David Reeder

Special to the Grove Sun

MIAMI-Jay’s opening game of the summer league baseball season got off to a pretty good start at Miami’s Pollock Field Tuesday evening. But a lack of offense in the middle innings doomed them to be the victims of a War Dog comeback.

Bulldog starting pitcher Ty Moore got a two-out single in the top of the first and got stranded on a defensive gem by the Miami right fielder.  In the home half of the inning, Moore pitched his way around a two-out walk and a single to keep the hosts off of the scoreboard. 

In the top of the 2nd frame, the War Dog defense committed 3 errors that opened the door for a pair of unearned runs.  Add to that a two-out RBI single by Jeremy Dunham, and Jay found themselves on top by a 3-0 margin.  Jay was unable to take advantage of Miami’s 4th error of the game, while in the bottom of the 3rd the War Dogs scratched out a run on one base hit.

Following a scoreless 4th and 5th inning, Miami’s Jason Gamble led off the bottom of the 6th with a double and came in to score on Tommy Neal’s RBI two-bagger.  By the end of the at-bat, the home team picked up two more walks and hit batsmen to score twice more, chasing Moore from the hill.  Matt Henderson got the call from the bullpen and eventually brought the rally to an end, with the War Dogs on top 5-4. 

Moore picked up a two-out walk in the 7th and crossed the plate with the tying run on a J.J. Meeker’s triple to the fence.  But the Bulldogs left the go ahead run on 3rd base when the Miami reliever got the next batter to pop out to the infield.  And in the bottom of the 7th Gamble scored the winning run and Neal got the game winning RBI with back-to-back doubles for the 6-5 final.

Bulldogs take two from Westville

WESTVILLE-With 5 strong innings from junior to be, Tyler Buss, the Jay Bulldogs got just enough offense to take down Westville by a 6-3 margin in Thursday evening’s summer league play at Yellow Jacket Field.

Ty Moore reached base with a two-out walk in the top of the first and was stranded there as the result of a running catch by the Jacket right fielder. In the bottom of the frame, Buss retired the first pair of Westville batters in short order. 

The third batter, however, reached base on a clean single.  But Bulldog catcher J. J. Meeker caught the runner leaning toward 2nd base and picked him off cleanly, ala Yadier Molina, with the seldom seen 2-3 pickoff play. 

Jay broke the scoring ice in their half of the 2nd, when Ty Kay reached base on an infield error and moved to 2nd with a stolen base.  Cal Guinn put the ’Dogs on the board with his base hit that scored Kay. 

Buss got the Jackets down in order in the bottom of the 2nd.  Cory Stiefel led off the 3rd with a walk and was followed by back-to-back singles by Ty Moore and Meeker to load the bases. After Westville got the 1st out with a force at the plate, Buss helped his own cause with an RBI single.

But the big blow of the ballgame came when the Yellow Jacket leftfielder misplayed Kay’s line drive shot, clearing the loaded bases. 

Leading 5-0, Buss pitched his way out of trouble in the home half of the 3rd.  After yielding a 2-out walk and a single, the southpaw quashed the rally by striking out the Westville lead off man.

The home team eventually got in the scorebook when they picked up a 1-out walk that was followed by a double sandwiched between a pair of singles, for 3 runs in the bottom of the 4th. 

Moore led off the top of the 5th with a single and moved to 2nd when the Jacket hurler walked Meeker.  Moore scored an insurance run on an RBI single by Kay for the 6-3 lead.  After yielding a 1-out single, Buss got the next two batters to preserve the complete game win.

In the 2nd game, the Bulldog’s Ty Kay stroked a single, promptly swiped 2nd base and advanced to 3rd on a passed ball, with 1 out in the top of the first.  Tyler Buss got the game’s only RBI when he sacrificed behind the runner.  Following a scoreless bottom of the 1st and 2nd inning, the solo tally was enough for the Bulldogs (2-1) to be declared the 1-0 winner of the time limited 2nd contest.