Andrew Houghton 7/24/13
DJ Miller’s (Delaware State) squeeze bunt brought home Jud Sherrill (Alabama-Huntsville) from third base in the bottom of the ninth to give the Grays a 3-2 win over the Baltimore Redbirds at Hoy Field and move their season record to 22-18. The Grays remain tied for the sixth and final playoff spot.
After the Redbirds scored once to tie the game in the top of the ninth, the Grays fashioned another late-game win. Sherrill doubled, Chris Bzozowski (Keystone College) was hit by a pitch and Peyton Fuller (Troy University) beat out a bunt for a single to load the bases. Eric Ramsey (Wake Forest) popped out to shortstop, but Miller laid down a perfect bunt and Sherrill scored easily to give the Grays their second straight walkoff win.
The Grays had never beaten the Redbirds in two seasons of Ripken League play. It looked like the losing stream might continue when the Redbirds struck first in the third inning off Grays starter Tom Murphy (Williams College). A pair of two-out walks and an RBI single gave the visitors the lead. The score remained 1-0 all the way until the bottom of the seventh, when outfielder Kelton Caldwell (BYU) walked with one out for the Grays and Sherrill followed with his first home run of the season, giving the Grays a 2-1 lead. It wouldn’t hold, however. With closer Chris Nee (Catholic University) in for the save, the Redbirds quickly strung together a walk, a hit batsman, and a single to load the bases before Nee walked Redbirds slugger LaMonte Wade Jr. (Maryland) to tie the game. With no outs, the bases still loaded, and the game in jeopardy, Nee dug deep, getting two swinging strikeouts and a ground ball to third to send the game to the bottom of the ninth still tied, where the offense won it for him.
Jacob Williams (George Washington) also pitched well for the Grays, recording three hitless innings after relieving Murphy in the sixth.
Playoff Watch: The Grays remain tied with Youse’s Orioles for the sixth and final playoff spot, although the Orioles are still slightly ahead on winning percentage due to differing numbers of games played. Those two teams have separated themselves from the bottom half of the league and have crept to within a half game of the fifth place Redbirds.
The Grays play next on Thursday, July 25th at 5:00 pm against the Presstman Cardinals at Hoy Field.