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STORY: Bethel 8, Hampton 5
STORY: Bethel 8, Hampton 5
By Melinda Waldrop
HAMPTON — Thirteen runs, 11 walks, five pitching changes and one tossed coach.
Bethel weathered the drama for an 8-5 victory against Hampton on Tuesday — a game that Bruins coach Brett Wheeler finished watching from the parking lot after being ejected during a wacky fifth inning that saw the Crabbers, once down 5-0, knot the game at 5. But Bethel re-took the lead for good on Dan Hudgins’ RBI single in the top of the sixth.
If he craned his neck, Wheeler could have seen that run, and the other two the Bruins added in that inning, go up on the Crabber Field scoreboard. His obstructed view came after a simple pitching switch turned into a big-time blowup.
Bruins (3-0, 3-0 Peninsula District) starter Pat Ryan, who didn’t give up a hit in 41/3 innings but walked two batters as the Crabbers (3-1, 2-1 PD) scored a run in the second, saw his control problems mushroom in the fifth, when he walked the bases loaded. Reliever Travis Franklin then walked in a run before giving up Sean Fields’ RBI single to the gap in left-center.
Another bases-loaded walk brought Wheeler back to the mound. But as reliever No. 2, Kyle Mumford, was warming up, Hampton coach Danny Mitchell sent David Escobar home from third, telling the home-plate umpire that Wheeler hadn’t called time.
The umpire agreed, and counted the run to tie the game at 5.
Wheeler exploded, screaming “This is terrible! Terrible!” He kept yelling until earning an early exit, then shouted, “That’s right, I’m done, but you made a horrible call!”
“(The umpire) came out and said, ‘You messed that up, coach,’ ” Wheeler said. “… I said, ‘You held your hand up and said time.’ … If we’re up 5-1, and it makes it 5-2, hey, I’m not getting tossed, but that was the fifth run — off of something like that.”
But the Bruins quickly mooted Wheeler’s point, as J.J. Jeffries reached on a dropped ball by Hampton right fielder Andy Allison to lead off the sixth. Hudgins, who was 2-for-4 with a two RBI, drove in Jeffries, then scored on a fielder’s choice before Drew Copley’s single capped the scoring.
“We had to have the momentum back,” Hudgins said. “We were kind of struggling on the pitching, but we fought back.”
Kizuku Scott, who was 3-for-4 and drove in two runs, sparked the Bruins’ three-run first inning, and Bethel took advantage of another drop — by Escobar in left field — in the second to go up 5-0.
“We didn’t hit the ball very well, but we still found a way there in the bottom of the fifth to be 5-5, and we come right back and drop a ball,” Mitchell said. “… We can’t drop fly balls. They don’t drop fly balls in Little League, and we shouldn’t be dropping them out here.”
BETHEL 8, HAMPTON 5
Bethel 320 003 0 — 8 13 0
Hampton 010 040 0 — 5 2 2
W – Ryan. L – Shaffer. Standouts – Bethel, Scott 3-4, 2 RBI, Hudgins 2-4, 2 RBI, Copley 2-4, 2 RBI, double. Records – Bethel: 3-0, 3-0 Peninsula District; Hampton: 3-2, 2-1 PD. «
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