The Bear River American Legion baseball team has been putting in lots of work with its bats, and it’s finally paying off, said head coach Dave Crilly.
That hard work was evident Thursday afternoon, when Bear River exploded for 17 runs on 20 hits to beat Auburn Post 84 in the first elimination game of the American Legion District 7 Baseball Tournament at Ted White Field.
“As a team, we’ve been working hard on discipline and philosophy at the plate,” Crilly said. “You can sit there and mess with mechanics until the cows come home, but the bottom line is that if you’re not aggressive up, there, good things don’t happen and the kids really responded to that philosophy today.”
In a game where all nine Bear River starters tallied hits, Auburn had few answers after the offensive explosion occurred in the fifth.
Heading into the fifth inning, Bear River clung to a one-run lead at 5-4. By the time the inning was over, Bear River had sent 12 batters to plate and scored eight runs, six of which came with two outs.
The 2-3-4 batters for Bear River were especially strong, going a combined 8-for-12 in the game with seven RBIs and seven runs scored.
Batting in the two-spot, Tyler Toft went 4-for-5, including a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Batting No. 3 Dallon Crilly went 2-for-3 with two walks, two singles, two runs scored and an RBI. He also got the start on the mound and pitched well, allowing two earned runs while striking out four.
In the cleanup position, Brandon Donley was 2-for-4 with four RBIs, including a bases-loaded, bases-clearing double in the sixth to put Bear River up by 12.
“That’s why they are in those spots in the lineup,” Crilly said. “They’re seniors, and they’re leaders.”
Bear River also got strong games from Gray Golightly with two hits, an RBI and four runs scored. Matt Lopez added a 2-for-5 day with a double and three RBIs. Dayton Anderson also chipped in three RBIs on a 2-for-5 day. Shortstop Chance Belding was 3-for-5 with an RBI, a stolen base and a run scored. Michael Scudero punched out two hits, including a double, and batting the nine hole, Steven Koenber Gerber added an RBI single.
Auburn had beat Bear River three times during the regular season, and was hanging with the Bruins through the first few innings with RBIs from Jordan Wood and Josh Hattrup, but the Bear River onslaught was too much.
After three runs in the third and one in the fourth, the Auburn offense went quiet as Anderson relieved Dallon Crilly on the mound, allowing just one hit, one walk and no runs in 2 1/3 innings of work.
Bear River will now face the loser of the Grass Valley versus El Dorado game at 5 p.m. today at Ted White Field. It will be Bear River’s second straight elimination game but a contest it will be confident entering, said Crilly.
“We need to keep the philosophy we had all day today,” he said. “We had a very good loss to (Grass Valley) today. It was solid game where we hit the ball, we put it in play, and we didn’t have the Ks we’ve had in the past. I like our chances going in because our kids feel good about themselves, and they’re going in with some confidence.”
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“As a team, we’ve been working hard on discipline and philosophy at the plate.”
Bear River head coach