Bear River Majors take lead in series |

Bear River Majors take lead in series

The Bear River Major-division All Stars ventured into waters no prior Bear River team has gone Monday: beating Rocklin.

With a 13-7 win, host Bear River has put itself in position to take the District 11 title, after having taken the D-11, Area 2 championship on Saturday.

In the best-of-three series, Bear River has taken a 1-0 advantage and can win the district today at Tri Cities (Rocklin).

With stars popping up right and left for Bear River, there’s no need to wonder about the cause of success.

Latest star?

Brandon Fry.

Bear River’s catcher, who has put in game after game of solid performances behind the plate, has recently taken to making his presence felt there with a bat in his hands.

In Saturday’s win, Fry hit a solo shot to extend his team’s lead to 6-2 over Nevada City.

Down 5-4 Monday in the fourth inning, there was slightly more pressure when Fry stepped to the plate this time, thanks in part to his own coaching staff.

When Zach Welz came to bat with Fry on deck, he singled to load the bases.

Manager Taylor Welz held up what could have been the tying run at third, playing it safe with only one out.

Before Fry stepped into the batter’s box, Taylor Welz had a few words of encouragement for him.

“I held him for you,” was all he said.

A quick swing of the bat by Fry and the score was 8-5, Bear River.

“He’s our guy. I knew he would hit it hard,” said Coach Welz.

The three-run blast would have been a grand slam had the third-base runner not scored on a passed ball the pitch before.

“I was kind of nervous,” Fry said. “But I was confident, and I just drove it.”

Fry, who finished the game 2 for 2 with 4 RBI, was not the only big slugger for Bear River.

Nolan Lewis, who lasted 2 1/3 innings as the starting pitcher, batted 3 for 3 with an RBI.

Lewis was relieved by Ryan Sawyer, who in 2 2/3 innings enabled Bear River to climb back by giving up only two runs.

“I was feeling pressure, but I just kept throwing,” said Sawyer, who allowed one hit and struck out five after entering the game with Bear River trailing 4-1.

With two doubles in a 2-for-3, 2-RBI performance, Jordan Beskeen did his share, as did Jimmy Kastanes, who came up with a double late in the game, and Nathaniel King, who batted one runner in on a single.

Zach Welz, who batted 2 for 3, continued to make highlight-reel plays at shortstop, as he has since the tournament began.

It’s back down to business again today as Bear River meets high-powered Rocklin on its home turf at 7 p.m.

But Coach Welz has been liking what he sees, saying the fact that his players seem confident is something that can help catapult them to a first-ever district championship.

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