The Brookhaven Bears men’s baseball team sealed the deal against Richland College with a 6-5 away game win Feb. 21.
The Bears started the first inning against the Richland Thunderducks with a bang. Third baseman Jonathan Boyer knocked out a double, and the dugout went wild.
However, the excitement was short-lived, as Thunderducks pitcher Philip Sanders quieted the dugout, retiring the rest of the order and leaving the Bears scoreless.
Bears pitcher Zach Reynolds struck out the first player up to bat in the second inning. The ferocity and speed of his pitches was terrific.
The Thunderducks would take a 1-0 lead courtesy of a line drive hit by infielder Riley Blanton.
Reynolds struck out Richland outfielder Justin Childers wrapping up the inning.
Starting off the third was Bears third baseman Brett Wagner, whose patience was rewarded with a walk courtesy of Sanders.
The next Bears players up to bat were catcher Harrison Longoria and first baseman Ian Cox. Both players ended their at bats with flyouts.
The third inning seemed over, but the Bears went on to score two consecutive runs, taking the lead 2-1.
In the bottom of the third, Reynolds gave up a walk to Richland outfielder Caisen Clower. The Bears rallied after the walk, getting a double play to end the threat and the inning.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Reynolds allowed a hit, but Wagner was able to get the quick out.
Reynolds applied pressure with a second strikeout. Bears catcher Jase Jones finished off the inning with a third out by catching the Thunderducks runner trying to steal second base.
In the top of the fifth, Brookhaven outfielder Tanner Bond hit a line drive, and Boyer looked to join in on the fun with a double, loading the bases.
By the end of the fifth inning, the Bears would tack on two more runs with the score now 4-1 in the Bears favor.
In the bottom of the fifth, Richland came alive and looked to do serious damage against the Bears.
The Thunderducks banged out four runs in the bottom of the fifth, now holding a 5-4 lead over the Bears. It was looking bad for Brookhaven.
The sixth and seventh innings were quiet, with no scores from either team.
All hope looked lost for the Bears heading into the top of the eighth until outfielder JJ Davis smashed a two-run homerun sending the ball out of the universe, giving the Bears a 6-5 lead.
Andy Rubalcaba would take the mound for the Bears in the bottom of the ninth inning looking to get the save. He allowed only two hits while cruising to his first save of the year.
After the game, Bond said: “I’m always just trying to get on base. I’m a leadoff hitter, so all you got to do is get on base [and] make sure you get that first run for other guys behind you.”
The Bears walked away with a 6-5 victory over the Thunderducks. Brookhaven will face off against Richland April 1 on the Thunderducks’ turf, and again at home 2 p.m. April 3 and 12-1 p.m. April 4.