Late Rally Fuels Win


The Redlegs and Rangers met on Thursday night at Rotary Park for the 3rd and final time for the 2011 regular season. Kevin Campbell took the hill for the Redlegs and, just like last time, went against Shawn Schmitt of the Rangers. Unlike the last time these two pitchers went up against each other however, it was the Redlegs who struck first and not the Rangers.

After Schmitt got a strikeout to start the game, Caleb Rodriguez singled and Clark walked to get runners on 1st and 2nd. Rodriguez then went to 3rd on a passed ball and scored when Brandon Howard hit a ground ball to the right side and beat out the double play try. Steve Benthal then singled in Howard to push the early lead for the Redlegs to 2-0. But the lead was short lived. Campbell quickly retired the first two Ranger batters, but a Redleg throwing error that should have ended the inning led to the next 8 Rangers hitters reaching base with 7 runs scored. The Redlegs threatened in the 3rd inning, loading the bases with 1 out as Robinson, Rodriguez, and Clark singled in succession. Schmitt was able to snag a comebacker off the bat of Brandon Howard and threw home for the force. The throw was low and took a bad hop but Rangers catcher James Robinson was able to make a spectacular bare handed catch to save the run. Benthal then singled in his 2nd run of the game, but Schmitt was able to get a timely punch out to kill the potential rally. The Rangers got the run right back in the bottom half when Zach Carroll singled in a run, keeping the Ranger lead at 5. But Jonmarc Lippincott, Brandon Riley, and James Robinson all drove runs in the next frame for the Rangers which seemed to put the game out of reach at a score of 11- 3.

But the Redlegs would not go down without a fight.

The top of the 5th brought 5 Redleg runs home. Jared Bradley led the inning off with a triple and scored when Jacob Robinson singled directly after. Rodriguez then singled, and Clark added an RBI single of his own. Brandon Howard then doubled in a run. Schmitt then K’d the next two batters and looked like he might strand more Redleg runners in scoring position, but Brandon Longacre hit a clutch 2-out 2-run single that brought the score within 3.

In the 5th, the Redlegs turned to John Long to try and limit the Ranger attack. But the Rangers put 3 more on the board in the inning capped off by a 2 run double from Joe Staten to push their lead to 14-8. Just when it looked like the door had closed on the Redlegs for the 2nd time in the game, the offense exploded once again. In the top of the 6th Greg Lebouef started the rally with a single to left, and was lifted when Kevin Campbell went in to pinch run. Bradley was then hit by a pitch which lined up an RBI double for Robinson. Rodriguez then hit his 4th single of the day, this time bringing in Bradley and Robinson to bring the score to 14-12. Benthal later brought his 3rd RBI in with a fielder’s choice groundout which set another clutch 2-out situation for Brandon Longacre. Longacre didn’t disappoint. This time he launched a 2-out 2-run triple down the right field line to give the Redlegs a 15-14 lead. Brad Clark then entered the game going for a 2 inning save, but made things interesting in the bottom of the 6th. Ben Schooler led off with a double and Carroll worked a walk to get runners on 1st and 2nd. Aaron Armstrong then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to put the runners in scoring position. But Clark ended the threat quickly, get a strikeout and fly out to end the inning while the Redlegs retained the lead. The Redlegs then went quietly in the top of the 7th as they couldn’t get anything going on Rangers reliever Jelani Arnold, though Clark did get his 4th hit of the game in the frame. In the bottom half Clark got an early strikeout, but Josh Cawein got a 1 out single to put the potential tying run on 1st. Shawn Schmitt then hit a foul ball line drive down the 1st base line that Brandon Longacre somehow plucked from mid air while making an amazing diving catch. Clark then got a groundout to end the game, earning his 1st save this season. With the win, the Redlegs have now won 4 of their last 4 and still have a shot at ending the year at an overall .500 record. They play the A’s Sunday at 1:00 at Rotary Park, and play the Tigers directly afterward in a continuation game that was postponed earlier in the season.


J Robinson43220
C Rodriguez54320
B Clark44111
B Howard41221
S Benthal41031
T Guntle30101
B Longacre42140
J Long41000
G Lebouef31000
J Bradley31300
K Campbell10100

2B: Robinson; Howard
3B: Longacre; Bradley

K Campbell 41611432
J Long (W)153301
B Clark (S)210021