Elks pull off late night comeback

Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Javarria Rucker had a huge game in the Elks’ 10-9 comeback win over Nichirin as he went 2-for-4 and stole five bases, including home twice.
Tribune photos by Anthony S. Puca

The Elks (5-3) pulled off one of the most dramatic comebacks in recent history as they trailed Nichirin 7-0 and 9-1 before stealing a 10-9 eight inning win in the Babe Ruth League twin bill nightcap at the Jonathan D. Hollingsworth Memorial Field in Lewisburg Monday night.

Nichirin (2-6) starting pitcher Logan McKnight held the Elks in check over the first four innings, giving up just two runs on two hits, while striking out nine and walking two.

McKnight also had two out of the three hits in the game for Nichirin, who scored four runs on no hits in the top of the first inning as they were helped out by three Elks’ errors.

J.W. Beasley and Rob Hawkins had RBIs in the frame.

McKnight set down the Elks 1-2-3 in the bottom of the first and Nichirin pulled ahead 7-0 as they scored three more runs in the top of the second with two outs.

James Hery left it all out on the field Monday night as the Nichirin catcher battled behind the plate and on offense, Hery walked three times and scored two runs.

Aaron Gann walked to start the rally and James Hery was hit by a Bryson Whaley pitch before both runners moved up on a passed ball.

Beasley knocked in Gann to make it 6-0 and McKnight followed with an RBI single to give Nichirin a comfortable seven-run lead.

McKnight continued his dominance on the mound as he retired six straight Elks’ batters before Javarria Rucker beat out an infield single in the top of the fourth inning.

In what would be the Elks’ strategy the remainder of the game, Rucker stole second, third, and home to make it a 7-1 contest.

McKnight retired the next three batters to end his stint on the mound for Nichirin.

Kel Greer came in to pitch for the Elks and McKnight drew a leadoff walk and scampered to second base via wild pitch.

Daniel Sellars, who followed McKnight to mound in the bottom of the inning, followed him to the bases with another walk.

McKnight came home on a wild pitch and the speedy Sellars raced to the plate on a heads-up play to give Nichirin a big 9-1 lead.

Wunderlin banged a leadoff single off Sellars in the bottom of the fifth inning and Micah Riddle was hit by a pitch before Sellars uncorked a wild pitch to put Elks’ runners on second and third.

Wunderlin scored on a fielder’s choice RBI by Whaley and Riddle came home on a Nichirin error to make it 9-3.

Wunderlin escaped a two-on, two-out jam in the top of the sixth and the Elks started to creep closer as they scored three times in the bottom of the inning to slice the Nichirin lead to three runs.

Wunderlin held Nichirin in check again in the top of the seventh inning and the Elks looked like they were going to lose as Sellars retired the first two batters in the home half of the seventh.

Rucker kept the game alive with another infield single and went to second on a Nichirin error.

Rucker swiped third base and then caught Nichirin napping as he sped home to make it 9-7.

Carson Cheek followed with a base on balls and stole second before crossing home plate on a Nichirin error.

Greer reached on the error and then stole a page out of Rucker’s playbook as he swiped second, third, and home to tie the game at 9-9.

T.J. Stinnett made it to first base on another Nichirin error and moved into scoring position with a stolen base before Sellars got out of the jam with a ground ball to first base, sending the game to extra innings.

Nichirin loaded the bases with two outs, but Wunderlin came up with a huge inning-ending strikeout.

Elks’ catcher Micah Riddle was strong behind the plate in the 10-9 extra inning win.

Riddle was hit by a pitch to start the bottom of the eighth and went to second on Whaley hit to right field.

A throwing error on the play moved both runners into scoring position.

Sellars bore down and struck out the next two Elks’ batters before a game ending error closed out the heartbreaking loss.

Nichirin 430 020 00-9 3 5

Elks 000 123 31-10 8 4

Nichirin: Logan McKnight 2-for-4, J.W. Beasley 1-for-3.

RS: Aaron Gann 2, James Hery 2, McKnight 2, Daniel Sellars 2, Beasley.

BB: Hery 3, Gann 2, Beasley, McKnight, Sellars, Rob Hawkins, Christopher Osborne.

RBI: Beasley 2, Hawkins, McKnight.

ROE: Sellars, Hayden Luna, McKnight.

FC: Hery.

HBP: Beasley, Osborne.

SB: McKnight 4, Sellars 3, Gann.

CS: Hawkins.

Team LOB: 8

Fielding

E: McKnight 2, Osborne, Gann, James Hery.

LP: Daniel Sellars (3.2 IP, 6H, 8R, 4ER, 7K, 1BB).

Starting Pitcher: Logan McKnight (4IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 9K, 0BB).

Elks: Javarria Rucker 2-for-4, Kel Greer 2-for-4, Bryson Whaley 2-for-4, Carson Cheek 1-for-3, Kyrklinn Wunderlin 1-for-4.

RS: Rucker 2, Cheek 2, Greer 2, Wunderlin 2, Micah Riddle, Whaley.

BB: Cheek.

RBI: Greer 2, Whaley, Wunderlin.

ROE: TJ Stinnett, Wunderlin, Rucker, Will McAdams.

HBP: Riddle 2.

SB: Rucker 5, Greer 4, Whaley 2, Wunderlin 2, Cheek 2, Stinnett.

Team LOB: 2

Fielding

E: Greer 2, Whaley, Rucker.

WP: Kyrklinn Wunderlin (4IP, 0H, 0R, 4K, 4BB).

Starting Pitcher: Bryson Whaley (4IP, 3H, 7R, 6ER, 7K, 4BB).

Relief: Kel Greer (0IP, 0H, 2R, 1ER, 0K, 2BB).