Walk-off win provides thrilling ending to LBMBL All-Star Game
July 19th, 2013
WILMINGTON, Delaware –
A’s second baseman Dennis Higgins laced a single to center to bring home Bulldogs’ outfielder Tugger Gehling to give his Red Team the 10-9 dramatic victory in the 2013 LBMBL All-Star Game. The Red Team came from four runs down in the bottom of the eighth for the comeback win on Friday night at Frawley Stadium in Wilmington, Delaware.
After the Blue Team went in order against Tigers pitcher Matt Edmondson in the top of the first, the Red Team got the offense going in the bottom half of the inning. With two outs and two on, A’s catcher Billy Dove roped a triple into left to bring in Tigers outfielder Dan Higgins and A’s pitcher/third baseman Chaz Leftridge. Gehling then reached base on an error allowing Dove to scamper home, then A’s outfield Adam Oddo hit an RBI double to bring in Gehling.
After a scoreless second inning, the Blue Team scratched the scoreboard in the top of the third. With two on and one out, Monarchs shortstop Foster McKoskey hit an RBI single to bring in Dodgers second baseman Jesse Frasch. That was followed by an RBI groundout by Mudskippers outfielder Andre Rodriguez, which brought home Seminoles infielder Joe McCabe.
With the score now 4-2, the Red Team got one back in the bottom of the third with an RBI single by Oddo to bring in Leftridge. But in the top of the fourth, the Blue Team tied things up with a three-spot. Mudskippers infielder Dave Polgar scored on an RBI single by Dodgers catcher Rick Bates, then Bates and Mudskippers outfielder Sean O’Hara came home on a 2-RBI double by Bulldogs infielder/pitcher Garrett Rugg.
After Seminoles lefty Ryan Loughran pitched the first two innings followed by Rugg in the third, Dodgers pitcher Dave Gibson stepped on the mound and shut down the Red Team offense. Gibson threw three shutout innings and only allowed one hit while striking out two.
While Gibson was holding down the Red Team’s offense, the Blue Team scored a run in each of the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings to hold a 9-5 lead going into the bottom of the eighth. Two of those runs came from the bat of McCoskey, who had an RBI single in the fifth and an RBI double in the eighth.
The rally for the Red Team started in the bottom of the eighth when the first three hitters reached base without making contact. Dennis Higgins had a leadoff walk, Tigers shortstop Mike Leone was hit by a pitch and Dan Higgins drew a walk in what was a rough start for Monarchs pitcher Joe Crooks.
The Red Team managed three runs in the home half of the eighth with an RBI groundout by Leftridge, a bases loaded walk by Gehling and an RBI single by Oddo. Seminoles pitcher Anthony Kelly was brought in to relieve Crooks and got Mudskippers outfielder Dan French to ground into an inning-ending double play.
Red Team manager, and Tigers utility man, Ari Bluestein came in to pitch a scoreless ninth to hold the deficit at one run, 9-8, heading into the bottom of the ninth. Kelly then started to lose his control a bit. After retiring the leadoff hitter of the inning, he walked the bases loaded by giving free passes to Tigers infielder Mike Knipe, and Orioles teammates John O’Malley and Colin Dew.
Dove then drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 9-9, setting the stage for Dennis Higgins. On a 3-1 count, Higgins drove the ball into centerfield that was certainly deep enough to score Gehling from third had it been caught. But the ball found the outfield grass and Higgins had the walk-off single and the celebration in the infield began.
GAME NOTE: Before the game, a moment of silence was held for Mudskippers outfielder Edwin “Tito” Rohena, who passed away in an accident earlier in the baseball season. It was a proud moment for the LBMBL on a night where the league came together to put on a great show and honor a fallen teammate.
2013 LBMBL STATS