GAME FOURTEEN: INDIANS vs. BRAVES
Final Score Game 14: Indians 5, Braves 24
Monday, May 29, 2006, 5:30 p.m., Major Field
The Alameda AAA Indians were decisively defeated by the Braves in their rematch as the Braves unleashed consistent offense throughout the game.
Joe Ruck led off for the Braves against Micah Rothenbuhler pitching for the Indians. A grounder to first was handled by Evan Park for one away. Mark Otenbriet hit a grounder towards the mound that deflected off Rothenbuhler to Isaac Maximov, who connected with Park to make the force play at first. Jim Ruck flied into center for a single, and then stole second on a wild pitch with John Huntoon at the plate. The Braves were retired scoreless when Jim Ruck was tagged out attempting to steal third.
The Braves sent lefty Jim Ruck to the mound in the bottom of the first and Nick Stevens led off for the Indians with a grounder down the third base line for a double. Stevens stole third with Jackson Tracy at bat, and then a missed pick-off throw allowed him to steal home and put the Indians on the scoreboard. Tracy walked, and then stole second on a mishandled pitch to Rothenbuhler, who struck out. Maximov scored Tracy with a long fly triple to left field, and Trevor Greenley was called out on strikes for two away. Derek Snediker took Ruck to a full count before dropping a fly ball into the gap in center field to score Maximov. Snediker stole second on a mishandled pitch to Wyatt Arens, but was stranded there when Arens struck out swinging to close the first inning, the score three to one, Indians.
The Braves made up some lost ground in the top of the second inning. John Huntoon, facing Rothenbuhler pitching for the Indians, led off with a grounder to Snediker at short stop and was thrown out at first. Sean Kelly beat the throw to first for a single and gave the Braves a base runner. Arnel Dedusic grounded into the outfield for a double, scoring Kelly. Keoni Otenbriet grounded to the mound, hitting the pitcher and sending the ball towards third. The play scored Dedusic and was good for a single. K. Otenbriet stole second before David Walters took a base on balls, giving the Braves runners on first and second. They were stranded on their respective bases when Jaydon Tobler struck out and Jaime Ramos-Esparza was retired as well. Heading into the bottom of the second the Braves had narrowed the Indians lead to one run, Indians three, Braves two.
Jim Ruck continued to pitch for the Braves as Evan Park led off for the Indians. Park struck out swinging, bringing up Billy Hommert, who singled on a line drive to right center. A mishandled pitch to Casey Thiering made room for Hommert to steal second before Thiering was called out on strikes. Hommert ended up stranded on second when Liam Bergstrom struck out swinging and the Indians were retired without being able to extend their lead.
The Braves pulled to even score with the Indians in the top of the third as Joe Ruck led off for the Braves against Rothenbuhler on the mound for the Indians. Ruck grounded through the gap to left field, tying the score as a missed throw allowed him to turn a base hit into a home run. The Indians tightened up their defense, and Mark Otenbriet's ground ball to Maximov at second led to him being thrown out at first. Jim Ruck flied to left for a single, but he was forced out when Huntoon hit a ground ball to Maximov and the second baseman made the play. Kelly was hit by a pitch, advancing Huntoon to second and giving the Braves runners on first and second. A wild pitch to Dedusic allowed the runners to advance, but a grounder to second was handled by Maximov and the throw to Park at first was good for the force out, stranding the runners.
The bottom of the third inning saw the Indians at the top of the batting order and Jim Ruck again pitching for the Braves. Stevens took Ruck to a full count before taking a base on balls and then stole second with Tracy batting. A wild pitch to Tracy allowed Stevens to steal third, and a pitch in the dirt made room for Stevens to steal home for the second time in the game. A full count pitch was outside the strike zone and Tracy took first base. Rothenbuhler walked, and Maximov connected on a full count pitch to fly out to third, but the Indians were retired when Rothenbuhler failed to tag up and was called out. The play headed into the fourth with the Indians having regained their slim one run lead, four to three.
