BARK RIVER — A fifth-inning comeback pushed the Gladstone Braves to a 5-4 win over the Bark River-Harris Broncos on Monday night at Bark River.
With two in and two out in the fifth inning, Gladstone’s Austin Bagwell hit a line to center field to push teammates Casey Alworden and Nick Martin through the plate for the tie and go-ahead run.
The Braves backed up their offense with a double play from Braden Sundquist – who brought out the force in the third – to Brennan Detiege early to get the hitter, Ethan Ives out.
“The double play to win the match was brilliant” Braves coach Joe Darmogray said of the game-sealing play. “That was awesome. That’s what we preach all year. Take the ball, step on the sack and throw it. Braden is smart in baseball like that, so he knows that. It was good to have him. see it succeed.
Tyler Darmogray started the game for the Braves and pitched for three innings before Gavin Frossard came in for relief. Tyler had five strikeouts with three walks and allowed five hits for four runs, including one earned.
Frossard had two strikeouts and allowed two hits.
Travis Mack handled pitching duties for the Broncos through the first four innings before Mason Bower came in to close out the final two innings.
Mack struck out five, walked four and allowed just one hit for three earned runs.
Bower allowed one walk, three hits and two earned runs.
Coach Darmogray was pleased with the tee shots from both teams – as well as Frossard – after the game.
“Both starters on both teams, I think, threw really well,” he said. “Gavin Frossard threw very well. He hasn’t pitched for us in a long time, and to arrive like this pretty much cold and ready to roll, he did very well.
Despite a somewhat shaky start from Mack – hitting four Gladstone batters in the first two innings – the Broncos kept their cool, and so did Mack, to stay in contention for the game.
A goal-laden walk in the second, followed by an RBI two-run single from Charlie Guenette, gave the Broncos a 4-1 lead over the Braves, where they stayed until Bagwell won at bat.
“The last two starts Travis showed a lot of mental toughness, poise and composure because those two starts didn’t start well for us. They were kind of like this,” said Broncos coach Al Botwright. “He fought, and he kept us in and pitched really, really well. It’s unfortunate that his pitch count was pushed so high so soon.
“It would have been great to leave him there and maybe try to finish this game as well as he was throwing in the middle of the game.”
Botwright added that Bower also performed well for the Broncos in the fifth inning.
Overall, Botwright was happy with the game.
“A very competitive game and a well-played ball game on both sides” he said. “Obviously a one-inning game – and those types of games come down to a big play that usually determines it late – and they got this huge single that led into two innings, and we couldn’t win that run backward. “