The Gaston Braves rallied for the second time in three nights Tuesday night with a 2-1 victory over Denver.
Lenoir-Rhyne baseball signee David Bumgardner and Post 455â€™s Mitchell Lynch were locked in a pitcherâ€™s duel for most of the game.
Through five innings, each pitcher had allowed only one hit apiece and had struck out six batters. Lynch allowed only one hit for the game, before giving way to Alex Loftin.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Braves used three base on balls and an error to score the two go-ahead runs.
Loftin, used mostly as a relief pitcher, retired Derek Yow with the bases loaded preventing further damage.
He was stellar in relief, allowing only one hit and no runs in two and a third.
Denver had taken the lead in the top of the fifth on a fielderâ€™s choice.
Brandan Jones led Post 455 going 2-for-3 at the plate. Clay Gibson and Aaron Horne were the only two Braves that recorded hits.
Bumgardner got the win, striking out 11 batters in eight innings of work. He struck out the side in the seventh.
Despite the loss, Post 455â€™s head coach Bruce Bolick was able to pull a positive.
â€œI think the positive thing is we played a quality team and it was just a highly competitive game,â€ Bolick said. â€œEverybody played hard. It was a playoff-type atmosphere. With the posts being so close (13 miles); itâ€™s a rivalry,â€ he added.
Denver will play at Myerâ€™s Park High School against Charlotte 262 on Friday. Saturday, they will host Pineville before facing rival Post 100 of Cherryville on Sunday at Fraley Field.
All games are slated for a 7 p.m. start.
Denver 000 010 000â€”1 3 2
Gaston 000 002 000â€”2 2 2
Gaston Braves 13 Denver 9
In 10 innings
Bravesâ€™ pitcher Derek Yow gave up four runs and five hits in the first inning, but settled down and retired 18 of the next 19 batters faced.
He exited in the eighth with a 9-4 lead, but Post 455 wasnâ€™t going to go quietly.
Denver used a combination of shaky pitching (three walks) and five hits to score five runs, tying the game and sending it into extra innings.
Will Fox followed Colby Burginâ€™s RBI-single with a two-RBI double down the right-field line. Brandan Jones tied the game with a RBI-single to centerfield.
The Braves scored four runs in the top of the 10th inning for a 13-9 lead.
Evan Denton shut the door on Denver, allowing no runs in the bottom half of the inning, for the win.
â€œIt was a real good comeback that gave us a chance to win,â€ Bolick said.
â€œWe hit that spell where he (Yow) retired 18 of 19 batters. They have quality pitching and theyâ€™re a pretty good team,â€ Bolick added.
Fox led Post 455 going 4-for-5 with two RBIs, Jones and Burgin went 2-for-5 and 2-for-6 respectively and had one RBI apiece.
One area Bolick was pleased with was his defensive middle-infield, which turned two double plays on the night and catcher Tyler Howard, who threw out three would-be base stealers.
â€œOur defense has been pretty good; theyâ€™ve made some key plays. Tyler hangs in there and is a competitor.â€
by John Mark Brooks