Dawgs bury Bradford for tourney win
Stephanie Sturgis - Press Sports Editor
The Bulldogs lost 5-1 to Humboldt on Thursday, but remain alive in the tourney's losers bracket. Inclement weather has disrupted the original schedule.
It was the Red Devils who gained the early advantage, plating two runs in the top of the first inning. After Gleason's right-handed starter Nicky Spain struck out the first two Devils he faced, back-to-back singles and two errors in the outfield allowed Matthew Wood and Drew Baker to touch home plate.
After Gleason stranded a runner in the home half of the first, Bradford added a run to its lead. Another error was followed by a RBI double by Dylan Moore bringing Mario Rios in to score for a 3-0 Bradford edge.
The Gleason bats came alive in the second inning. Austin Sullivan got things started with a one-out double down the left field line. Spain singled down the right field line and both scored on Hunter Morse's two-run double to the gap in right center field. Ryan Richardson singled to plate Morse for a 3-all tie score.
The Dawgs weren't done in the second. Cody Ezell legged out an infield single that sent Richardson to third base. Ezell drew attention from Bradford pitcher Wood and eventually forced him into a balk, which brought Richardson home with the go-ahead run. Colin Bennett drove in Ezell with a double. Bennett and Zach Wallace, who reached on an error, both scored on another error for a 7-3 Gleason advantage.
The Devils stranded a pair in the third inning before Gleason padded its lead with three runs in the bottom of the inning. Spain drew a leadoff walk and came all the way around to score from first when Morse laid down a sacrifice bunt that resulted in an error. Wood's errant throw allowed Morse to move to second. A passed ball sent him to third. From there he scored on a RBI sacrifice fly off Richardson's bat. Ezell then smacked a ground rule double, moved to third on a fly out and scored on an error for a 10-3 Dawg lead.
Gleason put two more runs up in the fourth inning. Matt Mayo opened the at-bat with a single to left and moved to second on an error in the outfield. Evan Orr struck out, but the third strike got away from Bradford catcher Moore. On the passed ball and the throw to first base to get Orr out, Mayo made it all the way from second base to home. Sullivan singled for his second base hit, but was eventually picked off second base for the second out.
Spain then drew a walk and scored on Morse's second double of the afternoon for a nine-run Gleason cushion at 12-3 after four innings.
In the top of the fifth inning, Bradford showed its tenacity by plating a pair of runs. Peyton Featherston singled and scored when Caleb Knott ripped a home run over the fence in left field to cut the Gleason lead to 12-5.
The Bulldogs put the 10-run mercy rule into effect with three runs in the home half of the fifth inning. Gleason's leadoff man Ezell singled to center to get things going. Bennett nearly had his own round-tripper when he rifled a shot that glanced off the top of the fence in center field and came down back in the field of play for a RBI double. Wallace doubled to left to bring Bennett home for a 14-5 lead with no outs in the book.
A wild pitch allowed Wallace to move to third base. Bradford opted to issue back-to-back intention walks to Mayo and Orr to put the force on at every base. The Devils got a pop fly for an out. Spain stepped into the box with the bases loaded and drew a walk to bring home Wallace with the game's final run.
Gleason's Morse had a big day at the plate going 2-for-2 with four RBI, two doubles and two runs scored. Ezell was the lone Bulldog with three hits in the game. He scored three runs. Spain reached base four times and scored three times. Wallace was 2-for-4 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored.