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Mustangs rally, top Bloom in the eighth

BEAVER SPRINGS–Midd-West prides itself with a “never say die” mentality and it never was more apparent than in Thursday’s game as the Mustangs fell behind early on, only to scratch and claw their way back and complete the comeback in extra innings as they defeated Bloomsburg 9-8 in a PHAC baseball game.

“This team is never going to quit and they’re not going to quit on themselves, I mean they just battle right until the end,” Mustangs coach Scott Wright said. “I was kind of glad to see a game like this. We needed to see if we can win and come from behind and do it. It’s just amazing what these boys are doing. I mean they’re putting everything out there.”

Bloomsburg took the lead early on, in the top of the first inning as Arrick Beagle hammered the ball deep to center field bringing home Logan Reifendifer giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead.

In the top of the third inning, the Panthers got the bats going again, this time adding four more runs in the frame, starting with a Damen Rasmusen double deep to left-center to score Caleb Mortz. Rasmusen later scored on a wild pitch.

Beagle kept the offense rolling with a single to left that brought home Reifendifer before Daniel Guzevich doubled to left center bringing home Chase Dude.

“We just didn’t hit in the beginning,” Wright said. “When a team comes ready to hit, you got to hit with them and we didn’t.”

The Mustangs did manage to drive in one run in the bottom half of the third, thanks to Caden Wolfley, who singled to left, driving in Trey Wagner.

The comeback really got going for Midd-West in the bottom of the fifth inning as Hunter Wolfley scored from second on a wild pitch. As the ball got past the catcher both he and the pitcher made a mad dash to pick it up, leaving home plate open for the taking. Wolfley, using his head and his feet, was able to beat the Panthers’ attempt to tag him out, cutting Bloomsburg’s lead to 5-2. Later in the frame, Griffen Paige flexed his muscles and jacked one well over the left field fence to make it a 5-3 ball game.

Bloomsburg, however, looked to put the game on ice in the top half of the sixth inning as Mortz smacked in two more runs with a single that drove in both Dude and Guzevich to extend the lead to 7-3.

But, the Mustangs responded with a massive bottom half of the sixth as Julian Krainak sent a rocket to deep left-center field and hustled his way to a lead off triple. Easton Erb fell into an 0-2 count before hitting a single up the middle to bring in Aiden Everly.

Wagner then smacked one to deep right field scoring both Logan Rager and Erb for a two RBI triple. Hunter Wolfley then hit a sac fly to center to score Wagner to tie the game at seven apiece.

“Like I said, this team can throw the switch anytime and they threw the switch,” Wright said.

Neither were able to score a run in the seventh inning to force extras.

In extras, the Panthers got on the board first as Mortz singled to left center to bring home Reifendifer giving them a 8-7 lead.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Mustangs once again showed that grit and determination as Caden and Hunter Wolfey were on first and second base, respectively, when Bloomsburg’s pitcher Braydan Zeisloft threw a wild pitch that went straight back to the back stop. Much like he did in the fifth inning, Hunter Wolfley took a chance and hustled his way down to third and hit fifth gear, headed for home plate to score and even the game at eight apiece, while Caden Wolfley found himself at third base.

Paige grounded out to short who quickly looked over to keep Caden Wolfley at third and fired a shot at first base only to have the throw sail well over the first baseman’s head allowing Caden to score for the walk-off win.

At the plate, the Mustangs had five different players with multiple hits in Hunter and Caden Wolfley, Camden Richards, Krainak and Erb.

Garrett Leitzel got the start for Midd-West, going the first three innings of the game. Leitzel had two strikeouts and a walk before handing the ball over to Krainak who pitched the final five innings of the game striking out seven and only walking one batter.

“We started a freshman tonight. He has been throwing well all year for us and he threw well tonight,” Wright said. “Julian has been lights out for us coming in relief. He’s just lights out.”

Midd-West is now (11-4, 9-4) and travels to face Hughesville today.

Midd-West 9, Bloomsburg 8 (8 innings)

B 104 002 01 8-13-5

MW 001 024 02 9-13-2

WP: Julian Krainak. LP: Braydan Zeisloft. SO: Garrett Leitzel 2, Krainak 7 (MW); Arrick Beagle 3, Zeisloft 2 (B). BB: Leitzel, Krainak (MW). HR: Griffen Paige (MW). 3B: Krainak, Trey Wagner (MW). 2B: Logan Rager (MW); Damen Rasmusen, Caleb Mortz, Zach Thrush, Daniel Guzevich (B). MH: Hunter Wolfley 2-5, Caden Wolfley 2-4, Camden Richards 2-4, Krainak 2-4, Easton Erb 2-3 (MW); Caleb Mortz 3-5, Rasmusen 2-5, Beagle 2-4, Chase Dude 3-4, Guzevich 2-4 (B). RBI: H. Wolfley, C.Wolfley, Paige, Erb, Wagner 2 (MW); Mortz 3, Rasusen, Guzevich (B).

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