Leader Blues

Friday, May 29, 2009

SPORTS >> Senior Bruins rally to beat Gwatney

By JASON KING
Leader sportswriter

A junior-senior legion sweep was not meant to be for Gwatney Chevrolet on Wednesday at Kevin McReynolds Field. The junior Chevy Boys pulled off a win under bizarre circumstances to start the evening, and their senior counterparts appeared to be well on their way to a win with a 4-1 lead through three innings. But the Optimist Bruins clawed their way back to claim an 11-9 win over Jacksonville.

The dramatic comeback almost turned out to be for naught when a tiring Nathan Eller struggled to put the Chevy Boys away in the top of the seventh. Eller quickly came on in relief of SH starting pitcher Jordan Spears, who walked six of the seven batters he faced in the top of the first inning.

Those walks added up to three Jacksonville runs in the first inning, all off passed balls at the plate. Spearsí retirement at the mound allowed him to assume duties behind the plate to control that problem, and Eller began to mow the Gwatney batters down for the most part until the top of the sixth inning.

In that time, the Bruins slowly pulled themselves back in the game, aided by a two-run single by Gino Jamerson in the bottom of the fifth that tied the game at 4-4.

Jacksonville reclaimed the lead in the top of the sixth with a Patrick Castleberry double off the centerfield wall to score Terrell Brown. But it was short lived.

The Bruins scored seven runs in the bottom of the sixth. Jacksonville starting pitcher Clayton Fenton had done solid work through five innings, but fatigue began to set in during the sixth.

He gave up singles to Corey Arnold and Michael Lock to start the frame, and pinch hitter Trey Sims brought both in with a three-run home run over the left field wall to give Sylvan Hills its first lead at 7-5. That put starting centerfielder Tyler Wisdom on the mound for Gwatney.

Casey Cerrato doubled down the third-base line, Ty Van Schoyck walked and Hunter Miller was hit by a pitch to load the bases with no outs.

A walk to cleanup Jamerson made it 8-5, while Spears was hit by a pitch to force in the next score. Ellerís sacrifice fly allowed Miller to tag up and give the Bruins a 10-5 lead. Brown took over at the mound for Gwatney, and finally stopped the bleeding after giving up a walk to Michael Maddox to load the bases again, and hitting Sims with a pitch for the final SH score.

Eller got three of his 14 strikeouts in the top of the seventh, but not before the Chevy Boys got him for two hits and three walks, including a two-run single by Jason Regnas that followed a bases-loaded walk to Brown. Brown scored the final Jacksonville run off a single to right by Castleberry.

Arnold was 3 of 4 for Sylvan Hills with an RBI, while Jamerson was 2 of 3 with a double and three RBI. Van Schoyck was 2 of 2 with a home run in the first inning. For Gwatney, Castleberry was 2 of 4 with a double and an RBI. Jacksonville, despite leading most of the game, did not have a base hit until the top of the sixth inning.