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Flyers need two comebacks to outlast Bobcats

By JIM WALKER

Tribune Sports Editor

Facing a knockout punch twice, the St. Joseph Flyers weren’t about to stay on the canvas.

The Flyers rallied from five runs down in the eighth inning and three runs down in the 10th as the outlasted the Green Bobcats 12-11 Thursday in a battle of unbeatens.

“That was a big win against a very good team,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant. “We were down in the eighth and tenth and it would have been easy to quit, but we shoed a lot of grit.”

Despite the 23 runs and 26 hits, Bryant said the pitching wasn’t that bad.

“Both starting pitchers threw well. The score wasn’t indicative of how well they threw,” said Bryant.

Tanner Riley was a key contributor for the Flyers including a grand slam home run in the eighth to tie the game. Riley was 4-4 with two home runs and seven runs batted in.

Payton Blair singled and Riley homered to give the Flyers a 2-0 lead in the first inning.

Green (7-1) took a 3-2 lead in the third.

Colton Brammer reached on an error, Dillon Smith singled, Tyler Hughes had an RBI single, an outfield error scored a run and Rob Applegate had an RBI single.

St. Joseph (6-0) tied the game in the bottom of the inning when Blair was safe on an error, Levi Hopkins had a sacrifice bunt and Riley singled.

Green scored five times in the eighth to take an 8-3 lead.

Stephen Ratcliff walked, Brammer singled, Smith had a sacrifice and Matt Ratcliff was safe on an error as two runs scored. Hughes walked and T.J. McCloud spanked a three-run homer.

In the bottom of the inning, the Flyers were facing a two-out, two-strike situation when Grant Geswein singled. Joseph Payton and Blair singled to load the bases and Hopkins singled in a run. Riley then tied the game with a grand slam.

The Bobcats came back with three runs in the top of the 10th after one out.

Clay Applegate singled, Hughes walked, Rob Applegate and McCloud were hit by pitches and Matt Ratcliff had a two-run single.

Hopkins and Riley drew one-out walks to start the bottom of the inning and Justin Mahlmeister hit a long three-run homer to left-center to tie the game.

Cody Blackburn then walked and scored on a double by Luke McGraw to end the game.

Green 003 000 050 3 = 11 11 2

St. Joseph 201 000 050 4 = 12 15 5

Colton Brammer, Keith Stepp (9), Caleb Johnson (10) and Matt Ratcliff. Tanner Riley, T.J. Young (9) and Justin Mahlmeister. W-Young. L-Johnson. 2B-Green: T.J. McCloud; St. Joseph: Luke McGraw. HR-Green: T.J. McCloud; St. Joseph: Tanner Riley 2, Justin Mahlmeister. Hitting-Green: Tyler Hughes 2-4, Rob Applegate 1-5, T.J. McCloud 3-5, Matt Ratcliff 1-5, Keith Stepp 1-6, Colton Brammer 1-4, Dillon Smith 1-4, Clay Applegate 1-2; St. Joseph: Payton Blair 2-6, Levi Hopkins 2-3, Tanner Riley 4-4 7-rbi, Justin Mahlmeister 3-6, T.J. Young 1-5, Luke McGraw 1-5, Grant Geswein 1-4, Joseph Payton 1-4.

PITCHING: Brammer K-4, BB-6, H-13, ER-7; Stepp K-2, BB-2, R-3, H-1; Johnson K-0, BB-1, H-1; Riley K-7, BB-5, H-6, R-8, ER-1; Young K-3, BB-3, H-5, R-3, ER-3.