Braves win invitational
Nick Fuelling bats. (Photo by Dylan Malone)
The Braves played the rude hosts to the Concordia Cadets and the Munster Mustangs on Saturday afternoon in the Bellmont Invitational.
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Both games ended with the Braves on top in extremely tight contests starting with the win against the Cadets in game one, 7-6, and followed by the gutsy win against the Mustangs, 5-4.
Against Concordia, the Braves pulled the rabbit out of the hat with four runs in the seventh to eventually walk-off with the win on a Brian Hakes double to left-center completing the come-from-behind victory, a feat that is becoming more common as the Bellmont boys earn more and more confidence with sectionals approaching.
With Bellmont down 6-3 entering the final frame, Max Collier got on base after an error by Concordia’s shortstop Madinski. The Braves’ nine-hitter Brooks Faurote laced his second hit of the game when he doubled to right-center to score Collier. Not to be outdone, Brian Fullenkamp took a 2-1 pitch over the left-centerfield wall to tie the game at 6-6.
The Braves would need no extra innings as two batters later the winning run would get on first base in the form of senior Gunnar Cale. Coach Ben Fawbush would send him home from first base when Hakes would stroke the game winning double the next at bat to deep left field.
Concordia started off the game with four runs of their own starting when Bellmont starter Nick Fuelling walked a man, then a bunt single put two men on, and a single to left loaded the bases. Still with no outs, Cadets’ DH Evans was hit by a pitch to score the game’s first run. Fuelling would continue to struggle walking Madinski in for another run. The Braves’ rocky defensive frame would crescendo when a ball hit to right field was misplayed and two more runs came in.
Bellmont would respond with two of their own when Fullenkamp drew a walk to start the bottom of the first. Matt Stidam would then double to right scoring Fullenkamp from first. Cale would single to move Stidam to third and then Hakes would groundout to short for the Braves’ second run.
After a quiet second, both teams would get a run in the third keeping the Cadets up, 5-3 until the top of the sixth when the visitors would get one more leading up to the Braves’ four-run seventh.
After a shaky first, Fuelling would allow only one more earned run to Concordia finishing the game with just one baserunner in each of the next five innings. Landon Baker picked up the action in the seventh for one inning of relief allowing no hits or runs earning the win thanks to the Braves’ seventh.