With PBL semi-legend Rob Gillrie manning one bag on the hottest night of 2014 so far, it was a PBL throw-back evening of ugly baseball mired with walks, errors and massive hits that sprung the Bardo A’s to a 13-10 victory over the first-place Armena Royals, keeping Bardo hanging to a sliver of hope they can still sneak into the PBL playoffs.
Gillrie, filling in for a depleted A’s side, was the hero on the night. Once on defence, covering off an errant throw by pitcher Ryan Oleson and throwing out a slow-footed Jason Buzzell at second, then smacking a seventh-inning two-run single down the third base line to give the A’s a three-run cushion as darkness settled in on the Armena hamlet after nearly three hours of a sport that only at times resembled baseball.
Oleson would go all seven innings, giving up nine hits and walking eight. Zenan Sherbaniuk countered and struggled control wise as well with seven walks in just 2 1/3 innings. Doug Morris went in relief and the Royals led until the fourth when a five-run inning from the A’s kickstarted things for the July bombers (Bardo Athletics).
But the Royals would mount a comeback of their own, including a Kenton White 2-RBI single in the sixth after Jason Buzzell pitched a scoreless sixth to get withn one at 11-10. However, Gillrie’s single in the seventh sewed things up as the ball could barely be seen in the final frame as the clock struck 10 when Buzzell flied out to left to end the marathon match.
The Royals now head to Leduc Tuesday before playing a make-up match the following Wednesday in Ryley. Bardo hosts Holden Tuesday in what may be a first of a home-and-home series to end the season against the Blue Jays as a make-up date in Holden is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 10.