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Blue Jays knock off Giants in extras

Sentinel photo by BRADLEY KREITZER
The Blue Jays Cam Kauffman, left, is congratulated by teammate Kayden McClure, middle, as he returns to the dugout after hitting the game-winning single Sunday evening in Reedsville.

REEDSVILLE — Reedsville was the hub of the local Cal Ripken League Sunday night as the Reedsville Blue Jays and the Reedsville Giants had some unfinished business left after having their Mifflin County Minor League title game suspended by rain in the bottom of the fourth.

Saturday’s game was played at Frank Pupo Memorial Field where the Giants had the early momentum. On Sunday it was the Blue Jays’ turn to spread their wings and push the game to extras where they earned a hard-fought 14-13 comeback victory in extra innings.

“They are resilient. They just keep battling,” Blue Jay coach Denny Bitner said. “Thursday night’s game they battled back as well. Very proud of them.”

The Giants were just as tough as they forced the game into extras and took the lead on steal home by Caleb Bubb, putting the pressure on the Blue Jays in their final at-bat.

“It was a hard fought game overall,” Giants’ coach Jared Getz said. “The hardest part was playing against another Reedsville team. I coach all these other kids in different sports. It’s hard. I didn’t want either team to lose. But it was a good game.”

Picking up the win on the mound for the Blue Jays was Anderson Bitner. Leading the way offensively for the Blue Jays were Kayden McClure as he went 3-for-4, just missing a cycle by a double, while Cam Kauffman exploded for a four-hit night with four RBIs. His last two proved to be the game winning runs, ending the game.

Carter Kanagy finished with a three-hit effort along with four RBIs.

Others finishing with hits on the day were Bitner, Dylan Bonson and JJ Nail.

The Giants were led on the offensive side were Jackson Parkes who finished with two hits as well as teammate Zander Lawson.

Others picking up hits for the Red and White were Alex Picciurro, Grey Getz, Caleb Bubb, Alex Reed and Alex Erb.

Going into Sunday afternoon, the Giants took a 12-6 lead heading into the bottom of the fourth.

Things went smooth for the Giants as they refused to allow a run in the fourth, taking the six-run advantage into the fifth.

But the Blue Jays defense stood their ground as they were able to hold the Giants scoreless in the top of the fifth.

The comeback started for the Blue Jays in the bottom of the inning.

Bonson and Kauffman used their patience at the plate and walked. Kanagy blasted a single into left field, adding two runs by scoring Bonson and Kauffman. The Giants tightened their defense back up and went into the final inning still leading, 12-8.

With the bases loaded, Jackson Parkes made sure of that with a diving catch over the bag at second. After the catch, he went and touched second for a double play, keeping the advantage on the Giants’ side.

The Giants didn’t score in the sixth as the Blue Jays defense stood strong, refusing to give up a run. The Blue Jays rallied in the bottom of the sixth as Blaine Rhoades started off the inning with a walk which was followed by a walk by Bitner. Bonson got his team two runs closer as he hit in to a two-RBI fielder’s choice.

Kauffman later posted an RBI double to cut the Giants lead to just one, making the score 12-11.

The Giants were able to force a second out. The Blue Jays loaded the bases and looked like they had the game won on a walk-off run, but a mistake on the base paths led to an out that sent the game into extra innings.

With new life, the Giants bounced back and took a 13-12 lead when Lawson stole home. However, the night belonged to the Blue Jays as they kept the momentum going. McClure singled to start things off in their half of the seventh. Bitner followed with a walk, putting two runners on. Bonson followed with a walk, loading the bases.

Kauffman ended the game on a game winning two-run single, giving the Blue Jays the championship title.

The game made it clear to the fans in attendance that baseball in Reedsville has a promising future.

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