Split gives Brandywine Lakeland crown

Published 7:42 am Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Matt Vaughn picked up the win in the nightcap and helped the Brandywine baseball team win the Lakeland Conference championship Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

Matt Vaughn picked up the win in the nightcap and helped the Brandywine baseball team win the Lakeland Conference championship Tuesday. (Submitted photo)

The finish was much better than the start Tuesday for the Brandywine baseball team in its doubleheader against Buchanan.

Kyle Duncan scored on a wild pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Bobcats a 5-4 win in game two. The victory gave Brandywine the outright Lakeland Conference title. The Bobcats and Bucks each entered game two with a 4-1 league record after Buchanan won the opener, 8-4.

“It was a tale of two games,” said Brandywine coach Dave Sidenbender. “We just kept hanging with it in the second game. We kept battling away and finally got some breaks and made our own breaks and made some good plays. I’m really proud of these kids. This is big.”

The Bobcats, who fell behind 4-0 after three innings in game two, were tied at 4 with the Bucks to start the bottom of the seventh. In the seventh, Brandywine got a leadoff single from Chandler Plew. He went to second on a wild pitcher and then the next batter, Duncan, was intentionally walked. After a wild pitch put runners on second and third with no outs, Hunter Janowiak was intentionally walked. A force out at home on a groundout was the first out and then Duncan scored on a wild pitch to cap the comeback.

Jeshua Wiese’s squeeze bunt tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the sixth inning.

“We’ve had a rough time getting bunts down this year,” Sidenbender said. “We’ve only had a couple squeezes. (Wiese) came through big. He put down a great bunt. I was really happy with him.”

Buchanan scored three unearned runs off of four Brandywine errors in the first three innings.

Brandywine scored three runs in the fourth to pull within 4-3. Tanner Bourdon hit an RBI double and Dom Stella added an RBI single. A throw to first on Stella’s single allowed the third run to score.

Winning pitcher Matt Vaughn worked out of a bases-loaded one out jam in the seventh.

Vaughn allowed only three hits over the final four innings.

“Matt pitched awesome,” Sidenbender said. “He did everything he had to do. He threw strikes with his fastball and curveball. We didn’t help him out a lot at the start, but at the end we did. We gained some confidence and started making some plays.”

Plew collected three hits in game two for the Bobcats.

Alex Leiter had three hits and drove in five runs in game one for Buchanan, which led 4-0 entering the bottom of the fourth inning.

Brandywine pulled within 5-3 after getting RBI singles from Zach Grishbar and Duncan in the third inning.

The Bucks scored two unearned runs in the fifth to take a 7-3 lead.

“We kept stepping over ourselves,” Sidenbender said about game one. “We had some missed scoring opportunites and we couldn’t throw strikes.”

The Lakeland Conference title this year has extra meaning because it’s the last year of the league. Next season, the Lakeland schools are joining St. Joseph Valley League schools and Red Arrow schools to form the Berrien-Cass-St. Joseph Athletic Conference.

“I’m a historian,” Sidenbender said. “I love the history of the Lakeland. It was a great conference. I’m sad to see it go. I wanted us to be the last one to win the Lakeland baseball title, whether it’s four teams or not. It’s great for our kids as young as we are to come through and do this.”



First game

Buchanan       130     121     0 – 8 8 2

Brandywine   001     200     1 – 4 12  3

Christian Hall (W, 4-0) and Chad Adkerson; Chandler Plew (L, 3-1), Cole Searles (3), Toby Fox (5) and Jeshua Wiese, Brady Duval (5)

2B: Alex Leiter 2 (BU), Gavin Morris (BU), Seth Brown (BW)


Second game

Buchanan       211     000     0 – 4 8 1

Brandywine   000     301     1 – 5 8 4

Dalton Riddle, Jarrett Thomas (4), Christian Hall (7), Thomas (7) and Chad Adkerson; Matt Vaughn (W, 6-0) and Jeshua Wiese

2B: Doug Freeman (Buchanan), Tanner Bourdon (Brandywine), Chandler Plew (Brandywine).

Varsity records: Buchanan 17-7, 4-2 Lakeland; Brandywine 16-7, 5-1 Lakeland