Brandywine baseball loses heartbreaker to Bridgman in D3 district championship

Published 11:24 am Monday, June 5, 2023

BRIDGMAN — The Brandywine baseball team’s postseason journey came to a gut-wrenching end Saturday afternoon.

The Bobcats fell to host Bridgman 10-9 in Division 3 district championship play. Carrying a 9-1 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, Brandywine allowed 8 Bridgman runs which tied the game before forcing an eighth inning. The Bobcats made four errors, hit a batter and walked two more. In the eighth, the Bees won the game on a walk, a double by Wade Haskins and a single by Riley Gloe, which won the game.

“I thought we played great all day,” said Brandywine head coach David Sidebender. “We did everything we wanted to do. We just couldn’t get that last out. It’s not like other sports where you got a clock you can run out, you’ve gotta actually get the outs. You’ve got to make plays, and we just didn’t make plays at the end. They gave us plenty of opportunities, but we just couldn’t seem to make a play, and so they took advantage; that’s basically what happened.”

Drew Deming had three hits to lead Brandywine and freshman Kaedan Warfield tallied two and one home run while Jaydon Spitler added two of his own. Reid Haskins and Gloe each tallied three hits for the Bees.

Brandywine’s season ends with a 25-7 record. While the loss will forever sting, Sidenbender said he is proud of his team and the leadership of the seniors. With several players returning, Sidenbender hopes his team will use the loss as fuel going forward.

“I thought they had a dedication to get better, and I thought that they worked hard and they took it seriously,” he said. “It was a fun group to be around. We’ll miss the seniors a lot, but we have a lot coming back again, so hopefully those guys that experience this, it burns in their stomachs that you need to work a little harder. We need to do a little bit more to get over that hump. I think things look great for us next year as far as the team goes. 

“I just want them to look back at this and go, ‘we don’t want to feel like that again.’ Let’s. Yeah, let’s improve, get better and take advantage next year.”


Brandywine 10, Buchanan 5

Buchanan’s bid for a second straight state championship came to an end at the hands of rival Brandywine Saturday morning.

The Bobcats jumped out to an 8-2 lead and went on to win 10-5. 

“We got ourselves in a little bit of a hole early,” said first-year Buchanan coach David Sokolowski. “We’ve kind of been a second half of the game team most of the year. Hitting has kind of been our Achilles heel.”

Deming tallied four hits and three RBI, while Jamier Palmer, Owen Hulett, Ethan Adamczyk each added two hits for Brandywine. Thomas VanOverberghe had two hits and three runs for the Bucks.

“Hats off to Brandywine,” he said. “They got base runners on. They had some really clutch hits in important spots. They capitalized, and unfortunately, we left a lot of runners on base and that was kind of what shot us in the foot.”

Hulett earned the win on the mound.

(Hulett) threw an amazing game,” Sokolowski said. “We knew we’d see him today and he’d be on his ‘A game,’ and he was. The better execution won today and I think Brandywine’s a very tough team. Coach Sidenbender always got them playing good ball, they’re always around at playoff time.”

Buchanan’s season ended with a 9-21 record. 

“We had a group of guys early on that were coming back from the state team last year and there wasn’t necessarily a lot of experience in-game with that group,” he said. “We knew that coming in, but none of them ever acted like they didn’t have it. They always went out there and stuck their nose down and played hard regardless of the result. I never had to worry about anybody on this team rolling over and hanging it up… We’re only going to get better from here on. We had a lot of young guys in the lineup. Today, we started three freshmen and two sophomores, and those guys are getting invaluable experience that’s going to benefit them moving forward.”