It was a battle as the Buccaneers and the Sea Dogs took the field yesterday morning at Academy Park. The game was promising to be an evenly matched game, as both teams have been exchanging spots in the standings, and it lived up to the potential. Both sides were able to work out of an abundance of jams, taking it to nine innings where the game would end up in a 2-2 tie.
The offensive pressure started right up in the bottom of the first inning as the Sea Dogs loaded the bases with one out. However, Bucs starter, Dylan Danko, was able to get out of the inning unscathed after getting a force out at home after a comebacker, and getting a called third strike on the outside part of the plate.
The Bucs carried the momentum of escaping the jam and turned it into a threat of their own, and were able to capitalize. Chase Aldridge reached on an error, Carlos Somoza reached on a walk, and Michael Sanford was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Michael Silberling was able to force a bases-loaded walk to drive in the first run of the ball game. The Bucs tried to pick up another run in the inning when a ball got past the catcher. However, the Sea Dogs beat him to the plate and got out of the inning leaving two Buccaneers in scoring position.
The Sea Dogs answered right back in the bottom part of the inning, stringing together three consecutive singles to knot it up at one. Jonathan Davis provided the damage with a line drive single to left field to knock in Jake Weilheimer.
The teams went back-and-forth in the next two innings as Danko led off the third with a double for the Buccaneers. He would then score off of a throwing error on a ball hit by Dan Kennon. The rally might have been more productive if it wasn't for Davis, who was playing second for the Sea Dogs. Davis made a great diving catch going to his right on a ball smoked by David Van Horn that would have scored a run. The Sea Dogs, again, got out of the inning giving up the single run.
Once again, the Sea Dogs would match the run an inning later. Phillip Shulman led the inning off with a single, and was bunted over to second by Tyler Helphenstein. Jonnie Onufrak came through in the clutch, knocking a single to right-center field picking up the RBI.
That was all the offense in this one. Pitchers on both sides threw the ball very well. Danko went three innings, allowing two runs and striking out one. Sea Dogs starter Andrew Wilkes went five innings, striking out two, and giving up three hits.
The story was the relief performances given by each team. Kyle Matis and Tyler Helphenstein teamed up to give the Sea Dogs four innings of relief of two-hit baseball and preserved the tie.
Hunter Keatts relieved Danko for the Bucs in an extraordinary effort. He went five innings and retired every batter he faced. Keatts repeatedly pounded the strike zone forcing the Sea Dogs to put the ball in play. He struck out four and walked none, while forcing seven ground ball outs in his outing.
With the tie, both teams remain locked up
In other action around the IMGWBL:
Lightning 10 8 3
Mustangs 6 14 0
WP - Zac Jacobs - 7 IP, 2 ER, 2 SO
Top Performer - Anthony Hajjar - Lightning - 3-4, 2 3B, HR, 3 R, 4 RBI
Conquistadors 11 7 0
Hurricanes 0 3 2
WP - Billy Jack Ryan - 5 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 SO
Top Performer - Tanner Pollack - Conquistadors - 1-2, 2 R, RBI, 3 SB
Ospreys 7 7 2
Hammerheads 4 6 3
WP - Josh Sepulveda - 3 2/3 IP, 2 H, SO
SV - Ryan Brenner - 1 IP, 2 SO
Top Performer - Ryan Brenner - Ospreys - 1-1, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 SB, SV
Buccaneers 2 6 2 (9 Innings)
Sea Dogs 2 6 2
Top Performer - Jonathan Davis - Sea Dogs - 2-4, 2 SB, RBI
Team W L T GB
Ospreys 10 4 0 -
Hurricanes 8 5 0 1.5
Sea Dogs 8 6 1 2
Buccaneers 8 6 1 2
Conquistadors 7 6 0 2.5
Lightning 6 8 0 4
Hammerheads 5 10 0 5.5
Mustangs 3 10 0 6.5