Free bases, lack of hits cost Buchanan in Three Rivers’ sweep

Published 6:42 pm Saturday, May 11, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

THREE RIVERS — Minutes earlier, David Sokolowski’s Buchanan baseball team had dropped a non-league doubleheader at Three Rivers 11-1 in five innings and 6-5 Friday.

But by listening to the positive tone of Sokolowski’s voice, though, you would’ve thought the outcome had been different for the Bucks.

Sokolowski’s post-game comments dwelled only on the pluses and what lies ahead for the Bucks in the next few weeks.

“It sounds incredibly cliche, but it starts off with throwing strikes. In that first game, we got beat because we didn’t throw strikes. We had six walks, a hit batter and a couple errors so there’s nine free bases,” Sokolowski pointed out.

“Then in the second game we came out and built a nice early lead and kept chipping away by adding a couple runs and then another. Ultimately, we just kind’ve sputtered out offensively. Three Rivers put in a real tricky closer to pitch and he held us in check. Hats off to them for having scrappy at bats and executing a suicide squeeze to win the game. I told our kids aftewards how proud I am of them. It’s been that way for us all season. We’re pretty much a Jekyll and Hyde team. When our good side shows up we’re as tough as anyone in the state. We’ve played some really good teams and played them really close. But we’ve also played some teams we should’ve beaten and gotten beat really bad ourselves because we make errors or our bats don’t show up.”

Carson Beuter’s suicide squeeze for Three Rivers in the bottom of the seventh scored Luis Warmack from third and helped the Wildcats win game two and complete the sweep.

Three Rivers led 1-0 after one frame after Drew McClain doubled and scored on a Buchanan throwing error.

Buchanan answered quickly by scoring four times in its half of the second. Connor Billington walked and later scored on a fielder’s choice. Kyle Lewis-Schadler added a two-run double to plate Ari Johnson and Logan Edgerle. Lewis-Schadler eventually scored on Holden Carrington’s fielder’s choice.

With one out in the third, Johnson reached first after being hit by a pitch before scoring on Edgerle’s groundout to put the Bucks up 5-1.

Three Rivers evened the game up at 5-5 after erupting for four runs in the sixth. Warmack scored from third on an error. Hradsky came home on a bases-loaded walk and McClain’s double plated Mason Awe.

Junior pitcher Jake Franklin turned in a glittering outing on the mound for Buchanan (10-14) in the nightcap.

Franklin was tagged with the loss after giving up eight hits over 6 1/3 innings of work with five strikeouts and four walks. Five of the six runs he allowed were earned.

“Jake Franklin is one of our captains and he shows why. He’s been our No. 3 hitter for a better part of the season. Even though he’s been in a bit of a slump recently, but he still goes out and challenges the other team. That’s a good example of his competitive leadership. He’s already thrown a no-hitter this season and is a guy that if we get past our district semi-final game, he’ll surely get the ball in the championship game,” Sokolowski said.

Drew Graver earned the win in relief of Cam Moore and struck out three.

Bryson Penny scored on Warmack’s sacrifice-fly to put Three Rivers up 1-0 after one inning in the opener.

The Wildcats would pad its advantage with nine runs in the second. Gray and Warmack both had a two-run single to highlight the Wildcats’ big inning. The Bucks gave away two runs on hit batters and one more on a walk.

Bryson Penny scored the final Three Rivers run in the third when he scored on Kaleb Williams’ groundout to first.

Buchanan’s scraped up its lone run in the fifth. Lead-off hitter Nico Finn doubled, went to third on a passed ball before scoring on Holden Carrington’s groundout.

Landson Nelson started for Buchanan and took the loss. Nelson went 1 1/3 innings and gave up two hits and six-earned runs with three walks. Andrew Pastryk relieved him and went the next 1 2/3 innings while issuing three walks and five runs. Matthew Trigg tossed the final frame for the Bucks.

Hradsky got the win in the opener for Three Rivers with four strikeouts.

“Buchanan’s pitcher in the second game kept us off balance for five innings. We executed just enough to pull the game out. We’re finally getting some big hits in the clutch here near the end of the season and putting pressure on teams defensively has turned our season around,” said Three Rivers coach Jason Williams.