BSB: ‘Johnny Wholestaff’ pitches Sand Sharks past Knights

USCB baseball relied on its bullpen for a hard-fought extra-inning victory Tuesday, defeating St. Andrew’s 3-2 in 10 innings. 

After the Knights squandered numerous scoring opportunities in the first three frames, USCB broke the scoreless tie in the bottom of the fourth with a Clint Sellars two-run blast over the left-field fence. Greg Izzo cut the Sand Shark lead in half in the top of the sixth inning, crossing home plate on a Brock Thibodeaux throwing error. 

USCB had a chance to add on in the bottom of the eighth with a hit and two St. Andrew’s errors placing runners on second and third, but a Robbie Brown pop-up kept it a one-run ballgame. The missed opportunity proved to be costly in the top of the ninth inning, as Noah Lawson came up clutch with two outs to drive in Kris Allen and tie the game at 2. TK Kennedy started the home ninth with a single up the middle before taking second on a sacrifice bunt, but a rare double play off the bat of Nick Milhan sent the ballgame to extra innings. 

The 10th USCB pitcher of the day got the job done in the 10th inning, as Donavan Huneck picked up two strikeouts to work around a single and a hit batsman. The Sand Sharks mounted a two-out rally to win it, as Sellars scorched a double down the left-field line before scoring on a wild pitch and wayward throw from catcher Izzo to secure the 3-2 win.

All 10 USCB pitchers excelled in the Sand Sharks’ victory including former May River standout Riley Stokes, who threw a scoreless fourth inning with one hit allowed and a strikeout in his collegiate debut. The ten hurlers combined for 12 strikeouts while allowing nine hits and one earned run. 

Sellars made the difference at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a homer while scoring the game-winning run. Nikko Andre impressed in his third consecutive start at catcher, finishing 2-for-3 with a pair of singles.

USCB (5-7) begins Sun Conference play Friday and Saturday with a three-game series at Southeastern in a rematch of the 2021 conference championship game.

By Wes Kerr

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