It took two nights, eight innings, and a come from behind rally to win, but Pleasant Valley won a character building game on Friday night!
Howie Stevens took the mound in a suspended game due to darkness the previous night. Allen had rallied from being three runs behind to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning. The game was called due to darkness with runners on 1st and 2nd and no outs. This situation was inherited by Stevens to re-start the game on Friday. The first batter battled in the count and then drove a ground ball down the 3B line. PV’s Travis Van Houten made the play at the line and threw a bullet to first basemen, Chris Burke, to record the first out.
A walk in the inning and an errant pick-off attempt, left a runner at 2B. A stolen base and another error scored the first run of the evening, but it wouldn’t be the last. Stevens got out of the inning with good stuff and then it was PV’s turn to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.
A walk to Connor Cardenas, started the inning. Cardenas was then awarded 2B when a pickoff attempt went past the first basemen, who then interfered with Cardenas. Cardenas was then awarded 2B. Adam Raseley lined out to center field, which brought catcher, James Shank to the plate. After three straight fastballs, the count was even at 1-2. Then Shank crushed a ball over the left fielder’s head to get the game-tying RBI and send the game into extra innings!
Here Shank is celebrating as he coasted into 2B with a stand-up double.
Stevens again took the mound to start the top of the eighth inning. He rolled through the inning with only one walk. That runner stole second base and then got to third base. With two outs the Allen batter laid down a bunt to first base. The runner on 3B broke for the plate and 1B Chris Burke fired home. Shank put the tag on the sliding base runner for the final out!
Chris Burke was walked on four pitches to start the bottom of the eighth inning for PV.
Cardenas was hit by a pitch, so there were runners at 2B and 1B when Shank came to the plate again. Shank’s first swing was a bullet down the third base line, but foul. Then, with another crack of the bat, Shank hit a walk-off, game winning RBI single.
Burke scored the winning run and was mobbed by his teammates after crossing home plate.
Games like this can be nerve-racking, but they build character in a team. These players stuck together and overcame the obstacles to win the victory. It’s not always easy, but winning games in this fashion build character that can take a team to many more victories. Go Bears! To see all the photos of this game, click here.