It took three hours, a couple rain/wind delays and some small ball with the first ever wood-bat Harry Andreassen All-star Challenge, but in the end nothing was solved as the two teams played to a 2-2 seven-inning draw.
On a night when storms circled and threatened all night long, both teams did similar threatening moments offensively – each time pitchers finding a way to avoid catastrophe.
Scott Peterson of the Leduc Milleteers took the first four innings and gave up his lone run in the first inning. After getting two quick outs, he gave up a lead-off hit on a rocket to right that flew over Holden’s Wesley Burkard’s head in right before a chopper down the third base line got past Armena’s Jason Buzzell. Peterson then did his normal routine of ground balls and pop ups to go the next three scoreless and give the PBL a chance to come back.
Mark Walker of Armena got two outs in the fifth but then walked three straight. He then got a strike out with the bases juiced to keep the game 1-0 in favour of the BRBL. Marcel Lesoway took over, a controversial pick in some eyes, and it looked justified as he struggled with control early. A one-out gun down at home by shortstop Jon Anstey halted what could have been a huge inning for the BRBL and Lesoway worked four more outs to keep the game 2-0 after five and fend off any naysayers.
The PBL struggled to score runners who were in scoring position. They got runners on second and third in the first, and the bases loaded in the fourth but couldn’t score both times. They also had a chance to notch one in the third, but Anstey at second, after swiping the bag, got a late break on a hit to the outfield and was thrown out heading for home.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning when small ball took over.
After some Holden and Leduc mayhem on the basepaths, plus Armena’s Ian Sherbaniuk 17-pitch at-bat walk and steal, yes steal for the young lumbering first baseman, an infield grounder by Ken Braget scored Sherbaniuk on a gutsy run to home from third to tie the game.
Both teams couldn’t score in the seventh and umpires Doug Bowie and Peter Rogers correctly called it quits on a well-played game, but not great spectator night except for the dozen or so die-hards and the Andreassen family who stuck around.
The series is now 5-4-1 in favour of the PBLers after the 2-2 tie.