Brookhaven, GA, June 7, 2016 – The Post Reports – Despite their best efforts to snatch a season opening come from behind win, victory just slipped past your Brookhaven Bucks Saturday at Oglethorpe University. The Marietta Patriots had already blown the lead in the bottom of the ninth, and used five pitchers. The Brookhaven Bucks forced extra innings in the Summer Sunbelt League season opener as Jabari Gayle lead off the ninth inning with a mammoth solo home run over the fence in right center field.
The Patriots jumped out in front first in the top of the first inning where they would pick up their first run of the contest. Things got started for the Patriots when their first basemen Sean McDermott would send a two out, three and one count fastball over the right field wall. The Patriots would add to their lead as Alex Garland drove in Justin Evans with an RBI single in the top of the fourth inning.
The Bucks however, would respond in the bottom of the sixth inning as they would pick up two runs of their own. Connor Stutts managed to begin a two out rally as he turned on a two and two pitch to send the ball in the gap for a stand up double. Next, the Bucks first baseman, Nick Wise, flashed his power as he got under a Kenny Glover sinker and blasted the ball over the wall to tie the game at two runs.
The Patriots would take the lead 3-2 on a passed ball in the top of the ninth, which gave the Patriots momentum heading into the bottom half of the ninth inning.
The Bucks third baseman, Jabari Gayle showed why the last three outs in a game are the hardest outs to get. Gayle sent a three and one pitch deep over the right field wall. The home run bomb would lead the Bucks to extra innings. Unfortunately, the Bucks shortstop overthrew the first baseman in the 11th inning, causing the Bucks first error of the season.
The Patriots right fielder, Channing Painton picked the perfect time for his first hit of the season, as he crushed a two out RBI single to drive in John Anderson for the go ahead run.
The Bucks had no answer in the bottom half of the frame, as they would suffer a tough loss to begin the season. As for the Patriots, the RBI single by Painton turned out to be the game-winning hit.
A game that was scheduled to start at 1:35 p.m. finally ended at 5:15, after a dramatic extra inning thriller. The fans at Oglethorpe University were treated to free baseball, but they would have preferred a different outcome.
The Summer Sunbelt Baseball league has incorporated a new rule this summer, which is called “Pitch Smart”. Basically, the new rule will help pitchers avoid serious injury and keep all pitchers healthy for when they have to return to their respective schools. When a pitcher throws zero to 30 pitches in a game, he does not require a full day of rest to pitch again. When a pitcher throws 31-79 pitches in a game, he is required to rest for two full days. Finally, when a pitcher throws 80-120 pitches, he must rest for five full days.
Chaz Wilson started the game for the Patriots, as he pitched three scoreless innings. Wilson did not allow a hit, but did allow three walks. He was replaced in the fourth inning by the fast throwing lefty pitcher, Kenny Glover The Patriots deep pitching rotation was a vital difference maker in the game, as they would send three more pitchers to the mound. Coach Navarro wanted to make sure all of their pitchers had enough time to rest for the next contest.
Daniel Garrett started the season opener for the Bucks, as he surrendered one run on three hits. The Bucks would send up five more pitchers to the mound to try and save the day from the fourth inning on. The Bucks relievers were not consistent enough to earn the win for the home team.
The Bucks used six pitchers in the extra inning contest, and the Patriots were not far behind as they used five pitchers.
The Patriots and Bucks will be back in action Tuesday night in Marietta for a 7:15 first pitch. The Bucks look to bounce back and get one in the win column. The Patriots are seeking a perfect start to the season, as they will try to win two straight games to start the season.
Learn more about the Brookhaven Bucks at brookhavenbucks.com, at facebook.com/brookhavenbucks, on Twitter @BrookhavenBucks or on Instagram @Brookhaven.Bucks. For information about the Sunbelt League, please visitwww.sunbeltleague.com.
The Bucks full-season schedule can be found here.
Here are a few photos The Post snapped while at the game. Mayor John Ernst threw out the Season Opening first pitch and young athletes rounded the bases as part of the opening ceremonies.