Bonnie Bulls stage massive comeback to tie NE Pride at Summer Finale

By DN WRITING STAFF | August 26, 2023

Adam Sorensen of Northeast Pride Scout beats out throw from right field for a single.

By Sean Reilly 

There’s a basic truth about the Bonnie Bulls that the Brooklyn-based team displayed to anyone watching the squad compete on Friday night at Diamond Nation.

The Bulls might not always win, but they’ll never give up.

Trailing by a large margin heading into the bottom of the sixth and final inning, the Bonnie Bulls scored six runs on just one hit to forge a 7-7 tie against Northeast Pride Scout in the opening game of the 13U Summer Finale, Powered By Victus, in Flemington.

“To come back like that was insane,” said Elliot Ross, who started the game at third base, was one of three relief pitchers used by the team, and courtesy ran while accounting for one of the runs in the improbable rally. 

“We didn’t give up, and kept fighting,” he said. “We got it into our heads not to give up. It was electric to be out there.” 

As a bonus, the momentum carried into a game that immediately followed. 

The Bonnie Bulls ended the night with a 1-0-1 record in pool play after defeating Baseball U Scranton, 11-3. The Bulls close out pool action with a Saturday night matchup against the RCBC Ghost 13U Nationals (2-0) with a first-place finish and playoff berth on the line. 

Northeast Pride Scout, based out of Wilkes Barre, Pa., seemed to be in great shape against the Bonnie Bulls. It was ahead 7-1 entering the bottom of the sixth, and the 1:50 time clock had expired, so the game would be seemingly over as soon as three outs were recorded. 

That wasn’t much of an issue through the first four innings, as the Bonnie Bulls were limited to one first-inning run on two total hits against Pride starter Gavin Michalko.

The Bonnie Bulls threatened against the Pride bullpen in the fifth, getting a single from Xavier Cruz and two walks to load the bases with two out, but could not score.

Wade Margolies pitched a 1-2-3 top of the sixth for the Bonnie Bulls, who then sent up cleanup man Darius Brown to start the bottom of the frame. 

Brown walked, Margolies followed with a single to right field, and Anthony Barone reached on an error to load the bases. 

Alex Wozny then hit a ground ball, and while the Pride was conceding one run on the play, a throwing error scored a second run. It was now a 7-3 game, with runners on first and third and still nobody out. 

Mark Sanchez was up next as a pinch hitter, and he walked on a full count to reload the bases. At this point, a pitching change was made and the game started to attract interested onlookers from other fields at ‘The Nation.’

Bonnie Bulls catcher Mark Sanchez fires throw to third base. 

Xavier Cruz was the next batter, and was safe on a fielder’s choice that scored Barone with the third run of the inning. Sebastian Pitt followed as the seventh hitter of the inning, and he walked on a full count to force home Wozny. It was suddenly a 7-5 game.

The first out of the inning came when leadoff batter Ryan Keough hit a grounder that resulted in an out at second. Keough was safe at first, while Ross, who was running for Sanchez, scored from third to get the Bulls within a run at 7-6. 

Jessie Avanzino then came up with runners on first and third, but a balk scored Cruz with the tying run. 

Avanzino then grounded out to shortstop, with Keough crossing to third. Josh Diaz was intentionally walked after first getting ahead in the count, and Brown drew his second walk of the inning, this time on a full count, to reload the bases. 

With the outcome now hanging in the balance, a full-count ground out to second base ended the game in the 7-7 tie.

Northeast Pride Scout featured Adam Sorensen, who was 1-for-1 with two walks. He singled and scored in the first inning on a full-count bases-loaded walk to Jacoby Mapes with two out.

Zach Charneski was 2-for-2 with three RBI for Northeast Pride. His two-out, two-run double over the head of the left fielder gave his team a 3-1 lead in the second inning.

After his team added two runs on a passed ball compounded by an error in the third and another scored during a double play in the fourth, Charneski added an RBI infield single later in the fourth for the six-run lead. 

Northeast Pride Scout followed the game with a loss to RCBC Ghost Nationals, and they will close out play against Baseball U Scranton on Saturday night.

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