Thursday, April 24, 2008

{oh, that hunter kid}

You’ll take a win any way you can get it at this time of the season.Bo Belcher’s walk-off base on balls with two outs in the seventh inning Wednesday scored Cody Miller with the winning run in South Albany’s 4-3 victory against Crescent Valley.The win was an important one, giving the Rebels a two-game lead on the Raiders for the Mid-Willamette Conference’s fourth and final 5A baseball state playoff spot with eight games remaining.“They’re all big wins and right now we’re trying to make a playoff push,” Belcher said, noting the tight race with CV. “Anything we can get we’ll take, especially against them.“The teams are scheduled for two more games this week. Weather permitting, they’ll play at CV this afternoon and at South on Friday.On a day few other outdoor high school activities took place, the teams played through the cold and the rain after Tuesday’s game was postponed due to the weather.Belcher watched as teammate Tim Herd was hit by a pitch from Joey Sudyka, and Justin Robbins followed with a walk to load the bases.Belcher patiently waited for a fastball to drive, but he never saw one as Sudykacouldn’t find the plate and walked Belcher on four straight pitches.South Albany coach Chad Angel had a quick meeting with Belcher after the count went to 2-0. There was a clear message.“Angel told me to take until I saw a strike, and I had to make him earn it,” Belcher said.Miller, who had opened the inning with a single lined down the left field line, jogged in with the winning run after two more pitches went wide, helping South improve to 8-5 in league. CV is 6-7.South tied the game at 1-1 in the fourth when T.J. Fox opened the inning with a single to right, stole second and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Zac Hunter and Crescent Valley throwing error.The Raiders went back ahead with one in the top of the sixth.South answered in the bottom of the inning with a Hunter two-run, two-out lined single to right field. The hit brought home Tim Herd and Justin Robbins, who had both reached on singles.Hunter had two hits on the day.Robbins went the distance on the mound. He struck out four and didn’t allow any walks until consecutive Raider batters reached on four balls in the seventh.“He throws strikes and they like to swing the bats,” said Belcher, who plays catcher. “He was keeping the ball down most of the time, and we played pretty solid defense for the most part. We’re pretty confident when he’s on the hill.“CV took advantage of the walks in the seventh, which loaded the bases with one out. Thomas McCarthy followed with a sacrifice fly to center field, bringing in the tying run.Hunter, playing second base, made a diving catch to knock down a line drive by Jake Likewise and tossed the ball to Johnathon Neuschwander at second for the force and the third out.Robbins allowed the minimum three batters in the second, third and fourth innings.“He did a nice job, and the guys made some big plays behind him,” Angel said.South Albany 4, Crescent Valley 3Crescent Valley . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 001 1 — 3 6 1South Albany . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .000 102 1 — 4 6 2Likewise, Fudge (5), Cooper (6), Sudyka (6) and Larkin. Robbins and Belcher. 2B—CV, Liebeskind, Pozzesi. W—Robbins. L—Sudyka.

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