Dean’s smash, Richardson’s walk-off lift Cards over Spartans
Until the sixth inning Tuesday, it was beginning to look like more of the same for the Bloomfield Cardinals in what had been a winless 0-5 campaign so far.
But with the Cardinals trailing the visiting South Knox Spartans 5-3 in the home half of the sixth Dustin Kettler and Tyler Hanson delivered RBI base hits to tie the score.
Then in the final frame, Adam Dean’s smash double off the short porch in right advanced baserunner Ethan Fitch to third. Fitch raced home with the winning run on Dylan Richardson’s walk-off single handing Bloomfield its first win of the year, 6-5 over the Spartans.
“It was kind of an ugly game,” Bloomfield coach Jason Pegg said. “But it’s good to get the piano off our back, you might say.
“I told the guys it was a really good team win because a lot of guys contributed. I’m very happy.”
Fitch was struck by a pitch. Then the left-handed Dean turned on a fastball, ripping it down the right-field line off the fence. Richardson’s bouncing ball up the middle found a hole and Bloomfield found that elusive first victory.
“I was happy to see Adam (Dean) just rip that ball toward the end,” Pegg said. “Because we’ve been waiting on these kids do things like that.”
South Knox got on the board in its first turn at bat. Garrett Couchenour drew a two-out walk, stole second and scored on an errant throw in a rundown.
Bloomfield answered when its turn came.
Kettler drew a leadoff walk, went to second on a balk, stole third and scored on another balk. Dakota Brown was hit by the pitched ball and moved to second on the balk that scored Kettler. Brown took third on a passed ball and scored on Fitch’s pop fly single to right, giving the Cardinals a 2-1 lead after one complete.
But that was it for the Cards the next three innings. Baserunning errors and pickoffs wasted baserunners. And in the fourth, Bloomfield left Fitch and Richardson, who had drawn bases on balls, stranded.
The Spartans put four runs on the board in the top of the third to take a 5-2 lead.
Austin McCallister singled later scored on a wild pickoff throw. Justin Heinz lashed a double to the gap in right center. Will Robinson was hit by a pitch and came home along with Heinz on a Gannon Bobe’s two-RBI single.
Noah Thomas’ line shot down the left field line plated Bobe.
But that was the last run the Spartans would score.
Bloomfield inched closer in the fifth.
Kettler beat out an infield hit and advanced to third on an errant pickoff throw and a wild pitch.
Brown singled softly to short center sending Kettler home.
The Cards evened the score in the sixth frame.
Richardson became yet another hit batsman. The Bloomfield catcher raced to second on a passed ball. Kettler’s single up the middle sent Richardson home. Hanson’s smash to right field drove in Kettler, tying the score and setting the stage for Dean’s and Richardson’s seventh-inning heroics.
It was a long time coming for the Cardinals. And it was something coach Pegg has been waiting to see.
“It doesn’t have to be anything spectacular,” the Bloomfield coach said. “It just has to be, fight to the end and do whatever you can to squeak one out.”
Now Bloomfield will face a tough Southwestern Indiana Athletic Conference opponent on the road.
The Cardinals square off against the North Daviess Cougars tomorrow at Wayne Davis Field near Elnora.
CARDINALS 6, SPARTANS 5
South Knox 104 000 0 -- 5 5 2
Bloomfield 200 012 1 -- 6 9 2
SOUTH KNOX (3-4) -- Landon Onken, Kyle Turbett (5, L) and Will Robinson. Top hitters: Noah Thomas 2-3, RBI; Gannon Bobe 1-3, 2 RBI. 2B: Justin Heinz.
BLOOMFIELD (1-5) -- Dustin Kettler, Sammy Query (7, W) and Dylan Richardson. Top hitters: Kettler 2-2, RBI; Tyler Hanson 2-3, RBI. 2B: Adam Dean.