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Gaines' Ninth-Inning RBI Lifts Eagles Past Premier, 6-5

04/08/2018, 10:45am EDT
By Josh Belanger

April 8 - Will Shean pitched three scoreless innings and Bryce Gaines drove in the deciding run in the top of the ninth inning to lead the Bradley Eagles 13u over the NOVA Premier 13u, 6-5, in the spring season opener for both teams yesterday in Herndon.

Shean started on the mound for the Eagles and allowed a hit and a runner to reach via an error in the first inning, but then retired the next eight batters he faced while striking out four.

“My fastball was working and I knew it was a cold day, so they weren’t going to hit it hard,” Shean said. “I also was throwing my curveball for strikes.”

Garrett Quimby and Jake Gupton combined for four innings in relief and allowed just one earned run and three hits for the Eagles. Drew Norton earned a two inning save after allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits.

“When you are able to mix in four different guys in a game and come out with two walks and have all those guys throwing strikes, it’s a really nice thing,” Eagles’ coach Tyler McCarthy said.

The Eagles struck first in the third inning with two runs off Premier reliever Evan Cerrentani with RBI from Shean and Quimby. Left-hander Corey Costello started for the Premier and struck out four in two scoreless innings.

The Eagles would add three more runs in the next four innings, scoring twice on wild pitches and another on a sacrifice fly from Gupton.

The Premier took advantage of five errors and scored three unearned runs. Chandley Valbak provided the rest of the offense for the Premier, driving in runs in the fifth and ninth innings. Luke Howard and Brady Solomon each had two hits and Garrett Robertson scored twice for the Premier.

Gaines’ RBI in the top of the ninth turned into an essential insurance run for the Eagles as the Premier rallied to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth and eventually put the tying run on third base before Norton recorded the final out.

“From a coaching standpoint, if we are down going into the last inning, we are still feeling good no matter where we are in the lineup,” Premier coach Brett Dalton said. “Those quality at bats starting getting contagious and you start stringing them together and next thing you know the tying run is on the third and we force them to make a couple of plays.”

The Premier will play next against the Cadet Prime 13u on Wednesday at Dulles Corner while the Eagles will be in action next against the Metro Senators North 13u in a doubleheader on Saturday at Hayfield High School.  

The Bradley Eagles 13u held on the a 6-5 win over the NOVA Premier 13u in the 2018 season opener at Dulles Corner. Photo by Josh Belanger

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