Babe Ruth Junior League: Red Cross comes from behind, stays on top
It got a battle from ConAgra, but in the end Red Cross Pharmacy came up with the clutch hitting it needed to pull out a 7-5 victory Monday at MHS Field -- adding a half-game to its lead over idle Rose Acre Farms in the Babe Ruth Junior League standings.
Meanwhile, over at Brunswick, Slater Gold (0-7) was a "no show" for the scheduled nightcap and took a 7-0 forfeit. Instead, Slater Purple, after dropping a tight 7-6 opener, made up its washed out May 28th game with Brunswick with a 19-14 decision.
Red Cross 7, ConAgra 5
Red Cross jumped in front with three runs in the bottom of the second inning, a double by Stewart Workcuff and Daniel Benedick's single driving in runs, but ConAgra rallied.
A leadoff walk to Paul Dehn and singles by John Jasper, Paul Thomas and Keenan Swift -- who knocked in two runs -- chased starter Jason Fann. Ty Gilmore doubled off of Chad Gibson to give ConAgra a 4-3 edge.
Gibson, however, blanked ConAgra over the next two frames to give Red Cross a chance to recover. Workcuff doubled and scored on Gibson's sacrifice fly and Gary Lyon's triple was followed by an RBI single from Brennan Thomas for two tallies in the fourth.
Fann walked, swiped two bases and came in on Seth Adams' fly in the fifth. Red Cross got another run when Ethan Williams singled and Workcuff found the gap for a triple -- coming up short of a homer when he was called out for failing to slide at the plate.
Still, Red Cross held a 7-4 cushion and wouldn't allow it to disappear, even though Dehn's walk and two steals to start the sixth resulted in a run on Jasper's grounder. Lucas Moore relieved in the seventh and picked up a save by retiring three of the four batters he faced.
Paul Thomas, like Gibson one of the league's workhorse pitchers -- having now logged 24 innings pitched with his third complete games -- had two hits for ConAgra (4-4). Workcuff went three for three with two runs scored and two RBIs to pace Red Cross (8-1).
Slater Purple 6-19, Brunswick 7-14
BRUNSWICK -- Right-handers Scott Johnson and Michael Kahn combined on a two-hitter for Brunswick in the first game, but six walks and four errors put the home team in the hole until its last at-bat.
Slater Purple scored in the top of the first inning when Marco Falls was hit by a pitch, was balked to second base, stole third and came in on Dewayne Lewis' bouncer.
Walks to Falls and Nick Palmgren, plus a double steal, produced a pair of Slater runs on a booted grounder in the third.
Brunswick stormed back during its half of the frame. Johnson, Luke Reische and Jacob Woolston walked and Kahn emptied the bags with a three-run double -- scoring the go-ahead run on an error.
Palmgren and Lewis to lead off the fifth, Eric Ward's single driving in one run and an error and two wild pitches bringing in two more to put Purple in front, 6-4.
Alex Reigelesberger's single cut the deficit to one run in the bottom of the fifth. With the two-hour time limit due to expire, a double by Josh Swan, walk to Michael Manson, wild pitch and stolen base put the winning run in scoring position. Falls struck out two batters, but Johnson ripped a game-winning single to left field.
Although 33 runs were scored in the getaway game, the two teams had only 15 hits between them -- 18 walks and 11 errors making for an ugly contest.
Palmgren's RBI single keyed Slater's four-run first inning and Derrick Schuchmann and Ryan Dye drew bases-loaded walks during Brunwick's turn.
Purple scored three runs without a hit in the second, Swan's two-run double helped Brunswick pull to within a run and then Falls smashed a grand slam homer to give Slater an 11-6 advantage in the third.
Brunswick responded with six runs to get in front for the first time, Swan driving in two more with a single and Dye bringing in another with a single before scoring the go-ahead run on an error.
However, Lewis settled down after being initially roughed up. Although touched for an unearned run in the fourth and another tally in the fifth when Dye singled and scored, Lewis benefited from Purple's seven-run spree off three Brunswick pitchers in the top of the fifth.
Lewis helped himself with a single, sandwiched between eight walks and two errors, as Slater took a commanding six-run lad.
Walking just one batter during his three innings of work, Lewis didn't afford the home team a chance to pile on runs.
Falls scored six runs during the twinbill for Slater Purple (3-3). Brunswick (3-7) got good production from Swan -- who went five for seven at the plate, with five runs and four RBIs.