Orioles battle back to tie semifinals vs. Bulls
Trailing 2-0 in a best-of-three series, the No. 2 seed Iron Financial Orioles faced a must-win situation last Sunday in game three of the Blue Mountain League semifinals against the third-seeded Limeport Bulls at Simmons Field in Egypt.
The Bulls were in the same round last year, and won the championship just two years ago. They were experienced in the postseason and seemed destined to finish off the sweep.
But that’s why they play the game.
The Orioles erased two different two-run deficits in the first five innings before scoring twice in their last at bats to take game three 6-4 and salvage their playoff lives for at least one more game.
“The guys didn’t want to go down today, and definitely not get swept,” said Orioles manager Dave Stoudt. “That’s not what these guys are about. They fight hard each game, and we’ll hopefully get two more now.”
The Orioles got first of those two Monday with a 2-1 win Monday evening to force a deciding fifth game, which was played Tuesday after Press deadlines.
The Orioles fought back on two different occasions Sunday afternoon.
After the Bulls got two runs in their first at-bats of the game, the Orioles were on the right side of a rarely-seen mistake that awarded them a run.
With runners on second and third in the bottom of the third inning, the Bulls starting pitcher made an illegal motion before throwing a pitch, which resulted in a balk, and each runner advancing a base.
In the next frame, Tyler Sweeney led off with a single. Four batters later, with the bases loaded, an error by the Bulls third baseman led to another Orioles run and a tie game 2-2.
It didn’t take long for Limeport to respond.
Matt Dobeck walked to lead off the top of the fifth. Mike Cudwadie was then hit by a pitch, which led to a pitching change for the Orioles. Ryan Seiz singled in the next at bat to load the bases. Two batters later, Damin Muth hit a two-RBI single to give the Bulls a 4-2 lead.
But back came the Orioles, who had four of their first five batters of the bottom half of the fifth reach safely.
Patrick Bet led off with a double, followed by a walk to Nick Delp. Two batters later, Jacob Meyers smacked a two-run double to tie the game 4-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Orioles took their first lead of the game via RBI singles by Bet and Delp.
“Those two just had great games,” Stoudt said. “They just really carried our offense today and led us to the win.”
Orioles relief pitcher Seth Stoudt sat down the last seven hitters he faced to pick up the victory.
Cudwadie had two hits and was on base three times for the Bulls. Pat Rhoads added a single for Limeport.