Braves have mercy on LanderMay 31, 2017 By Scott Akanewich, Sports Editor
Konnor Gaston, Kadon DeWitt, Tyler McKiernan and Lordae Heidenreich each had a pair of hits in a 14-4 home victory.
A ball rocketed off the bat of Ricky Hoffman in the bottom of the first inning and began to sink toward the infield dirt on the right side of the diamond at Riverton Babe Ruth Field on Tuesday evening, destined to be a base hit or at the very least an RBI grounder with runners on first and second with no outs.
However, Lander second baseman Ridge Barrett wasn't interested in destiny.
Barrett managed to snare the ball just before it hit the ground, then had the presence of mind to quickly step on second, then relay the ball to first baseman Nick Kulow and just like that, no outs was three outs.
Triple play, inning over.
As far as Lander was concerned, it was as good as it was going to get on the night because the damage had already been done, as the Braves had already plated four runs in the frame, well on their way to a 14-4 victory, which was called after five innings due to the mercy rule.
Konnor Gaston, Kadon DeWitt, Vincent Brown and Tryston Truempler had crossed the plate, followed by another four in the second and two runs each in the third through the fifth in a comprehensive defeat of their green-clad guests.
It was a far cry from Lander's last visit to the ballpark at the corner of Sunset and Major on Friday, when they poured an onslaught on the Giants in the form of an 18-15 victory.
Indeed, the result on this day was as different as the previous week's winter-like weather, as the field was soaked in sunshine throughout the proceedings.
DeWitt kept the train rolling in the second inning with a bases-loaded double to increase the home club's advantage to 6-1, followed by an RBI groundout by Brown to the pitcher after Lordae Heidenreich and Jace LeClair had left off the frame with a single and a walk, respectively.
Meanwhile on the mound, Braves starter DeWitt was doing just as effective a job of keeping Lander off the board as he was helping his own cause at the plate.
DeWitt hurled a complete game victory, allowing only four runs in five innings.
However, the Braves weren't quite done feasting on the opposition and it was back to the dish in the bottom of the third.
Hoffman led off with a walk, then Braeden Cash reached on an error before Kyrsten Moore banged a base hit to get things going.
It was an eventful evening for Moore, who had a couple of brand, new bruises after being plunked by a pitch and hit at first base by an attempted pickoff throw from the catcher in a separate plate appearance.
On both occasions, Moore simply shrugged off the cowhide collisions and carried on as if a fly had annoyingly invaded her personal space.
After scoring the game's first run for a quick, but short-lived, 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Lander finally scored again in the fourth.
Keegan Stephenson reached on an error, then came around to score, but by then, it was 10-2 in favor of the home side.
In the top of the fifth, the Braves were but a strike away from ending the game early, only for a McKiernan throw from shortstop on what would've been the final out pulled first baseman LeClair off the bag, which prolonged the inning, eventually allowing the deficit to be reduced to 12-4.
But, the Braves would not be denied on this day, as in the bottom half of the fifth, Gaston and LeClair both drew bases-on-balls before making the circuit around the bases and ending the contest in walk-off fashion.
Gaston, DeWitt, McKiernan and Heidenreich each had a pair of hits apiece to lead the Braves.
Lander 1 0 0 1 2 x x -- 4
Braves 4 4 2 2 2 x x -- 14
Lander - Fawson, 1-2; Bell, 0-1; Carey, 1-3; Hitchew, 2-4, 2B; Kulow, 1-2; Sawick, 0-0, BB; Stephenson, 1-3; Barrett, 0-3; Gist, 0-1; Macey, 0-1; Rognon, 0-1; Richardson, 0-0, BB; Adams, 0-1; Olsson, 0-1; Grogan, 0-1.
Braves - Gaston, 2-2, 2 BB; DeWitt, 2-3; Brown, 1-3, 3B; Truempler, 1-1, 2 BB; McKiernan, 2-3; Hoffman, 1-2; Cash, 1-3; Moore, 1-1, BB, HBP; Heidenreich, 2-3; LeClair, 0-1, 2 BB.