Heavy workload tests Bruin arms

Written by Ryan Sparks, Curry Coastal Pilot April 29, 2014 08:54 pm

Bruin catcher Izak Ehlers slides in safely at second base during Tuesday's game against the Marshfield Pirates.

It’s a rarity in high school baseball to play three league games in the span of two days, but that is what the Brookings-Harbor High School baseball team did this week against the Sutherlin Bulldogs and the Marshfield Pirates.

Due to last week’s rainfall, which dropped nearly an 1 1/2 inches of rain in the span of two days, BHHS was forced to reschedule last Friday’s home twin bill against Sutherlin due to poor field conditions. Playing the doubleheader on Monday followed by a home game against the Pirates on Tuesday meant the Bruin pitching staff would be tested with a heavy workload.  

Game 1: Sutherlin 4, BHHS 10

BHHS senior Chandler Dodd went 2-3 with three runs and two RBI’s and three Bruin pitchers combined to allow just two earned runs on two hits and BHHS kenneled the Bulldogs, 10-4, in game 1 of Monday’s doubleheader at BHHS.

Bruin ace Wyatt Aldrich worked five innings, scattering two hits while striking out six to earn the victory. BHHS outfielder Ronnie Manley, catcher Izak Ehlers and infielder Justin Murray also collected two hits each for a Bruin offense that totaled 11 hits in the game.

 Dodd and Ehlers also contributed on the mound, each pitching a scoreless, hitless inning in relief of Aldrich.

The turning point came in the third inning when the Bruins, down 3-2, scored four runs on just one hit by harnessing their aggressive nature on the base paths. Ehlers led off the inning with a single and promptly stole second base. Dodd walked and then advanced to second with Ehlers going to third on a double steal. An Aldrich walk was followed by Ehlers scoring on a passed ball, with Dodd advancing to third. 

The Bruins then ran Aldrich off first to force a rundown. Once the Bulldogs turned their attention to Aldrich, Dodd broke for the plate, stealing home ahead of the throw to give the Bruins a 4-3 lead. 

It’s the type of play you hope to pull off once in a game, yet the Bruins did it twice in the same inning when just two batters later and third baseman Brandon Chandler standing at first, Aldrich was able to steal home while Chandler baited the Bulldogs with a rundown.

Those plays seemingly unnerved Bulldog pitcher Tommy Ghasedi, as he then hit Christian Edwards with a pitch and then balked, moving the Bruin runners to second and third. 

BHHS’ Alec Darger then hit a ground ball to second base, scoring Chandler on a fielder’s choice and pushing the Bruin lead to 6-3.

The Bruins would score an insurance run in the fourth and three more in the sixth, highlighted by Aldrich and Chandler’s back-to-back run scoring singles, to put the game firmly in their grasp at 10-4.

Game 2: Sutherlin 11, BHHS 1

What started as a pitcher’s duel between Sutherlin’s Braxton Beerbohm and the Bruins’ Ronnie Manley suddenly turned into a Bulldog rout as the BHHS defense committed six errors en route to an 11-1 loss in game two of the doubleheader.

Both Manley and Beerbohm were masterful through the first four innings, with Beerbohm allowing just two hits and Manley carrying a no-hitter into the fifth inning. That’s when fortunes turned for BHHS, as Sutherlin scored four runs on three consecutive hits, all with two outs in the inning, to take a 4-0 lead.

The Bruins had a chance to get back into the game in the bottom of the fifth inning, when they loaded the bases with two outs and Ehlers, who leads the team with a .389 batting average and 15 RBI’s, strode to the plate as the tying run. Beerbohm, who had command of his slow curveball the entire game, was able to get Ehlers to fly out to centerfield, ending the threat.

The Bruins fared no better the following inning, as two hits, four wild pitches and five errors led to a five run Sutherlin inning, making it a 9-0 score. 

The lone BHHS run came in when Dodd scored on an Aldrich sacrifice fly in the bottom of the sixth inning. 

For Sutherlin, the 11 runs scored is their highest output of the season and just their second win overall.

April 29: Marshfield 6, BHHS 5

The Bruins attempt to mount a late game comeback feel just short as they drop a game to the Marshfield Pirates, 6-5, at BHHS on Tuesday.

The Bruins found themselves down 5-1 at the end of the fourth inning but mounted a comeback, scoring two runs in the fifth inning and one in the sixth, making it a 5-4 game entering the seventh. 

The Pirates scored an all-important insurance run in the top of the seventh with two outs, their fourth two out run of the game.

The Bruins could only muster one run in the bottom of the seventh to make it a 6-5 final score. 

The Bruins are now 10-7, 6-5 in league and have lost five of their last six games.