Bumpy Oak, Western Charles split in CHASM
Wright brothers perform well for Bumpy Oak, Rice shines for Western Charles
In their quest to sweep a doubleheader from defending Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League champion Western Charles on Saturday afternoon at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata, the Bumpy Oak squad was looking to rely on the youthful Wright brothers to land a rare sweep of the champs.
In the opener of a pair of games that ended in identical 4-1 finals, Bumpy Oak’s Charlie Wright went the distance on the mound to earn the victory, while younger brother Sam Wright played shortstop. Then in Game 2, the Wright brothers traded places, but the two teams traded scores as Western Charles prevailed behind pitcher Jim Rice.
Western Charles (6-2 overall) had allowed the first game to slip away as pitcher Bill DeAtley was betrayed by several errors that enabled a pair of unearned runs to score and give Charlie Wright and Bumpy Oak some breathing room late. Through the early stages of Game 2, Rice held Bumpy Oak scoreless and his teammates gave him a 2-0 lead through five innings.
“I thought my change-up was really good,” Rice said. “I was able to throw it for strikes and I was able to move it off the plate. It was hot today, so I was glad we ended when we did. We were missing a couple of good players today. We had to move some guys around. But
we played really good defense the second game when I was out there.”
Western Charles broke the scoreless deadlock in the bottom of the third when Jason Boyd led off the home half with a double, got moved to third base on a sacrifice bunt by BJ Kittle, then scored on a groundout to short by Chris Blondin. Western Charles added another run in the bottom of the fourth when Pat Mahoney beat out an infield
single, went to third on a single by Tony Stefko and scored on a single by Tyler Summers.
“My curveball was pretty good today, but I had trouble locating my fastball,” Sam Wright said. “I lost a lot of command in the late innings. I really liked watching Charlie work the first game. That was a lot of fun playing short when he was on the mound. It was great having him at short when I was on the mound for the second game.”
Bumpy Oak finally pushed a run across against Rice in the top
of the sixth. Sam Wright had a two-out single, then Danny Michael was hit by a pitch and Matt Tonkavitch singled past second to plate Wright. With two out and runners on first and third, Rice escaped further damage when he induced Jamie Wright to ground out to third to end the inning.
Soon after Bumpy Oak squandered a chance to tie the game, Western Charles gave Rice a little cushion when it added two insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth largely on Sam Wright’s sudden wildness.
Stefko drew a leadoff walk, then Summers doubled off the fence in right-center field. After Jason Murray flew out to center, Wright appeared on the verge of escaping the inning unharmed when Boyd grounded to short and Stefko was caught in a rundown attempting to score.
But immediately after Stefko’s baserunning mistake gave the younger Wright some breathing room, the youthful hurler walked Kittle to load the bases then issued walks to Blondin and Johnny Klopfer III to force in two
more runs. Wright lost Kittle on a 3-ball, 2-strike pitch then yielded free passes to both Blondin and Klopfer on four pitches each.
Rice walked Charlie Wright to start the seventh, then fanned Brandon Remalia, retired Jeremy Remalia on a groundout and struck out Darren Sanders looking to end the game. In the second, Rice escaped a bases-loaded jam by getting Jamie Wright to ground into a double play, then, with two on in the third, he was spared when Mahoney snared a grounder off the bat of Sanders.
In the opener, Bumpy Oak broke open a tight contest with an unearned run in the fourth against DeAtley, another unearned run in the fifth when Michael plated Charlie Wright on a sacrifice fly to right. Bumpy Oak then added an insurance run in the sixth when Brandon Remalia was hit by a pitch, Jeremy Remalia and Sanders singled and Charlie Wright helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly to right.
Western Charles pitcher Jim Rice fires to the plate in the top of the first inning of the second game of Saturday’s CHASM baseball doubleheader at Rainbow Construction Field in La Plata. Rice and Western Charles won the second game, 4-1, after Bumpy Oak prevailed by the same score in the opener.