By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Tigers leave fans breathless
Josh Magaw rounds the bases in the Tigers' win.
It’s not often that a team has two hits and scores five runs. Well, it happened Friday evening as Bradwell Institute defeated Johnson 5-4 in a roller coaster of a game.
The Tigers parlayed passed balls, wild pitches, stolen bases, hit batsmen; walks and sacrifice flies to improve their Region 3-AAAAA record to 4-1. Meanwhile, Johnson falls to 3-3 in the region.
“I’ll take it any way I can get it,” BI coach Rhett Hellgren said. “We’re going to be aggressive. Our best thing is we have some fast guys. We are going to be aggressive all year. Bradwell baseball is turning the corner and we are going to play some exciting baseball.”
Bradwell led 4-2 going into the seventh inning but starting pitcher Nick Franks started to tire and the Atomsmashers capitalized on the opportunity, scoring two runs to tie the game at four.
In the bottom half of the inning, Josh Magaw led the Tigers off with a walk and then stole second base. The junior, next, stole third base. However, the Johnson catcher made an errant throw and the ball hopped into leftfield, allowing Magaw to cross the plate.
“It’s all for the team,” Magaw said. “Coach keeps telling us that every region game we come to is the most important game of the season. We have to come out and play every game like it’s our last.”
Magaw admits there is a renewed enthusiasm at Bradwell.
“Definitely, there’s new excitement. We’ve never had a winning streak here at Bradwell. This is the first time we have continuous momentum for each game and we look forward to it.”
Despite only having two hits - a single from DeAnte Day and a double from Jeff Polk - Hellgren was pleased with his team putting the ball in play thus forcing Johnson’s defense to make a play. The Atomsmashers committed four errors.
“We had less errors than the other team and in high school baseball when you put the ball in play and have less errors than you win 85 percent of your games,” Hellgren said. “It is very important that we put the ball in play. The bats are still not where we want them but we are working on it. I am very proud of the team. Aggressive baseball and less errors win.”
The Tigers committed two errors, but heads up plays in the field saved runs and ultimately the game.
In the fourth inning, catcher Curtis Bryant showed his resilience. After a bad throw to third baseman Jeff Polk in an attempt to tag out a runner, left fielder Steven Dill scooped up the ball and threw a frozen rope to Bryant, who tagged the runner out at the plate.
“Steven made a heck of a play. You won’t see that too many times in high school,” Hellgren said. “Curtis came up, got the ball and made a real nice tag. I’m very happy with Curtis. He’s a good ball player.”
Later, Dill showcased his athletic prowess in the seventh inning by sprinting back to the warning track to make a Willie Mays like catch to save a run.
For the second out in the inning, the Tigers turned a busted play into another run saving play.
With runners on the corners, the Atomsmashers attempted a double-steal. BI catcher Magaw threw to second base where Polk caught the ball and immediately rifled it back to Magaw, who tagged the runner out at the plate.
Dill, who was brought in to pitch, struck out the final batter.
The road does not get any easier for the Tigers. At 5 p.m. on Tuesday, they host Jenkins (6-4, 3-1) in a region game.
Sign up for our e-newsletters