Berrien Springs rallies to eliminate Brandywine

Published 11:19 pm Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Brandywine’s Jeshua Wiese celebrates with Cole Searles after he scores Tuesday. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

Brandywine’s Jeshua Wiese celebrates with Cole Searles after he scores Tuesday. (Leader photo/KELLY SWEENEY)

BRIDGMAN — Brandywine was unable to build on its 1-0 lead Tuesday in its Division III pre-district baseball game against Berrien Springs.

That lack of offense eventually cost the fifth-ranked Bobcats as the defending district champion Shamrocks rallied to shock Brandywine, 2-1.

Brian Engler’s squeeze bunt with the bases-loaded drove in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning.

“(Starting pitcher) Brant (Rago) pitched well enough and we made enough plays to hang around,” Berrien Springs baseball coach John Donley said. “Every now and then the stuff you work at all year works. We do work on bunting, hustling around the bases and taking a two-strike approach (batting) from the get-go.”

Berrien Springs was aided by poor Brandywine defense in the seventh. Rago reached on an error to start the inning. Another Bobcats’ error on a sacrifice bunt by Robert Johnson put Shamrock runners on second and third with no outs. Chase Covert was then intentionally walked to load the bases.

The rally continued as Devin Beeney RBI single tied the game at 1-1. That was Berrien Springs’ first hit off of Brandywine pitcher Matt Vaughn. Engler then ended the game on his bunt.

“We didn’t hit the ball today,” Brandywine baseball coach Dave Sidenbender said. “We didn’t have good at-bats. We had chances to extend the lead and we just didn’t do it.”

The Bobcats collected four hits and walked twice off of Rago, who missed several games this year because of a foot injury.

Brandywlne left six runners on base, including four in scoring position. Toby Fox’s RBI single with two outs in the third inning gave the Bobcats a  1-0 lead. The run was unearned as a Berrien Springs error prolonged the inning.

“Rago pitched a good game,” Sidenbender said. “Off a broken foot that’s awesome. I tip my hat to him.”

Brandywine starting pitcher Vaughn performed great in defeat. He struck out five and walked one. Berrien Springs had four batters reach base on errors.



At Bridgman

Brandywine               001     000     0 – 1 4 4

Berrien Springs         000     000     2 – 2 2 2

Matt Vaughn (L) and Jeshua Wiese; Brant Rago (W) and Devin Beeney

Varsity records: Brandywine 22-7, Berrien Springs 11-18