- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Father’s Day was celebrated in many ways on Sunday.
For players from Bumpy Oak and Western Charles, their celebration took place just like most Sundays in the Coors Charles-St. Mary’s Baseball League, on the diamond at Rainbow Construction Field on Hawthorne Road in La Plata.
Bumpy Oak put two runs on the board in the bottom half of the second inning against Western Charles and held the lead until Western Charles knotted the game at 7 in the top of the ninth.
In the bottom of the inning, Ray Michael hit a routine ground ball to Western Charles third baseman Tyler Summers, who overthrew first base, and Ben Sobocinski was able to score, giving the Bombers an 8-7 walk-off victory.
It was Summers’ home run in the top of the ninth that tied the game at 7 when his ball cleared the right-center field fence.
Bumpy Oak got seven solid innings out of left-handed starter Billye Hollister as he sat down nine batters by strikeout, three in a row in the fifth. Hollister earned back-to-back strikeouts in the seventh on Western Charles designated hitter Johnny Klopfer and cleanup batter Chris Blondin in completing his outing.
“I wish I had more with the fastball, locationwise,” Hollister said. “I got behind a lot of guys early in the count and they took advantage of that. At times I had a decent changeup and a good curve ball, but it was pretty spotty for me today, which is why I wasn’t as crisp but it’s a win, I’ll take it. I think BJ Kittle and [Jason] Murray had good days at the plate for them.”
Hollister said he learned the game of baseball from his father at an early age.
“As long as I can remember, I remember playing catch with my dad and hitting the baseball with him and starting out as an 8-year-old,” Hollister said. “I do thank him for putting up with all of the traveling, going through the long distances. It’s a sacrifice. We have quite a family-like atmosphere here.”
Western Charles starting hurler Dan Ladd had no problems throwing strikes and held Bumpy Oak to five singles and seven total hits, but six errors cost his defense in the long run.
However, some shining Father’s Day moments came through in the bottom of the first inning when Nick Vitielliss dove to stop a grounder off Ryan Baione’s bat and Ladd covered first base to shut down the inning.
The Bombers caught some breaks and weren’t afraid to run the bases.
“In our league everybody knows everybody so you know what you’re coming up against,” said Michael, Bumpy Oak manager. “You know the pitchers, you know what they’re going to throw. They’re going to be very tough to compete against and we hope to give them a good game every time. Today, it just seemed like we got a few more breaks than they did, particularly late in the game tight game. Those little things here and there and that ended up giving us the game. They’re very good. They’re going to be tough all year.”
The Bombers led 7-6 heading into the bottom of the eighth when father and son hit back-to-back, trying to widen the gap. Shortstop Jamie Wright beat the throw for a base hit and son Charlie Wright, a rising Lackey High School senior, followed with a solid base hit to left.
“It was just a battle,” Western Charles manager Tony Stefko said. “We were down pretty much the whole game, but we kept fighting back. We gave up some runs early where we probably should have made some plays, but it was tough. I give them credit. They put pressure on our defense. We just couldn’t get back all the way.”
Klopfer had three RBI hits, coming in the third, fifth and eighth innings, while Kittle had three doubles for Bumpy Oak in the win.
Bumpy Oak 8, Western Charles 7
Western Charles 001 010 221 7 10 6
Bumpy Oak 021 101 201 8 7 3
WP Sobocinski, LP J. Rice
Extra-base hits: 2B Michael (BO), Kittle (WC) 3, Sobocinski (BO); HR Summers (WC)