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Flyers squeeze their way past River Valley, 4-2

Jim Walker
jim.walker@irontontribune.com

The Beatles did the No. 1 hit Please, Please Me, Like I Please You.
On Thursday, the St. Joseph Flyers did a take-off of that song with Squeeze, Squeeze Me, Like I Squeeze You.
With the game a scoreless tie after five innings, the Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant decided enough was enough. It’s time to get some runs regardless of how they did it and not waste a stellar pitching effort by Jackson Rowe.
So, the Flyers took to the seldom used squeeze bunt to help generate 4 runs and beat the River Valley Raiders 4-2.
“It was a crazy game. I think we attempted to squeeze seven times counting pitches we fouled off and we were still able to get the bunt down and score some runs. They had their infield up close like Pete Rose did in the (1976) World Series against Mickey Rivers. It was great execution on the part of our kids,” said Bryant.
The sixth inning began with Jimmy Mahlmeister being hit by a pitch. Matthew Sheridan walked and the due pulled off a double steal.
Blake Stuntebeck walked to load the bases and J.C. Damron put down an attempted squeeze bunt that he was able to beat out for a hit and scored Mahlmeister.
A failed squeeze bunt led to a strikeout but a throwing error on the play by the catcher allowed Sheridan to score and Stuntebeck came home a wild pitch.
Isaiah Rowe singled and Damron came home on an error to cap the rally.
“J.C. Damron put down a squeeze with two strikes. He did a heck of a job,” said Bryant.
River Valley got its 2 runs in the top of the seventh.
Hankins reached on an infield hit, Horner got a bloop single just beyond Sheridan at second base. Rhodes singled by Drew Brown threw out the runner at home on a nice tag by catcher Michael Mahlmeister.
Cline singled in 2 runs but Rowe got the next two batters to strike out and end the game.
Rowe went the distance for the win as he scattered 7 hits, struck out 4 and walked just 2. Of the 84 pitches he threw, 60 were for strikes.
“Jackson Rowe pitch one heck of a game again. He was just throwing strikes,” said Bryant.
Elijah Rowe was 2-2 as the Flyers had 4 hits.
The Flyers (6-1) face Sciotoville East on Friday.
River Valley 000 000 2 = 2 7 2
St. Joseph 000 004 x = 4 4 0
Facemire, Barber (6) and Euton. Jackson Rowe and Michael Mahlmeister. W-Rowe (ER-2, K-4, BB-3). L-Facemire (IP-5.0, H-2, R-1, ER-1, K-4, BB-2, HBP-1). Barber (IP-1.0, H-3, R-3, ER-2, K-3, BB-2). Hitting-RV: Jones 1-2, Barber 1-3, Hankins 1-3, Horner 1-3, Rhoades 1-2, Cline 1-3 2-RBI, Owens 1-1 2B; St. J: Jackson Rowe 1-3 2B, J.C. Damron 1-3 RBI, Elijah Rowe 2-2.