By Lori Brown
LIBERTY May 4, 2007 On Tuesday afternoon, the Liberty Indians hosted the Sullivan West Bulldogs in an Orange County Interscholastic Athletic Association (OCIAA) Division IV baseball game.
It was the second contest in this week’s three-game series between the Bulldogs and Indians. And like they did the previous afternoon at Lions’ Field in Jeffersonville, the SW Bulldogs rallied late in the contest to record a win.
On Monday, SW prevailed 3-2 and on Tuesday, the Bulldogs topped Liberty, 6-2.
After two scoreless innings on Tuesday, SW (6-2, 5-0 Division IV) took the lead in the top of the third. Jesse Fadis began the frame by drawing a walk and teammates Logan Grishaber and Brad Reimer both bunted and safely reached base. The next batter, Garrett Owen, hit a ground ball to shortstop, which started a double play. But Fadis scored on the play to give the Bulldogs a 1-0 lead.
Liberty (4-4, 2-3 Div. IV) evened the score in the bottom of the third. Justin Garritt led off with a single and then stole second base and third base.
With one out, Evan Kirsch hit a fly ball to shallow right field. Bulldog second baseman Fadis and right fielder Austin Sauer collided slightly, but Fadis was able to make the catch.
Garritt tagged up and crossed the plate to knot the score at 1-1.
Good pitching and defense by both squads including Indians’ pitcher Kirsch striking out the side in the top of the sixth kept the score even at 1-1 until the bottom of the sixth.
Kirsch then helped himself with a one-out single in the bottom of the sixth and teammate Scott Hamlin was walked.
Immediately after that, SW Coach Kurt Scheibe called a timeout. Scheibe took Fadis, who seemed to still be feeling the effects of the aforementioned collision with his teammate, out of the game and Eric Minton came in.
The next batter was Trevor Tompkins, who singled.
On the hit by Tompkins, John Snyder, who was pinch-running for Kirsch, scored to give the Indians a 2-1 advantage.
Hamlin thought he could also score on the play, but was tagged out by Bulldogs’ catcher Garrett Owen. Tompkins then decided to try and steal second base, but was thrown out by Owen.
Although the double play got SW out of trouble, the team still had only three outs to either tie the game or take the lead.
With two outs and two runners on base in the top of the seventh, Jim Moloney beat out an infield grounder to keep the game going as Grishaber scored the tying run.
After an intentional walk to Chris Freebes which loaded the bases, Chris Story used a keen batting eye to draw a walk. Brad Reimer scored as Story went to first base to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead.
A timeout was called by Liberty Coach John Wilhelm so he could bring in Hamlin as a relief pitcher. SW took a 5-2 advantage as Moloney scored when Mark Tesseyman was hit by a pitch and Freebes subsequently crossed the plate when the umpires called a balk on Hamlin.
Story scored the Bulldogs’ final run of the day on an error.
Hamlin struck out Eric Minton to finally end the inning.
SW got two quick outs in the bottom of the seventh as Reimer made two good plays at shortstop and threw out the batters at first base.
Liberty’s Michael Dunnigan walked to keep the inning going, but Grishaber then registered a strikeout to preserve the Bulldogs’ four-run victory.
“In the bottom of sixth inning we were ahead 2-1 [and] we started off the seventh inning with getting out the leadoff batter,” Wilhelm said. “The game was over after the groundball error. We started to self-destruct, but that is part of baseball.
“We need to score more runs and hit the ball,” Wilhelm added. I feel bad for our pitcher Evan Kirsch, but he did well. We had two good outings from pitchers [yesterday and today]. I give the SW pitchers credit, too.”
Wilhelm also noted that “these were tough games.”
“We got a big break tonight and the last game, too,” Scheibe said. “Liberty’s Evan Kirsch pitched a good game; Logan Grishaber pitched a good game for us.
“These have been two very good games so far,” Scheibe continued. “Hopefully the next game will be a little less stressful.”
The Indians and Bulldogs were slated to play the third game of their series yesterday afternoon at Lions’ Field in Jeffersonville.