NEW ENTERPRISE - It was a game everyone in attendance, as well as the players and coaches, will remember for the rest of their lives.
It was a marathon game, both in time (at almost four hours long) and in terms of innings (12 of them).
But the Bedford High School baseball team will be able to say it came out on top, beating the Warriors of Everett, 5-3, in the District 5 Class AA championship game held Wednesday in Northern Bedford County High School's baseball field.
"It was one heck of a high school baseball game," Bedford coach Scott Waugerman said.
Neither team scored since the top of the sixth inning - when the Bisons first baseman Austin Montgomery slammed a solo shot to tie it at 3-3 - until the visiting half of the 12th inning when Luke Campbell was hit by a Dylan Foor pitch to lead off the inning, and proceeded to steal second. Tyler Black followed with an RBI single to score the long awaited first run since the sixth.
Montgomery reached on a fielder's choice when the Warriors were able to get the lead runner Black when Montgomery hit a infield grounder. And following a walk by Bedford's number six hitter Travis Hickey, moving Montgomery to second, designated hitter Zach Shaffer hit a one-out single to plate a key insurance run in Montgomery.
Black, who was riding high after the game, commented on his huge hit.
"It was about time someone did it," Black said. "I prayed more than I played for the last six innings. It felt great to pull it off."
Two strong pitchers got the starting nods for the teams, with Black starting for the Bisons and Kyle Droz for Everett. Bedford was able to get two first-inning runs, with Campbell and Montgomery driving in the runs. Campbell reached on a single plating Kody Blevins, and Montgomery's double scored Campbell. Everett got on the board in the bottom of the second on an RBI single by leadoff hitter Spencer McInroy. The Warriors' final pair of runs came in the bottom half of the third when Tanner Mellott's two-out, two-run single scored Brian Greenwald and Reese Potts.
Both pitchers were strong for the next three innings, but were far from perfect. Both teams had squandered opportunities, though, with the Warriors leaving the bases loaded in the bottom of the fourth, while the Bisons left one in the fifth and stranded a pair of runners in the sixth after Montgomery's lead-off homer.
Isaac Kline, who pitched seven scoreless innings in relief of Black, earned the win. He allowed just two hits and struck out 11.
Even though his team was on the losing side of the ballgame, Everett coach Mike Kline was genuinely proud of his team.
"Both teams played their hearts out tonight," Kline said. "I'm very proud of my team. I have to give Bedford credit. The better team won tonight."
BEDFORD (5): Blevins cf 611, Kline ss/p 600, Cambpell c 522, Black p/3b 603, Montgomery 1b 523, Hickey rf 400, Robinette dh 501, Shaffer 3b 000, Downs lf 600, Henry 2b 500. Totals 48 5 10.
EVERETT (3): Mcinroy cf 703, Jays rf 501, Foor ss/p 300, Droz p/1b 500, Stover c 500, Greenwald lf 220, Potts 3b 511, Mellott 1b 601, Jay 2b 000, McGregor dh 601. Totals 44 3 7.
SCORE BY INNINGS
Bedford200 001 000 002 5 10 2
Everett012 000 000 000 3 7 2
E-Shaffer, Kline, Foor, Droz. 2b-Montgomery. Hr-Montgomery. Sb-Foor. RBI-Mcinroy, Mellott 2, Black, Shaffer, Montgomery 2, Cambpell. Hbp-Greenwald by Kline, Droz by Kline, Campbell by Foor. WP-Kline. LP-Foor. SO-Black 6, Kline 11, Droz 8, Foor 3. BB-Black 7, Kline 2, Droz 2, Foor 2.
Records: Everett (18-2).