Mon-Yough wins wild Pony series game
Sometimes, there are baseball games that defy description.
One of those games was played Friday night in the first round of the Pony League World Series at Lew Hays Pony Field in Washington Park.
Mon-Yough, the Host Area champion, and Bay County, Mich, the North Zone champion, were the participants and there were some impressive highlights – or lowlights, depending on which side of the field your bench was situated.
Actually, It was best to be seated on the Mon-Yough side of the field, because they managed to win this game 16-14.
Cory Saus hit a solo home run and Jordan Zilka added a two-run blast in the top of the seventh inning to finally put the game away for Mon-Yough, which scored 10 times over the last three innings.
Mon-Yough will play Monday at 5:30 p.m. against a team to be determined. Bay County will play Bayamon, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean champion, Sunday at 5:30 p.m. in an elimination game.
“To be honest, it was never dire,” said Mon-Yough manager Scott Callaway. “We have the bats to compete. I have to take my hat off to Bay County. They can hit the ball.”
Callaway said his team has had games like this before and he has a lot of faith in their resiliency.
“This was a pretty good comeback because it’s never come on a stage like this,” he said. “Our kids battled, and this can be a springboard for us.”
• Mon-Yough held leads of 4-0 in the first and 6-3 in the second, yet still managed to trail by four when the second inning was over.
• Bay County held a 13-6 lead but gave up seven runs over the fifth and sixth innings to Mon-Yough that tied the game, 13-13.
• Mon-Yough starting pitcher Jacob Callaway was hit by a liner back to the mound and had to be replaced in the first inning, when Bay County scored three runs. Bay County catcher Cameron Fowler was hit in the throat in the third inning but remained in the game. Home plate umpire Don Dobrindt was stunned after being hit by a foul ball in the second inning.
• Bay County erupted for seven runs in the second inning, marked by a grand slam home run by Skyler Manczak. It was the 40th grand slam in Pony World Series history and helped stake Bay County to a 10-6 lead after two.
• Mon Yough was into its third pitcher of the game before the second inning was completed.
• The two teams combined for 30 runs, 29 hits, nine errors and 12 wild pitches.
• Bay County starter Jason Clark allowed two runs in the first inning on wild pitches. He didn’t last through the second inning.
Cody Freed came in during the second inning and helped stop the bleeding for Bay County. Mon-Yough had trouble with his slow, bending curve. He held Mon-Yough scoreless in third and fourth. Even he was not immune from the battering pitchers were taking in this game, allowing a two-run home run by Eric Harkins in a three-run fifth that cut Bay County’s lead to 13-9.
But Tim Labuda revived Mon-Yough’s chances when he crushed a pitch over the right field fence for a three-run home run that tied the game, 13-13, in the sixth inning. That led to the dramatic seventh.