An odd walk-off
SURREY – Blue Sox coach Jeremy Feller forgot his pitch counter, and no one else kept track of Surrey starter Chance Smith’s pitches. So the right-hander just kept pitching.
Inning after inning, he left the Surrey High School mound, reached the home dugout and told Feller, “My arm’s fine.”
After 10 innings, Smith’s teammate, fellow righty Dylan Enget, came on to pitch the final frame of Surrey’s 4-3, 11-inning marathon win over Velva on Tuesday.
The Blue Sox (12-11) benefited from a rare, walk-off hit-by-pitch with the bases loaded to end the game. Enget recorded the win, leaving Smith with a no-decision after 10 innings of work.
“I wanted to get the win bad,” said Smith, while holding ice to his right elbow. “When you go 10 innings, you usually want to finish her off and try to get the win completely and not let someone else come in and take it from you.”
Smith struck out nine and allowed three runs – two earned – on four hits and three walks.
“We couldn’t have asked for more from him,” Feller said. “Normally I don’t let a kid go past eight (innings), but he said he felt good. I guess it was a good day to forget the pitch counter, too.”
After a pair of 1-2-3 first innings from Smith and Velva starter Brad Dean, second baseman Derek Fahy led off the second with a solo blast to right-center field to give Velva the first lead.
Surrey tied the game in the fifth on third baseman John Reiten’s bloop single, landing just between the shortstop and left fielder. The Blue Sox plated another run the following inning with a two-out rally.
Smith carried a two-hitter into the seventh, where Velva regained the lead on pinch hitter Isaac Effertz’s two-run triple to right field with one out. Smith said those runs didn’t detract from his confidence.
“I knew I felt fine,” he said. “I knew I could keep going. They just hit a couple balls where we couldn’t get to them. They were putting the bat on the ball nicely.”
Surrey answered in the bottom of the frame, though, to send the game into extra innings.
The Blue Sox drew two walks to chase left-handed reliever Drew Effertz, before Enget drilled a single to center field off Fahy, scoring lead-off hitter Brendan Larson.
Fahy escaped a bases-loaded jam with a strikeout to end the eight inning, but was less fortunate in the bottom of the 11th.
Kyson Smith singled to open the frame and Chance Smith followed with a double to deep right field. Fahy intentionally walked Enget to load the bases, but beamed first baseman Dillon Jones – his third hit-by-pitch of the game – ending the contest.
The Blue Sox’s odd walk-off win left Fahy – who went 2 for 4 at the plate – with the loss after pitching 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball.
“It wasn’t traditional, but we’ll take it,” Feller said of the strange finish.
Ryan Holmgren covers Legion baseball and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @ryanholmgrenMDN.