CARMICHAELS — Giving up extra outs and a short bullpen did in Carmichaels Tuesday night as visiting Mitch’s Bail Bonds rallied in the seventh inning for an 8-7 Fayette County Baseball League road victory.
Mitch’s Bail Bonds manager Ryan Encapera played a designated hitter and extra hitter for 10 batters, and all 10 found their way to the plate in the top of the seventh with the visiting team plating four runs.
Carmichaels starting pitcher Joe Sabolek stranded six runners through the first six innings, but was unable to do so in the seventh.
Shaun Mikulan started the rally with a broken bat single. Nik Gibson worked a walk to end Sabolek’s night. Sabolek allowed six runs on seven hits with six strikeouts and five walks.
“Joe was gritty. He pitched a real good six innings,” praised Carmichaels manager Dickie Krause.
Krause, with few choices available in the bullpen, turned to Nate Torbich, who was the winning pitcher in Monday’s game.
“We went with the veteran guy on short rest,” explained Krause.
Aaron Previsky greeted Torbich with a sacrifice bunt.
Travis Sankovich spanked a single through the middle to plate the first run of the inning, and took second on the throw to the plate. Noah Hansen was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Gregg Johnson’s spinning ground ball was not handled cleanly, moving all the runners up a base and tying the game at 6-6.
TJ Lux was safe on an errant throw to first, giving the visiting team its first lead since the top of the first inning.
Torbich struck out Chris Rendulic for the second out, but Dylan Vogel walked with the bases loaded for an 8-6 lead. Carmichaels finally exited the inning with an infield out.
“We got a couple extra outs and that ended up being the difference,” said Encapera. “We had a couple good at-bats and that put pressure on them.”
“We just didn’t play a good baseball game. We made too many mistakes in the field, too many ground balls in the infield we didn’t get outs,” said Krause, adding, “We made the most mistakes.”
The Copperheads didn’t go away quietly, though.
Joel Spishock ripped a home run over the left-center field fence to open the bottom of the seventh inning.
Tyler Reyes was safe on an infield error with one out, but Zach Potthoff, a senior-to-be at Norwin High School, struck out the next two batters to preserve the come-from-behind victory.
Mitch’s Bail Bonds was set down in order through three innings by Mill Run’s Jimmy Malone on Sunday, but the game was rained out.
The visitors bolted out of the game Tuesday, though, with Aaron Previsky and Sankovich hitting singles. After Sabolek struck out Hansen, Johnson ripped a single through the middle to score Previsky.
Lux’s infield ground ball was mishandled, allowing Sankovich to score. Lux then attempted to advance on a wild pitch, but a fortunate bounce of the screen allowed catcher John Przybylinski to fire a strike to get Lux at second.
Sabolek closed the threat with a strikeout.
Carmichaels (1-1) cut the deficit in half in the bottom of the inning and the Copperheads pulled ahead in the bottom of the second inning.
Hunter Robinson walked with one out and moved to second when Austin Clark hit Joe Pacconi with a pitch. Brant Bonadio was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
Darren Krause’s ground ball produced the second out at second base and brought Robinson home. Brock Bonadio ripped a long double to plate Pacconi and Krause.
Mitch’s Bail Bonds tied the game in the top of the fifth inning.
Mikulan opened with a double to left field, and Gibson and Previsky walked to load the bases. An errant throw on a double play attempt allowed Mikulan to score, and Hansen followed with a single to bring home Gibson.
The Copperheads benefited from a little sloppy play in the bottom of the inning.
Spishock was safe on an infield error with one out. Gasti walked and both moved up a base on a wild pitch. Both runners scored with Reyes’ single and an infield out.
Both teams left nine runners on base and committed four errors.
“Early in the season, games will be a little sloppy. Whoever was able to handle it best would win,” said Encapera. “After the way we started on Sunday, then come back to beat Carmichaels, that’s huge.”
“We have to execute some at-bats better. We had too many bad at-bats. We had too many defensive lapses,” lamented Dickie Krause. “This just wasn’t good baseball for us.
“We need to work hard on non-game nights. We’re not rusty. We just need to play better baseball.”