Walkoff blow beats Sedalia in great pitchers' duel
CHILLICOTHE — A terrific pitchers' duel between starters Andrew Bramley of the Chillicothe Mudcats and Trevor Richards of the Sedalia Bombers was settled in walk-off fashion Friday night at Chillicothe's "June" Shaffer Memorial Park.
With each starting hurler having departed after yielding only one unearned run in seven innings on the hot evening, the host Mudcats got a booming, hit-and-run double deep down the left-field line by A.J. Hermanson, hitting cleanup for the first time this season, to easily score Paul Trenhaile of Hannibal from first base for a 2-1 Chillicothe victory in MINK League college-level, wood-bat baseball.
Hermanson's blow gave Mudcats relief pitcher Derek Birginske the win, his first decision of the summer. Tagged with the loss was Sedalia's Sam Perez.
The Chillicothe triumph moved it back to the .500 mark for the year at 9-9. The Mudcats advanced to 5-9 in league play, keeping pace with league North Division leader Clarinda, Iowa, which snapped a 4-games losing streak with a 7-0 road victory over Ozark. Chillicothe is four games back of the A's in the division, but still has two-thirds of the league season yet to play.
The Mudcats will play the first two of those remaining 28 MINK League games this (Saturday) evening when they host 2009-2010 Mudcats head coach Adam Steyer's Omaha Diamond Spirit in a 6 o'clock doubleheader. With Omaha losing late at St. Joseph Friday night, Chillicothe slipped a game ahead of the Nebraska club and out of last place in the division.
Prior to last night's exciting final play, which followed Trenhaile's sharply-hit single through the hole into left field with one out in the bottom of the ninth, the story had been the near-total domination by the starting hurlers, especially the home club's Bramley.
In his first start since being voted the prior week's league tri-pitcher of the week for his work in defeating St. Joseph June 12, the righthander from Louisville, Ky., and that state's Murray State University, had a no-hitter working with two outs in the sixth inning. An error behind him extended that frame to Sedalia's Tony Sandifer, whose grounder toward right field went off the glove of the diving Chillicothe second baseman for an infield hit.
Bramley then took the 1-hit shutout into the seventh, when his own throwing error on a defensive mix-up on a sacrifice bunt set up the Sedalia run, which scored on a fielder's choice grounder.
While the Bombers' run was unearned, so too had been the Mudcats' in the third inning.
A leadoff single by Kyler Offenbacker, Dane Fujinaka's fifth sacrifice bunt of the season, an error, and Nathan Lukes' sacrifice fly had put Chillicothe in front in the third.
Sedalia and the Mudcats combined for only eight hits – only two by the visitors. The game's final swing produced the only extra-base hit of the night.