Buchanan begins title defense

Published 3:10 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

BUCHANAN — Rivals Brandywine and Buchanan met on the diamond three times in 2022. The results were always the same.

The No. 2-ranked Bucks began defense of their Division 3 District baseball championship with a 13-0 win over the Bobcats, who were swept by Buchanan 10-0 and 10-0 in their regular-season doubleheader.

Besides being outscored 33-0 by Buchanan (23-4) in their three games, the Bucks outhit the Bobcats 32-5 and did not commit a single error, while Brandywine (17-8) committed two errors in each game.

That was the part that bothered veteran Brandywine Coach David Sidenbender the most about the loss Tuesday.

“I thought we hit the ball better today against them than the first two games, but we didn’t have much to show for it,” he said. “When you don’t field the gall, you don’t give yourselves a chance. If we field the ball we are still playing. You don’t know what is going to happen late in the game.”

Buchanan Coach Jim Brawley, who was surprised that his team shut out the Bobcats in all three meetings, feels his team is hitting its stride as the Bucks try to make a return trip to the Division 3 state finals.

“We’ve been hitting the ball good of late,” he said. “We’ve done a better job of hitting our pitches and a better job of getting hitting throughout the order. Everybody is starting to hit. [Connor] Legault has been working hit butt off ever since he got done with basketball season. He’s been in the cage doing extra work. I’m so happy for him. What a great hit [the home run].”

Buchanan finished with 16 hits to back up the two-hit pitching of starter Matthew Hoover, who worked the first four innings, and Drew Glavin, who pitched the final inning. The two combined for five strikeouts and just two walks.

Glavin led the offense with a 3-for-3 performance with a pair of RBIs. Hunter Carrington and Legault were both 3-for-4 with a double and the home run, respectively. The duo combined for six RBIs. Hoover finished with a pair of hits and an RBI.

Brandywine’s two hits came off the bats of Jaremiah Palmer and Tyler Deming.

The Bucks now set the sights on Lawton in the first semifinal at 10 a.m. Saturday. Buchanan defeated Lawton 11-1 in the regional semifinal last year.

The other semifinal will pit No. 7-ranked Bridgman against Constantine. The game is scheduled to begin at noon. The finals are set to start at 2 p.m.

“They [Lawton] have a couple of kids on that team that swing the bats really well, so you have to be careful,” Brawley said. “They are very good, and Bridgman is very good.”