The Deep Run baseball team escaped a late Douglas Freeman surge behind confident relief pitcher Tyler Bradt and came from behind to win 7-6 on Friday.
Bradt came into the game for the Wildcats (13-3), ranked fifth in The Times-Dispatch poll, in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and one out. After striking out the first batter he faced, Bradt gave up a three-run double to Macho Santiago, giving the Rebels (8-5) their first lead of the game 6-4. Bradt got a strikeout for the final out of the inning to stop the bleeding.
“I just wanted the baseball and wanted to keep everyone from thinking and stay relaxed,” Bradt said.
The Wildcats, facing a two-run deficit, did not call it quits. Instead, they played the last half of the inning pitch by pitch, knowing they had the talent to come back.
The Wildcats’ first three batters got on base safely, then senior third baseman Eli Weisner popped a sacrifice fly to right field, driving in the first of three runs in the inning. The next batter, Bradt, hit a chopper to the shortstop, scoring the tying run. With the bases loaded, senior first baseman Hayes Fallen stood stoic in the batter’s box, taking an inside pitch off the hands to give the Wildcats the go-ahead run.
“We battled back. We’ve had to do that a couple times this year,” Bradt said of his team’s resiliency. “It just really shows the depth of our team, and we continue to work hard in practice and continue to keep winning.”
Bradt, with two outs in the top of the seventh and a runner in scoring position and a 1-2 count, fanned the final batter of the game.
Ryan Carroll, the Wildcats starting pitcher, had a solid outing. He threw five innings and did not surrender a hit until the top of the fifth.
The Rebels started to catch on to where Carroll was trying to locate his pitches, and they ripped off four consecutive singles with two outs in the inning to finally get on the board.
Deep Run coach Josh Aldrich took time to talk to his starter, showed confidence and kept him on the hill.
“I just kept telling him to throw strikes and that gives us a great chance to get an out,” Aldrich said of his decision to stay with Carroll.
With the bases loaded, the Rebels belted a shot to deep left field, but junior left fielder Nick Noonan sprinted back and leaped backwards to catch the third out of inning.
Noonan’s play ignited his teammates; they didn’t wait for him to get back to the dugout to thank him.
Noonan had a solid night at the plate, too, going 2 for 3.
Freeman 000 015 0 — 6 11 2
Deep Run 101 113 x — 7 5 2
Lynch 5. Carroll 5.
Highlights: DF - Alec Erickson 2 for 3; Macho Santiago 2 for 4, 4 RBIs. DR - Nick Noonan 2 for 3; Carson Jones 2 for 2, 2 RBIs.
Records: Douglas Freeman 8-5; Deep Run 13-3