Buchanan rally ends Bobcats’ season

Published 7:53 am Sunday, June 1, 2014

COLOMA — The Brandywine Bobcats found themselves on the receiving end of one the most excruciating season-ending losses a team can endure in the opening round of the Class C District Baseball Tournament Saturday.

To make matters worse, the team that dealt the Bobcats the debilitating blow was their old bitter rival, the Buchanan Bucks.

Up 8-6 with two-outs in the top of the seventh, Brandywine gave up three-runs and failed to reply in the bottom half of the inning, in completing what has to go down as one of the most improbable and unlucky losses.

The Bobcats were riding high for a good portion of the game. After falling behind 3-0 early, the Brandywine bats ignited for eight runs over a three inning span.

Brandywine looked as though it was ready to bury the struggling Bucks when the baseball gods threw a curveball of their own in the Bobcats’ direction and it had a nasty bite to it.

On the verge of closing out the fifth inning with a 7-3 lead, Bobcat relief pitcher, Cole Searles was called for a balk, which advanced a Buchanan runner into scoring position. As luck would have it (or not, in Brandywine’s case) the next pitch was laced to the warning track for a double and the Bucks’ rally was on.

Buchanan ended scoring just that one run in the inning, but for Searles, the damage done was far greater than just giving up a run.

None of Searles’ 12-pitches in the top of the sixth would touch the strike zone. Clinging to a three-run lead in a late game situation, the bases were now loaded with no outs.

Miraculously, the Bobcats were able to escape the inning surrendering only two runs on what looked to be a paradigm shifting moment in the game. To speak to its efforts even more, Brandywine bounced backed from the tumultuous top half of the inning and added a run of its own to make it 8-6 heading to the final stanza.

Again, the Bobcats would not find fate on their side, as two walks, followed by a single and a wild pitch by new pitcher, Chandler Plew (which resulted in a run), set up Buchanan’s Bryce Vineyard for a chance to put the Bucks ahead.

He delivered.

Vineyard hit a Plew fastball to the warning track for a double, collecting his third and fourth RBIs of the day and gave his team the lead.

The Bobcats came to within inches of tying the game up in the seventh when Toby Fox, after leading off the inning by getting hit by a pitch, stealing second and advancing to third on a wild pitch, was gunned down by Vineyard on a close play at the plate for the first out of the inning.

Two harmless pop flies later, the Bobcats’ collapse was complete.

Once the dust had settled, Plew was charged with the loss, while Buchanan’s Jarrett Thomas picked up the win.

Vineyard paced the Bucks at the plate going 3-for-3 with four RBIs; while Hunter Janowiak, Seth Brown and Plew each had two RBIs for the Bobcats.


Division 3 District Baseball

At Coloma


Buchanan                   210     012     3 – 9 10 2

Brandywine               011     501     0 – 8 10 1

Christian Hall, Jarrett Thomas (W, 5); Matt Vaughn, Chandler Plew (L, 5)

2B: Gavin Morris (BU), Dalton Riddle (BU)

Varsity records: Buchanan 19-10, Brandywine 17-8