine’s Austin Searles hits a first inning home run in the Bobcats’ 11-10 loss to Mendon Monday afternoon. (Daily Star Photo/SCOTT NOVAK)

Monday night’s baseball game between visiting Mendon and Brandywine had more twists and turns than a good mystery novel.

In the end, the Hornets remained undefeated as Tyler Harris singled home Kaleb McCarroll with the winning run in an 11-10 nine-inning victory.

While the Bobcats (1-2) had more extra base hits than Mendon (4-0), Brandywine was unable to capitalize on several scoring opportunities. Walks and hit batsmen proved to be the difference.

In the top of the ninth, McCarroll was hit by an Alex Walter’s pitch to lead off the inning. Following a sacrifice bunt to move McCarroll into scoring position, Nick Eberstein was also hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second for Harris, who singled home the game-winner.

“I thought our pitchers for the most part did a decent job, but you know, the Achilles’ heel is always going to be walks,” Mendon coach Glen Samson said. “Both teams, that’s what cost them the game and that’s what would have cost us the game is the walks. You just can’t do that and give big innings away to teams.”

The Bobcats were able to keep the deficit at just a single run as Brian Kline made a diving catch in center field and then threw out Eberstein, who was trying to advance to third to end the inning.

In Brandywine’s half of the ninth, Kyle Duncan singled to open the inning; Mike Pancoast was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second with no outs.

Following a strikeout and a fielder’s choice play, Walters drew a walk to load the bases with two outs.

Searles, who homered in the first inning, then hit a ball to the base of the wall in dead-center to end the game.

“We came back. We battled and we never hung or heads,” Brandywine coach David Sidenbender said. “We had plenty of opportunities, but we just didn’t capitalize. We have to capitalize on the opportunities we have with our experienced guys. We are not quite there yet.”

Brandywine led 1-0 on Searles’ home run, but gave up two in the bottom of the second. The Bobcats scored twice in the third inning to take a 3-2 lead without the aid of a hit.

Mendon grabbed a 5-3 lead in the top of the fourth with the help of a two-run error on a bad-hop ground ball.

Brandywine responded a run in the fifth on an RBI double by Alec Nichols to cut the lead to 5-4.

The Hornets came back with four runs in the top of the sixth to make it 9-4. McCarroll hit a lead off home run and Kevin Kuhlman added an RBI single in the frame.

Once again the Bobcats came back. This time scoring six runs to take a 10-9 lead.

Kline had a run-scoring double and Buck Bourdon added an RBI single. Alex Erwin and Schoenleber both drew bases loaded walks, while the go-ahead run scored on an error.

Mendon tied the score at 10-10 on a sacrifice fly to left by Eberstein.

Joe Galles picked up the win in relief, while Walters took the loss.

Mendon 020 304 101 – 11 8 2

Brandywine 102 106 000 – 10 8 2

Kevin Kuhlman, Kaleb McCarroll (3), Nick Eberstein (4), Joe Galles (W,7) and Cody Bingaman; Michael Schoenleber, Brock Hartline (4), Alex Walters (L,6) and Austin Searles

2B: Brad Millin (BW), Alec Nichols (BW), Brian Kline (BW)

HR: Searles (BW)

Varsity records

Mendon 4-0, Brandywine 1-2