Brandywine splits league doubleheader with Buchanan

Published 9:10 pm Saturday, April 29, 2023

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NILES — Host Brandywine split its Lakeland Conference doubleheader with defending Division 3 state champion Buchanan last Wednesday.

The Bobcats, ranked No. 19 in the latest Michigan High School Baseball Coaches Association Division 3 poll, won the opening game 4-1. The Bucks rebounded to take the nightcap 10-2.

Owen Hulett and Drew Deming combined on a two-hitter in the opening game for the Bobcats. Hulett picked up the victory as he worked six and two-third innings, allowing two hits with nine strikeouts. The Bucks’ run was unearned. Deming worked the final third of an inning, striking out the only batter he faced.

Brandywine (7-4, 2-2 Lakeland Conference) used a three-run third inning to take command of the first game. The Bobcats added a single run in the fourth to complete the scoring.

Brandywine had four hits off a trio of Buchanan pitchers. Jake Franklin took the loss in relief of starter Thomas VanOverberghe, who did not allow a run or a hit in two innings of work. Franklin gave up three runs on two hits. Franklin was saddled with the loss.

All four Brandywine hits were singled. Hulett drove in a pair of runs, while Jamier Palmer drove in a run.

“I thought we pitched well in game one,” said Brandywine Coach David Sidenbender. “Owen was able to throw strikes with multiple pitches. When he does that he’s tough to deal with. We played good enough defense as well. Offensively we are still trying to find our way and have consistently good at bats.”

In the nightcap, the Bucks (8-8, 4-2 Lakeland Conference) jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one inning of play, which it increased to 5-0 before the Bobcats got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fifth. Buchanan scored five runs in the top of the sixth to put the game away.

Connor Legault went the distance to pick up the win. Legault allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts.

Offensively, Nick Finn, Holden Carrington and Cade Preissing all had two hits. Preissing homered and drove in four runs.

Jamier Palmer had two hits for the Bobcats.

Robby Dillard took the loss as he worked into the sixth inning, allowing six earned runs on eight hits. Dillard had five strikeouts. Deming came on in relief to record the final two outs for Brandywine.

“Game 2 was a struggle,” Sidenbender said. “We did not play well, Buchanan had something to do with it, but a lot of it is mental for us and we will continue to work on being as mentally tough as we can to compete all 14 innings.”