Wyatt Arens took the mound for the Indians in the fourth, facing Keoni Otenbriet batting first for the Braves. Otenbriet's single grounder to left field was followed by Walters' fly ball double to center. Tobler and Arens dueled to a full count before Tobler was called out on strikes for one away. Ramos-Esparza singled to right field, scoring Otenbriet and advanced Walters to third. Ramos-Esparza stole second with Joe Ruck at the plate, and then Ruck doubled with a ground ball through the gap at short to score Walters and Ramos-Esparza. Mark Otenbriet scored Ruck with a fly to center for a triple, and was held at third when Jim Ruck flied out to Snediker at short. Huntoon grounded to Maximov and was thrown out when Park made the catch for the force play at first, sending the Braves to the field up by three heading into the bottom of the fourth.
The Braves, behind righty Joe Ruck. retired the Indians one, two, three in the bottom of the fourth. Greenley struck out swinging, and Snediker followed, called out on strikes. The inning ended with Arens striking out swinging and the score Braves seven, Indians four.
Kelly led off for the Braves in the fifth against Arens returning to pitch for the Indians. Kelly went down swinging, and Dedusic followed him beating the throw to first on a grounder to second. A pitch in the dirt to K. Otenbriet allowed Dedusic to steal second, and then he was advanced to third when Otenbriet singled. A mishandled pitch allowed Otenbriet to steal second, and the he was batted in with Dedusic when Walters tripled with a fly ball to center. Tobler struck out swinging for two away, and then Ramos-Esparza's bouncing grounder down the third base line scored Walters. Ramos-Esparza advanced to third on Joe Ruck's double and then he and Ruck scored on Mark Otenbriet's ground ball to third, but the inning ended for the Braves as Otenbriet was thrown out trying to get back to first base.
The Indians had little success in the bottom of the fifth. Park led off against Joe Ruck with a grounder to second and was thrown out at first. Hommert flied to center for a double, but was held at second when Thiering's full count pop-up to third was caught for two away. Liam Bergstrom struck out swinging and the Indians returned to the field trailing twelve runs to four.
Isaac Maximov came in to pitch the sixth for the Indians with Jim Ruck leading off for the Braves. Ruck flied to left field for a single, and beat Maximov's throw to second when Huntoon grounded back to the mound. The runners advanced on a pitch to Kelly before he walked to load the bases. Dedusic singled to second and scored Ruck. Keoni Otenbriet flied to second for a single, scoring two and Dedusic advanced to third. Walters flied to center for a single, scoring Dedusic, and Tobler followed with a single on a grounder to third base. Ramos-Esparza grounded to third, scoring Otenbriet, and Joe Ruck flied deep down the first base line scoring three but being tagged out trying to score himself. Mark Otenbriet hit a grounder to first off Rothenbuhler's leg and beat the back-up throw for a single. Jim Ruck singled on a grounder to short, and with runners on first and second Huntoon flied down the first base line for a triple, scoring two. Kelly was hit by a pitch and went to first, then stole second on a pitch to Dedusic, who then flied to right and Bergstrom made the catch to retire the Braves.
The Indians went to bat in the bottom of the sixth with a deficit of seventeen runs, needing a big inning to avoid a loss. With Joe Ruck returning to the mound for the Braves, Stevens flied to center for a single. Tracy flied out to first base, but not before Stevens stole second. Stevens then stole third before Rothenbuhler popped up to the pitcher and the catch was made for two away. Maximov grounded hard to center scoring Stevens, but any hope of a rally was squashed when Greenley popped up to the pitcher and the Indians were defeated twenty-four to five.
Fielding mistakes and well-placed hits really helped the Braves to run away with this game after a much closer five to four victory for the Indians in a game played early in the season.
Game recap written by J. Michael Bergstrom. All rights reserved.