MANLIUS – Seth Spratt knew what he had to do.
When the Midland shortstop bounced a throw across the diamond that skirted past the first baseman, Spratt raced for home, scoring what would be the winning run for Bureau Valley in a 5-4 win over Midland on Tuesday at Bureau Valley High School.
“I just saw that hit off the ground and ran,” Spratt said.
“Seth was really heads up base running to push the go-ahead run across,” BV coach Ryan Schisler said. “We said we’re a senior group and experienced group. We’ve got to take advantage of that stuff, and that’s what kind of carried us today.”
“We said we’re a senior group and experienced group. We’ve got to take advantage of that stuff and that’s what kind of carried us today.”— Bureau Valley coach Ryan Schisler
The Timberwolves scored four runs with two outs in the top of the sixth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Riley McFadden had a two-run single and Quin Gauwitz followed with a RBI double.
Then the Storm rallied.
Sam Wright started the Storm rally in the bottom of the sixth with a leadoff walk. Ethan Freeman singled, and Elijah Endress followed with a flyout to center that was knocked down by a blustery wind.
Spratt walked to load the bases before pinch hitter Ayize Martin hit a comebacker and was out at first, but brought home Wright.
Corban Chhim grounded to short with the throw short hopping and getting past the first baseman. Freeman scored from third to tie the game and Spratt kept the train coming from second to plate the go-ahead run, putting the Storm up 5-4.
Sophomore pitcher Bryce Helms, who was touched for the two RBI hits in the sixth in relief of Storm starter Sam Rouse, took care of business himself in the seventh.
He walked the leadoff man, but snagged a soft liner and tossed to first for a double play. After a dropped fly to right that was slicing away in the wind, Helms caught the last Timberwolves batter looking, pumping his fists as he came off the mound.
“Young guy, been on the mound for an inning. Comes in in a tough situation. We’re trying to get out of all our guys to compete. Proud of him for that,” Schisler said.
Spratt tipped his cap to his sophomore teammate.
“That was good. I wasn’t expecting that out of him. Had a strikeout,” he said.
The Storm made the most of three hits on the day.
“We won games where we had to earn it, and today we had to earn it,” Schisler said. “This team gave us everything we could handle. We like to come out on top and it’s nice to see early in the season.”
Rouse went 5 2/3 innings, forced to exit by pitch count in the sixth inning with 108 pitches. The Storm ace struck out 11, scattering three hits and five walks.
Bureau Valley (3-0) scored two runs on two hits to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second.
Freeman walked but was thrown out stealing. Endress reached on an error and Spratt singled to left. Endress scored on another Midland error and Chhim ripped a RBI single to left to make it 2-0.
The Storm started last season 5-0, and Spratt thinks they have the makings for another winning season.
“I think we’ll do good this year,” he said.