Astro Falcons dodge series sweep


A bases loaded walk keeps Astro Falcons alive in postseason

By DAN HINER

sports@vindy.com

STRUTHERS

With Game 2 of a double header tied at one in the bottom of the sixth inning, Astro Falcons drove in the go-ahead run on a bases-loaded walk to avoid a Class B Championship Series sweep.

Astro catcher Vinny Mastrangelo hit an RBI-single to centerfield as the insurance run in a 3-1 win over Baird Brothers.

Baird Brothers took the first game of the doubleheader, 7-6, after scoring three runs in the bottom of the third inning.

Astro Falcons tied the game in the top of the fourth, but Baird Brothers reclaimed the lead in the bottom of the fifth.

Baird Brothers came inches away from blowing the lead in the top of the seventh.

With runners on second and third with one out, Astro popped out behind home plate, but no one covered home. The runner at third tagged and tried to score but was tagged out just before tying the game.

Astro carried the late-game momentum from the first game of the doubleheader into game two.

The first two runners for the Astros reached base to start the bottom of the first. Matt Gibson scored on an groundout from centerfielder Noah Laster to give Astro a 1-0 lead.

Baird Brothers tied the game at 1-1 after a sacrifice fly by Travis Perry drove in shortstop Jeff Wehler in the top of the fourth.

Astro broke the game open after a leadoff walk and back-to-back bunt singles to load the bases. Left fielder Matt Wood came to the plate one batter later to drive in the go-ahead run on a walk.

Laster said the team needed “to play their game” in the second game. He said the team got timely hits and executed when needed.

Astro Falcons head coach Andy Timko said the team took a more patient approach to the plate and waited for the right opportunities. He said the team played well in the first game of the double header, but they were unable to make enough plays.

“We knew it was gonna be a low-scoring game,” Timko said. “The pitchers they put out on the mound are good pitchers.”

Astroshapes pitcher Dylan Rotz threw a complete game and allowed four hits, one walk and struck out four.

“Our pitcher, Dylan Rotz, did a great job,” Timko said. “He held them in check until we could scratch across a couple runs.”

Timko said the decision to bunt late in the game was based on the positioning of the third baseman throughout the game. He said his middle of the order hitters are the best hitters on the team and expected them to execute the bunts in the sixth inning.

“So far this year we’ve played them seven times and beat them five,” Timko said. “We’re not afraid of them and they’re not afraid of us. It’s two good ball clubs going at it, two of the best in the league.”

A time and date of game 4 has not been announced.

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