Baseball is truly a game of inches, and whenever we have played Beaverton it is truly evident. With the defending Division III state runner up coming to our home turf, we were ready to battle. What a battle it was indeed. Toeing the rubber for the Beavers was their returning All State senior pitcher, Ryan Longstreth. Right from the start we saw what he was going to bring, a low 80s fastball, a pretty sick curve, and a devastating change up. The first inning was a precursor to how nasty his stuff was that day, 3 strikeouts - all were caught looking. Three innings went by with no score. In the 4th inning, Beaverton plated one run. It took us until the 6th inning to push across the even making run, run the score to 1-1. A pitcher's dual for the ages - Joe Huss against Ryan Longstreth, both went strong to the 8th inning. Longstreth was lifted for another talented left hander, Ryan Oard. He did nothing but struck out his first 4 batters. Beaverton pushed across the go ahead run in the 9th inning on an error by the right fielder. However, it is important to note that on a 2-2 pitch a seemingly perfect strike was thrown to the person who scored the run. This pitch was so perfect that the base umpire told our whole team that the umpire behind the plate "blew that one." We went into the bottom of the 9th with one goal ahead of us - score a run. We failed to do so, we failed to put anyone on base even. The game ended with the state runner up on top, 2-1.
However, as I titled this blog - it is a game of inches.
With one out and a runner on first, Adam Wheeler dug into the box. He smashed a 2-2 pitch to right center field and I watched as the fastest kid in the area put a bead on the ball. Jake Oard leaped like nobody I've ever seen before, and made one heck of a circus catch to stop Adam Wheeler from the easy triple he deserved. One more inch, and the game had a whole different tone. I guess that is why Oard, and Longstreth are slated to play for SVSU.
As for me, I couldn't have picked a worse night for a horrible game. Defensively, I was sound. However, offensively I had no hits and a whole lot of strikeouts. This was a night that SVSU, Northwood, CMU, Gladwin Legion, Berryhill, and Sanford Legion all had scouts out.
In the second game, I pitched the first three innings and did nothing but further my sore hamstring. The game was called for darkness in the 4th with us ahead 4-3.
We play Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart at home tomorrow, which is Thursday at 4. Then, on Friday we picked up a 9 inning game with Escanaba which will also start at 4 pm in Coleman.