STRATTANVILLE, Pa. – Walks are never a good thing in baseball, especially when you issue them in bunches. Redbank Valley drew 12 walks from four pitchers, with six of them coming around to score as the Bulldogs rallied for 13 runs over the final three innings to come away with a 13-5 victory over Clarion-Limestone in the season opener for both teams.
(Archived Photo by: Mike Maslar)
The Bulldogs trailed 3-0 through four innings before scoring one run in the fifth, three in the sixth, and nine in the seventh. The Lions countered with two runs in the bottom of the seventh to set the final score.
“We competed tonight even though we struggled early against (Hayden) Callen,” said Redbank Valley head coach Craig Hibell. “He’s a tough pitcher to face at any point in the season, let alone in the first game. We were able to do some damage against their bullpen, and I think we proved that our bullpen is going to be stronger than a lot of other team’s bullpen this season.”
Callen kept the Bulldogs off the board through four innings, allowing no runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out seven.
Bryson Bain allowed three runs on just two hits in four innings of work. He walked two and struck out four.
“The bright spot about tonight was that Hayden threw really well for us, and we actually had the lead when we took him out,” said C-L head coach Todd Smith. “Despite being a little erratic, I thought Tommy Smith actually threw the ball well for his first varsity appearance. He didn’t get a few close calls. Brady and Bryson also threw well.”
Redbank Valley (1-0) stranded eight runners on base through the first four innings as the game remained scoreless until the bottom of the fourth.
Jordan Hesdon opened the inning with a single and stole second. One out later, Bryson Huwar drew a walk. After a flyout, Ryan Hummell blooped a single just behind second base to drive in Hesdon for the first run of the game. A pair of wild pitches allowed Huwar to score, and when the throw from the catcher got past Bain covering at the plate, Hummell was able to also score on the play for a 3-0 C-L lead.
Four walks by Smith allowed the Bulldogs to score their first run to make the score 3-1 in the fifth.
Redbank Valley tacked on three more in the sixth, thanks to two more walks along with a two-run double by Kobe Bonanno and an RBI single by Cam Wagner to give the Bulldogs a 4-3 lead.
Redbank Valley then put the game away with nine runs in the seventh inning. Bonanno drove in another run with a double, while Wagner drove in a pair with a single, and Tate Minich also added a two-run double. Three runs scored via wild pitches, while another scored because of an error.
C-L (0-1) scored their final two runs in the bottom of the seventh as Riley Hummell reached base on a wild pitch after a strikeout. Pinch-hitter Korbin Kemmer was hit by a pitch. After a strikeout, Jack Craig singled to move Hummell to third. Jake Smith hit into a fielder’s choice as the Bulldogs erased Kemmer at third on the play with Hummell scoring. Hesdon then singled to drive in Craig to set the final score.
“Despite the loss, we have some positive things to look at,” said Todd Smith. “We made some good contact, and our bottom of the order guys came through. We’re still don’t have a full roster due to some guys still having to quarantine. So, hopefully, we can get a full roster soon.”
Bonanno paced the Bulldogs with a pair of doubles and three RBI’s. Minich and Wagner each added a pair of hits, with Wagner driving in three and Minich two.
Hesdon had a pair of hits to lead C-L, with Hummell, Craig, and Jake Smith each adding one hit.
Hudson Martz picked up the win allowing two runs on three hits in three innings of work. He walked one and struck out five.
Tommy Smith suffered the loss allowing four runs on one hit. He walked six and struck out four.
“Bryson was strong today even though he allowed a couple runs,” said Hibell. “He gave us four innings and kept his pitch count low. Hudson is a good one-two punch from the left side. I think he started to tire a bit in that last inning as he was getting around the 50 pitch mark, which is about what we wanted him to throw. Had the game been extended, we would have had to bring in someone else. I’m happy for our kids to get the win. We definitely have some things to work on, but it was a nice start for us.”