It was a beautiful day for baseball and for the Borderites—up until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Burlington-Edison (B-E) Cubs scored four unanswered runs to top Blaine 4-3 in Monday’s game at Burlington.
The early innings of the game were all about defense as each team seldom let the opposing runners gain any ground much further than second base.
Zeros lined the hits and runs columns after most innings as each team struggled to get a secure foothold over the other.
The real action started in the top of the sixth, when Blaine shortstop Andrew Miller was walked after a 3-1 count. Borderite catcher Dustin Dhanani was caught out at first after bunting, but managed to send Miller to second.
With a man on second and one out, centerfielder Todd Bird stepped to the plate and crushed a high-arching double to center field, sending Miller in for the first run of the game.
Blaine’s Parker Wallace followed in Bird’s footsteps and tripled, sending Bird home and making the score 2-0, Blaine, with one out.
Parker made it home after the Cubs’ catcher bobbled a pitch to Blaine’s Cody Nagle. After a 3-1 count, Nagle singled but was caught out at first. Blaine first baseman Luke Feenstra was also caught out at first, ending the top of the sixth with Blaine ahead by three.
After Bird caught out the first Cubs runner in the bottom of the sixth, the second batter was walked after Blaine pitcher Nate Trueblood grazed him with a wild pitch. After a single by the Cubs, B-E stood with a man on first and second as their designated hitter stepped up and singled to third, loading the bases.
After four batters and one out, the cubs singled to first, sending one runner home for their first score of the game. With the bases loaded once again, Trueblood struck out B-E’s Jordan Garcia.
The Cubs’ Dylan Boe then smacked a screaming line drive to deep center that went over Trueblood’s head and sent two Cubs runners home.
With the score tied at three and two outs for B-E, the second-to-last Cubs batter singled and sent another runner home, putting the Cubs one up on the Borderites. The sixth inning ended with an out at second and the Cubs leading 4-3 with two men left on.
The Cubs’ relief pitcher Michael Gallagher struck out Blaine’s Todd Freeman and Derek Dougan to start the seventh, but walked Josh Gill and Miller, putting a man on first and second.
Dhanani was Blaine’s last hope for the day, but he was tagged out at first. The Borderites finished the day with three runs, three hits and one error while the Cubs went 4-7 with one error.
The Borderites next travel to Mount Vernon to take on the Bulldogs at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 15.
Photo by Jeremy Schwartz