By Chris Zadorozny
A hot and steamy summer afternoon in Carleton gave fans a great pitching duel between the Milan Big Reds and the Riverview Pirates. Junior Kyle Schrader of the Big Reds and senior Timothy Lyons combined for just nine hits in the game, but the Big Reds found their bats in the seventh inning to win 4-1 and advance to the regional final.
The Big Reds went on to defeat Tecumseh in the final with a walk off bunt single with the bases loaded to win the region.
Schrader only allowed one run on three hits, striking out four, and walking one and threw 92 pitches to 26 batters in seven innings of work. Schrader allowed one hit in the second and two hits in the third inning and shut down the Pirates offense the rest of the way.
“They executed and you’ve got to tip your hats off to them. It was a great baseball game,” said Pirates head coach Chris Haut. “Today was just a day where we hit the ball right at them and they made the plays. I thought we had great at-bats, our pitcher threw great, Tim threw great, and sometimes you just come out on the wrong side.”
Lyons countered for the Pirates with 100 pitches in seven innings of work, striking out one, walking two and allowing four runs on six hits in 32 at-bats. Three of the hits and runs came in the top of the seventh inning.
The Pirates threatened twice early, but couldn’t score. With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, senior Kyle Agius walked to reach and then stole second before taking third on an errant throw from the Big Reds catcher. The very next batter, senior Aaron Vowell struck out to end the inning.
With their first scoring chance of the day, the Big Reds capitalized. In the top of the second inning, senior catcher Jacob Friese was hit by the pitch to reach. He then was advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt and advanced to third on a fly out to shallow right field. He then came around to score on a throwing error by the Pirates second baseman, sophomore Ben Menna.
The Pirates tried to tie the game in the bottom half of the second inning, but once against stranded a runner at third. Junior first baseman David Archer reached on a throwing error by the Big Reds shortstop and then would advance to second on a passed ball. Archer then reached third on a bunt single to the catcher. That’s as far as he went as the next batter struck out. A double play ended the inning as Archer was tagged at third before getting the out at second.
Riverview did score in the third inning though, and it looked like they were going to get more. Senior right fielder Joe Vitale singled up the middle to start the inning. He then advanced to second on a passed ball. An RBI single from past the first baseman, from Agius brought in Vitale, but that’s as far as the Pirates got. A double play got the Big Reds out of the inning with minimal damage.
From then on, Schrader shut down the Pirates, allowing no hits, as only one batter reached on an error. On the offensive side of things for the Big Reds, things started to heat up. They got two hits in two innings off of Lyons after allowing the run and took to some bunting to win the game.
Junior Zach Alliston pinch hit for freshman Zach Allen and singled to shallow left to start the top of the seventh. Allen then came back in to run and advanced to second on a bunt to third and a throwing error allowed Alliston to go to third and junior Isaac Grubke to reach second on the throwing error.
Another throwing error by the third baseman allowed Allen to score on a bunt from junior centerfielder Jacob Maas. Grubke advanced to third on the throwing error as Maas stayed at first. Lyons tried to pick Maas off and Grubke took advantage as he decided to steal home during the pickle between first and second trying to get Maas out.
With Maas still at first and first baseman, sophomore Thomas Lindeman hit a single to shallow right centerfield putting Maas at second. Schrader then came up and bunted to home, but the perfect bunt had everyone safe and the bases loaded. A sacrifice fly to center by senior third baseman Connor Berge brought in Maas and that’s all the Big Reds would need.
Schrader had a perfect 1-2-3 end to the game as he had two groundouts and a fly out to earn the win.
Despite the loss, Haut was proud of his team and how the competed all year. “I’m proud of our team and I thought we played the game the right way, we hustled and we battled and that’s all you can ask.”
“I knew we would continue to battle and fight and scratch and claw and that’s what we’ve done all year and that’s just proof right there. We made it here, we played two good games in districts and we got here and we played a good game here, it just didn’t work out for us.”
To read the original post that appeared in the Downriver News-Herald on June 9, 2013, go to www.miprepzone.com/thenewsherald