BHS baseball nabs first-ever doublheader sweep
The Baldwin High School baseball team was looking for a way to boost its play as the season progressed. The Bulldogs found a source in their power hitting, but not from the power hitters the team had become accustomed to.
All these home runs were almost wasted as the final game was coming to an end. If it wasn't for an over the fence catch by sophomore Brian Wendt, the team's run support would have been useless.
On April 23 the team played the Louisburg Wildcats. The first game of the doubleheader didn't sport much scoring, but runs that were tallied ended in a 2-1 loss for BHS. During the night cap, BHS was able to hold the Wildcats to two runs, while the Bulldogs produced six of their own to defeat Louisburg 6-2. Junior Ryne Jackson received the loss, while sophomore Andy Hannon picked up the win.
"Ryne Jackson pitched a great game, our defense played extremely well, we just made a costly defensive error late in the ball game that won the game for Louisburg," coach Brian Ash said. "Pitching and defense won the second game. I was extremely proud of how our guys came back this game and battled after a tough loss in our opener. Andy did a great job of keeping the Louisburg hitters off balance."
"Tuesday's games we should have won," said junior Ricky Woodbridge. "We didn't have our heads in the game."
While the teams sweated out the games on Tuesday, they were thrown back in the sauna for another doubleheader against their namesake, the Anderson County Bulldogs Thursday. The first game was all too familiar of many games this year. With help from a Woodbridge home run, BHS was able to hold off Anderson County 5-4 to capture the first win of the night.
The backend of the series was one to remember. This game pitted power hitting and gold glove fielding. During the course of this game, BHS hit four dingers en route to a 9-7 win. Bulldog home runs came from Hannon, senior Caleb Mason, and sophomores Brian Turk and Grant Meisenheimer.
"I thought it was pretty awesome. Our power hitters weren't the ones hitting the home runs, it was our get-on-base guys who were hitting them," said Meisenheimer.
All would have been lost if it wasn't for an eye-popping catch by Wendt. The score was 9-7, with two outs and the bases loaded in the last inning. Anderson County needed just short of a Miracle to catch and beat BHS. As the ACHS player hit the ball to left field, Wendt looked up and then took off for the fence. As the ball inched closer to fence, he coolly checked his position, then gave a little jump and reached his glove over the fence. Wendt pulled back a go-ahead grand slam, and clinched the first ever BHS doubleheader sweep in baseball.
"I was just thinking, don't let it bounce off my glove and over the fence," Wendt said. "It was very exciting. The whole team was going crazy."
Meisenheimer was the winning pitcher in the opener and junior Cal Heinrich got the win in the nightcap, thanks to Wendt's game-saving catch.
"We came up with some clutch hitting to maintain our lead in the first game, with the two home runs by Caleb Mason and Rick Woodbridge," said Ash. "Grant did an outstanding job in his first start. He kept the hitters off balance all night.
"We got down early in the second game, but our guys did a good job of making their pitchers work deep in the count in the sixth inning where we were able to score five runs," he said. "I thought Cal did a great job of competing and keeping us in the game. He came through big time. The play of the game was sophomore outfielder Brian Wendt on his game saving catch that would have been a grand slam to end the game."
The Bulldogs got another chance at improving their record when they mixed it up with the Wellsville Eagles Tuesday. Results weren't available by press time. BHS plays Prairie View at 4:30 p.m. Thursday at home.