BAINBRIDGE – In a nail-biter of a finale in the Bainbridge Island Little League Upper Division, the Bainbridge Blues beat the Bainbridge Gold 7-6 with a suicide squeeze play in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The teams played a tight defensive battle through six innings with each team scoring two runs in the third inning, but left runners stranded in scoring position.
Stellar defensive play from Jimmy Terry, Ryan Rauch, Blake Rees and an amazing eight putouts and assists by Timothy Strachan from third base that ended several potential scoring situations for either team.
Then all heck broke loose in the seventh and final inning with the Gold starting to pound the pitching with a lead-off single by Clayton Black, who scored immediately on a triple by Carter Daniels right over his younger brother Colby’s head in center field. Daniels then roared home after Cole Schardein’s RBI fielder’s choice.
With the Gold catching fire, Keegan Barnes-Grant and Aidan Sullivan hit back-to-back singles and scored on Andrew Zech’s and Shaemus Kreider’s hits to bring in four runs. Bainbridge Gold finished with a 6-2 lead going into the bottom of the final inning.
With the Blues down to their final at-bat and with the top of the lineup at the plate, the team struck back with their bats.
Colby Daniels led off with a double, followed by an RBI single by Rory Cunningham and a hard-worked base on balls by Timothy Strachan.
Michael Noland then drove in two runs with another hit, and was followed by his younger brother David Noland, who connected with a single to bring Michael home and tie the score at 6-6.
After Noland was advanced to third base by a timely single by Blake Rees, Thor Oden stepped up to the plate and laid down the bunt in front of home plate as Noland broke for home with the pitch to score the winning run with a suicide squeeze.
The Blues are managed by Chuck Cox and Tim Cunningham, and the Bainbridge Gold are managed by John Daniels and Tom Rees.