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Sandys summer team falls 15-9 to Centennial

Dark skies and constant drizzle did nothing to cool off the bats of Centennial and Sandy as the two summer baseball teams met on Wednesday evening. The Eagles outlasted the Pioneers in the slugfest at Centennial, 15-9.

If baseball was only about offense, Sandy would have in great shape. The Pioneers did just about everything right at the plate and did not seem fooled by the offspeed pitching of Centennial pitcher Steele Myers. They got runners on base early in innings, played small ball to move them into scoring position and got some clutch hits to drive them in.

Sandy used that method in the top of the fourth inning to pull in front of the Eagles. With his team trailing 4-3, Sandy left fielder Rhett Schilperoort ripped an RBI-single to center field to tie the game. Two hitters later, Sam Kalar laced the first pitch he saw down the third base line to bring home the go-ahead run in Schilperoort.

With a 5-4 advantage, the Pioneers felt like they were in control. They were then abandoned by their pitching and defense.

In the bottom of the fourth, Centennial went to work putting the ball in play. That put pressure on the Sandy fielders, and they mishandled a few balls. After a single and a Sandy error, Centennial had two runners on for first baseman Michael McGuire. He did nothing on the first two pitches, but the third pitch was to his liking and he jumped all over it. The strong left-hander turned on the pitch crushed it to right field. Several school buses were parked in a row behind the right field fence, and the ball cleared them with no trouble. With one swing of the bat, Sandy’s lead turned into a two-run deficit.

An inning later, the game unraveled for the Pioneers. They booted a few balls and made a couple ill-advised throws to give Centennial extra outs. The Eagles mixed in several base hits and the bottom of the fifth turned into a big inning. An RBI-single by McGuire gave Centennial its fifth run of the inning before Sandy ever recorded an out. The Eagles ended up sending 12 hitters to the plate in the frame and scored six runs to extend their lead to 13-5.

Sandy responded with three runs in the sixth and another in the seventh, but that couldn’t undo the damage done in the fourth and fifth innings.