When the dust settled after 12 hits and eight runs in the final two innings between rivals Wilson and Lakewood at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field on Friday, the Bruins emerged victorious, 7-5. It is their third win over the Lancers in their last eight Moore League meetings.
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“Anytime you can beat Lakewood it feels good,” Wilson coach Andy Hall said. “Pitching is key here, and I thought we had let it get away from us.”
Wilson (17-10-1, 8-3) gave up a 3-1 lead in the sixth inning when Lakewood scored four times, but Bruins Ryan Guerero and Crixtian Taveras delivered back-to-back singles with one out to spark the seventh inning rally. Kyle Clothier followed that up with an RBI single, and then catcher Nick Morse laid down a perfect safety-squeeze bunt on the first base side to score Taveras for the game-tying run with an RBI single.
“I’ve never bunt for a hit before,” Morse said. “I’m not used to bunting, and it obviously caught them off guard a little bit. We lost to them in a one-run game in nine innings, so we wanted to fight for it today.”
Second baseman Ryan Pettway came up next and dropped a game-winning 2-run single into left field.
“This is our best win by far,” Pettway said. “I take a lot of pride in (beating Lakewood).”
Lakewood (12-15, 8-2) took the lead with four runs in the sixth thanks to a bases-loaded double down the right field line from Ricky Tiedemann. After driving in the three runs, he scored on a wild pitch to give the Lancers a 5-3 lead.
The singles from Guerero, Taveras and Clothier chased Lakewood starter Sebastian Irwin after the senior gave up nine hits, two walks and two earned runs in 6.1 innings while striking out four. Tiedemann came on in relief and gave up the game-winning hits to Morse and Pettway.
“The bunt (for Morse) was called by (assistant coach Marc) Prager,” Wilson coach Andy Hall said. “He said ‘let’s give them a bit of their own medicine’ and it worked.”
The Bruins took the lead with two runs in the first inning. Guerero, Taveras and Clothier had back-to-back-to-back singles with two outs to load the bases, and Morse plated Guerero with a single. Taveras scored on an errant pickoff throw to third base. Wilson added another run on a Lakewood error in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. Guerero also made a spectacular diving catch in center field for the second out of the third inning.
Wilson starting pitcher Aiden Alaniz only needed 32 pitches to get though four innings, and 27 of them were for strikes. He was cruising, and had scattered three hits, until the fifth when he was hit in the hip by a single off of the bat of Nathan Blair. Lakewood would load the bases, and sophomore Eddie Maxilla drove in Tiedemann with one of his three hits to make it 3-1.
Nick Endres relieved Alaniz in the fifth, and got two fielder’s choice outs to leave the bases loaded. He gave up the three-run triple to Tiedemann in the sixth, and was relived by Jack Odell, who retired five of the seven batters he faced to pick up the win.
Wilson is now a game back of second-place Lakewood in the standings. The Bruins face Long Beach Poly on Thursday in the regular season finale. Lakewood plays Jordan on Tuesday, and Millikan on Thursday.