Big fifth inning falls short of comeback win for Bear River baseball
Bear River’s baseball team looked as if it was ready to call it a game as the Bruins started the fifth inning down 12-1 Wednesday.
But the Bruins put together an eight-run fifth inning to pull within four and then followed up with two more runs in the bottom of the sixth for a 12-11 score.
Both teams held their ground to maintain that margin, however, through the seventh and final inning, as Bear River came up short.
“The kids showed they have heart and did not give up,” Bear River coach Dahorol Ennis said. “We are playing upper-division teams this week in preparation for league and we played a lot better than we did against (Galt in a 12-2 loss).
“The kids are starting to believe in themselves.”
Bear River’s big fifth inning started when Andy Brooding, who had 2 RBIs on the day, led off by getting hit by a pitch. Morgan Juric hit an RBI single, Cole White popped out to the short stop, and Brandon Fry hit a single. Jordan Beskeen followed with an RBI single, A.J. Blashford hit a single to drive in one of his two RBIs in the game and sophomore Sean Smith, who was moved up to the varsity on Wednesday, hit an RBI single to left.
David Karas reached first on a walk, Zach Wells came to the plate and hit into a short to second fielder’s choice, good for another RBI, and Brooding came to the plate for the second time in the fifth inning and was hit by a pitch again.
Juric walked, White reached first on a throwing error by the Vikings second baseman and Fry was hit by a pitch.
The fifth inning finally ended when Beskeen flew out to the first baseman, but not before the home team had scored eight runs.
Junior pitcher Coleman Huntley, who relieved starting pitcher Ryan Sawyer in the fourth, struck out the side in the top of the sixth and tallied two more K’s in the seventh.
“He is not going to overpower hitters. It’s one pitch at a time,” Ennis said. “He is learning how to be a varsity pitcher. He is hitting spots. There is more pressure (at the varsity level), we had a large crowd and we were on TV (TouchDown Productions).”
The Bruins (4-2) scored their last two runs in the bottom of the sixth with two outs. Brooding hit a single, scoring Karas and Welz, who got on base by way of being hit by a pitch and a base on balls, respectively.
“In the seventh, they pitched their main guy.” Ennis said. “Fry went fly out, Beskeen with a K and Blashford ended it with a K.”
“Jordan (Beskeen) is my captain. He brings a lot of leadership to the team and he is a vocal leader. If he sees a problem, he takes care of it right away,” Ennis said of his four-year varsity first baseman. “I expect him to earn all league.”
Brandon Fry is the team’s catcher who has recorded the Bruins only home run this season. He also has been a varsity player for four years.
“He is one of the top catchers in the league,” Ennis said. “He has thrown out six runners, and has allowed only one passed ball.”
Ennis sent the 6-foot, 2-inch senior Ryan Sawyer to the mound as the starter. Sawyer gave up seven runs in the second inning and one in the third to Oakmont designated hitter Jared Virtue.
Huntley came on in relief and gave up four runs before the Bruins turned a 6-4-3 double play.
The Vikings did not score on the Bruin junior the rest of the way.
Bear River travels to River Valley on Friday.
Scott P. Hopper is a sports writer for The Union. Contact him via e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 477-4231.
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