Bucks get mercy-rule win over Sugar Valley, 17-7
By KEVIN RAUCH
For The Express
Farwell- With just two more games remaining the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School arrived in Farwell looking to pick up their first win of the season after playing one of their best games of the year in a previous trip to Bucktail.
A top of the fifth rally allowed the Phoenix to threaten an upset as they tied the game at 7-7, but attrition coming from four different Bucktail pitchers allowed the Bucks to blow the game open in the bottom of the sixth, allowing the seniors to celebrate Senior Day with a 17-7 win.
The Bucks led 7-4 after four innings when Sugar Valley’s Kaiden Leigty, Jake Thomas and Blain Falk all went back-to-back-to back with hits up the middle leading to a one-out rally that eventually tied the game 7-7.
The Bucks looked to Zack Pick to enter as the third Bucktail pitcher of the day of as Pick struck out the next two batters, ending the Phoenix blitz and keeping the game tied.
Pick would give his team the lead right back in the bottom of the fifth when with two outs he lined a ball to left field, scoring Richard Perry and putting the home team back up 8-7.
The Bucks looked to their fourth pitcher in the top of the sixth as Devin Serafini worked a three-up three-down inning.
Corbin Homan for his part pitched a solid game through four innings for the Phoenix, but when chased from the game in the fifth the Bucks took advantage, culminating with a nine-run bottom of the sixth where the Bucks claimed a ten-run rule win.
Phoenix coach Chuck Weaver said that the story of being forced to throw their starting pitchers for as long as possible has been the normal for his hurlers all season.
“That’s what we have to do, we have to max out our pitchers every game and other teams have definitely taken advantage,” Weaver said following the loss.
Still, without a win on the season, Weaver was very happy with how his team hung in with the Bucks’
“We were down 7-4 and certainly could have packed it in then, but we rallied to tie it up at 7-7, it wasn’t poor play that cost us this game, it was timely hitting and pitching from Bucktail that led to us losing, we tried right to the end,” Weaver said. “We have a freshman that’s third in the conference in steals, two players in the top ten in on base percentage; we’ve never given up all season”.
Bucktail’s senior Tanner Riggle had a career day celebrating senior day going 4-for-5 and scoring four runs. Riggle had a two out RBI double in the bottom of the sixth before scoring the game-ending run to end the day with the 17-7 win.
BT 3 0 2 2 1 9-17 15 4
SV 1 2 1 0 3 0-7 7 4
Top Hitters: Bucktail Riggle 4-5, Gage Sutliff 3-5, Liam Dwyer 2-3, John Francis 1-4, Zack Pick 1-4, Cameron Sockman 1-3.
Sugar Valley: Kaiden Leigty 2-2, Naaman Cowowdy 1-4, Josh Weaver 1-3, Jake Thomas 1-3, Blain Falk 1-2, Jared Blackwell 1-3.