Error in the 12th inning pushes Lions past Rio Grande
6 years ago Triangle 0
Written By: Colby Roach
Dayton, Tenn.—The Bryan Lions baseball team defeated Rio Grande (Ohio) 7-6 after an error in the bottom of the 12th inning on Friday night in near freezing conditions.
“I was proud of the way our team competed throughout such a long game against Rio Grande,” said head coach Taylor Hasty. “ We had several opportunities to give in but we kept fighting and eventually came out on top.”
The Lions grabbed the first lead in the game after two walks putting a runner in scoring position. Catcher Justin Morhardt, senior business marketing major, recorded his only RBI of the night after a single that drove in the first run for the Lions in the bottom of the first inning.
Rio Grande answered in the second inning after a balk, passed ball and a single to tie the game 1-1. Followed by a two-run home run, the Rio Grande RedStorm took their first lead of the game heading into the bottom of the second.
Bryan answered in the bottom of the inning with a double by outfielder Brookes Jones, senior Christian ministry major, bringing in Wade Weinburger and Trevor Behrent.
Senior outfielder Prentice Young added another run for the Lions with solid base running after a double by Weinburger, senior exercise health science major.
The RedStorm tacked on two runs in the top of the sixth to apply pressure back on Bryan as they took the lead 5-4.
Kila Zuttermeister, junior exercise health science major, tied the game for Bryan after a single, advanced to second by a sacrifice bunt by junior Sam Saylers and then took third and home after two wild pitches.
The game, now tied was heading into the seventh inning.
Neither team could add any runs until the 10th, where both teams batted in one run each to keep the game tied 6-6 heading into the 11th.
Chad Burrows, senior business administration major, pitched the start of the 11th inning for the Lions. Burrows made quick work in striking out the first batter, followed by a routine groundout and then closed the inning with another strikeout.
Unable to score in the bottom of the 11th, Burrows was back on the mound to make quick work of the inning once again.
“I felt that God was behind the team and myself all night,” said Burrows. “All I focused on was to stay composed and confident so that my teammates would do the same.”
Zuttermeister stepped up to the plate with only one out in the bottom of the 12th hitting a timely single followed by another wild pitch. Zuttermeister was in scoring position. Senior Mikey Rita advanced Zuttermeister to third after a perfectly played sacrifice bunt.
Normally what would be a routine play, turned out to be the RedStorm’s worst nightmare. The second baseman allowed the ball to go through his legs giving Zuttermeister the time needed to score and win the game for the Lions in heroic fashion.
When asked about scoring the final run Zuttermeister said, “what makes scoring the winning run that much better, it wasn’t about me, it took all of us to score that winning run.”
“It felt good to see our team fight throughout the game and come up on top at the end. To see us coming together as a team, handling adversity in the late innings, and when it was freezing. That was a big step in us winning.”
Burrows was attributed with the win after two innings pitched, no runs, and four strikeouts.
“Coming in late in the game and fighting like we did is the fun part of playing this game,” said Burrows. “We have worked hard the past seven months and are excited for the long season ahead.”
Head coach Taylor Hasty spoke very highly of his team after the game.
“We played great defense and our bullpen pitched very well. Winning games like this, especially early in the season, are so important as we prepare for conference play.”
The Lions look to add another win to their season on Feb. 10, as they host Missouri Baptist University in a three-game series.
Colby Roach is a Communications: Journalism Option major. Colby is the sports editor for the Bryan Triangle. He has also completed an internship with the Chattanooga Times Free Press. You will find Colby at most local area sporting events or can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.