The Briarwood Diamond Buccaneers came on strong in the final innings to pull out a 6-5 win in extra innings over GISA Region 1AA foe Edmund Burke Academy in the eighth inning of the Buc's season opener Tuesday at Briarwood.
Starting pitcher Blake Stitcher struck out six and only allowed one run against Edmund Burke.
Photo by Staff
It was a good start for the season," said first year Bucs' Coach Kenny Haney, who admits that, as a whole, the team isn't hitting well.
"They'll come around," he said. "It's mainly the transition from basketball to baseball."
Fortunately, three Bucs aren't "struggling" at the plate.
Senior Dustin Pilgrim is leading at bat with an average of .600, followed by juniors David Russell with a .444 average and Seth Williford with a .333 average.
Russell went three-for-three against the Spartans.
Senior Blake Stitcher pitched a strong six-innings before being relieved by junior Joseph Batrous in the seventh.
"Blake had more command of the strike zone yesterday, which was huge," Coach Haney said. "The more strikes you throw, the better off you are."
Briarwood's Joseph Batrous lies on home plate as the Edmund Burke catcher reacts to the umpire's call.
Photo by Staff
Stitcher allowed one run on two walks and two hit-batters. He had six strikeouts.
The Spartans scored the first run in the top of the fourth. The Bucs came back in the bottom of the inning to take the lead with two runs.
After reaching base on a double, Pilgrim scored on a single by Stitcher. Russell's base hit advanced Stitcher to third, and Stitcher scored on a groundout by first baseman Will Quinn.
The Spartans tied the game at 2-2 in the top of the sixth on a fielding error by the Bucs. The Bucs failed to answer in the bottom of the inning, leaving the game tied at 2-all going into the final inning.
EBA scored two in the top of the seventh to take a 2-run lead, 4-2. The Bucs came to life in the bottom of the inning. Russell singled to reach base, followed by a double by Quinn. With no outs and Russell on third and Quinn on second, sophomore catcher John Spivey's groundout scored Russell. Sophomore second baseman Ethan DeMore was up next. DeMore also grounded out, scoring Quinn to even the score up at 4-4 when regulation play ended.
The Spartans scored one run in the top of the eighth to take a 5-4 lead in extra innings.
Then, the Bucs got their turn at the plate. Up first, Williford reached base on an error. Batrous walked, advancing Williford to second. The next two Bucs hit fly balls to the outfield for two outs. With two outs and runners on first and second, Russell hit a double to score Williford and tie the game 5-5.
The EBA pitcher hit Quinn to send him to first and load the bases. With two outs and the bases loaded, Batrous kept edging towards home, taunting the pitcher.
When the pitcher threw for Batrous at third, Batrous streaked home, scoring on a headfirst dive onto the plate for the win.
Third basemen Williford played extremely well defensively as did junior centerfielder Jacob Guy, who made a critical diving catch in left centerfield, said Coach Haney.