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Stilly Valley Bombers fall in tiebreaker inning
MILL CREEK — Despite a blockbuster offensive performance in the second inning, the Stilly Valley Bombers couldn’t quite hold on to stay alive in the Mill Creek minors tournament.
They were eliminated 14-11 by the Pacific Rebels June 23 at Freedom Field.
Some defensive jitters by the Bombers allowed the Rebels on-base opportunities and the Pacific team, the No. 5 seed out of the same pool as No. 1 seed Mill Creek East, extracted runs from those chances, scoring runs in every inning. They led 4-0 going into the bottom of the second inning when manager Bob Bergley reminded his players of their ability to hit and score.
True to their coach’s word, the Stilly Valley team unleashed a fury of hits, leading off with outfielder Isaiah Raether’s single and going through the entire 13-man order once. Stilly Valley got on the board by filling up the bases and letting Jake Russell bat in the first run. Drew Bryson walked, sending in another. Stilly Valley took over the lead with the next two batters, Cameron Ferreira knocking in his first of two RBI singles and Jacob Star’s two-run double to center field.
After a pair of outs, Stilly Valley continued its rally at the top of their batting order. Isaiah Mitzelfeldt, Nate Raether, Brandon Tucker and Jacob Arnold each knocked in another run for a 9-4 lead by the end of the inning.
Extremely aggressive base running by Pacific kept Stilly Valley a little on edge throughout the game and occasionally caused the Bombers to miscalculate defensively. With four runs in the top of the fourth inning and solid pitching holding off the Bomber batting, Pacific cut Stilly’s lead to one run, 11-10.
Officials and coaches agreed to make the fifth inning the game’s last due to time, but Pacific scored an infield home run to tie and Isaiah Raether’s effort to steal home for the win was called out, forcing an international tiebreaker inning.
With runners starting on first and second base, the first Pacific batter tripled and snuck home for the 14-11 lead. Stilly Valley was unable to score its runners.
“We played a very good team. They fought back hard, we fought hard,” Bergley said. “It was just one too many base hits by them.”
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