Biglerville and Fairfield combined for 24 runs, 25 hits, and seven errors on Tuesday afternoon. Oh, and zero winners.
After a back and forth affair that saw the baseball sprayed all over the diamond, the Canners and Green Knights found themselves deadlocked at 12-12 after nine innings and with a game that had to be postponed due to darkness.
“We battled back and then they battled back and it’s a fitting way to end,” Biglerville coach Jeff Taylor said afterward. “Both teams had five-run leads and you’d think with a five-run lead you could put it away, but it was just a great game.”
The host Knights (0-1 in Y-4, 0-1 overall) came out of the gates strongly after starter Cody Valentine worked around a leadoff single and shut down the top of the Canners’ (1-0, 1-0) order.
In the bottom half, Valentine helped his own cause, singling to score Eric Ball, who had been on second with an earlier double. Valentine then went back to the mound and sat the visitors down in order in the top of the second.
Fairfield seemed to seize control in the bottom half of the second. Jake Myers singled in a run to score Nathan Baker and make it 2-0, then Valentine delivered again with a two-run single of his own to extend the lead to 4-0. They’d make it 5-0 on a wild pitch and that’s where the scoring stopped for the time being.
When Valentine returned to the mound and delivered another 1-2-3 inning in the third, it appeared Fairfield was in full control.
“Cody Valentine is a special player,’ Fairfield coach Dave Hazlett said of his pitcher. “He can play on both sides of home plate and he never gets rattled. He’s just who he is. He never gets too high and never gets too low. He’s a coach’s dream, honestly.”
After a scoreless third from the Knights, the Canners found some life and Valentine found some troubles. Logan Brewer, who had previously taken the mound in relief of Biglerville starter Eli Weigle, started the rally by reaching base on an error.
Slugging third baseman Connor Orner followed it up with a double to score Brewer and get his team on the board. Two batters later, Cameron Hartzel gave the Canners’ dugout a shot in the arm, hammering a 3-1 fastball over the left field fence and cutting the lead to 5-3.
“That was huge,” Taylor said after the game. “We had been struggling to really get to their starter all game and that brought some life back to the bench and really got the guys back into the game.”
Valentine limited the damage and recorded the last two outs of the inning to keep it 5-3 headed to the Fairfield half of the fourth.
The score remained 5-3 into the top of the sixth when Orner sent a 2-0 Valentine fastball into orbit over the left field fence and closed his team within one at 5-4. Biglerville then loaded the bases with one out, but Valentine was able to bear down strike out Kolton Trimmer before Ball ran down a fly ball in the gap to end the inning and keep Farifield narrowly ahead.
The Knights then got some much-needed insurance runs in their half of the inning, taking advantage of some defensive miscues by the Canners. Nate Roberts and Andrew Koons each reached on errors and eventually came home to score on wild pitches, making it 7-4 headed to the seventh.
Once again, the visitors went to work trying to chip away the lead.
Austin Black singled to left to start the inning. Brewer then doubled off the left-centerfield fence to put runners at second and third with no outs. After an intentional walk to Orner and a pair of fielder’s choices, Biglerville was down to its final out, trailing 7-5 with runners on second third.
After taking a pair of strikes, Weigle drove a single right back through the middle to tie the game at 7-7.
“There’s just no quit in this group,” Taylor said. “I knew they weren’t going to get shut out and I knew we could chip away. They definitely made it interesting though.”
Fairfield loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom half of the frame looking to walk it off, but Brewer was able to induce a Will Myers groundout to third base to send it to extra innings.
Neither team was able to muster a run in the eighth, but the ninth was a completely different story.
Brewer started the inning by taking matters into his own hands, as he took the first pitch he saw out to right field for a home run to make it 8-7, giving the Canners their first lead of the game.
Orner and Ben Angstadt followed with back to back singles and scored shortly after on a throwing error from new Fairfield pitcher Koons. Biglerville pushed five runs across the plate in the inning and took a seemingly commanding 12-7 lead into the bottom half of the inning.
But as they say, it’s not over until the fat lady sings.
Brewer took the mound for the ninth with over 80 pitches already and the fatigue started to show. First, Jake Myers reached base on a double before Ball drove him home with a two-bagger of his own, cutting the lead to 12-8. Valentine and Roberts then singled to make it 12-9 with runners on first and second with nobody out.
After Koons struck out to settle things down, Will Myers stepped to the plate. After falling behind 1-2, Myers stayed back and laid into a Brewer breaking ball, hammering it out onto the hill past the left field fence and tying the ball game.
“Honestly I didn’t even have a reaction out on the field,” Hazlett said. “I just saw him make contact and watched it hoping it would get out and it did. Will is one of the best catchers, I think the best catcher, in the division and he’s been battling through some things, so it was nice to see him show what he can do there.”
Brewer was then able to get the last two outs of the inning and before he could step up to bat to start the 10th, umpires called for the game to be stopped do to darkness.
“We’ll probably pick up where we left off later in the year when they come to our place,” Taylor said when asked where they go from here. “It was a heck of a ball game and now we’ve got to figure some things out and get ready for the next one.”
The two teams are scheduled to meet again at Biglerville to April 28 and the expectation is that the completion this game will be played prior to the start of that contest.
In the meantime, the Canners must sort out their pitching situation and prepare for a trip to York Tech on Thursday, while Fairfield travels to York Catholic.
Biglerville 000 301 305 — 12 14 5
Fairfield 140 002 005 — 12 11 2
Eli Weigle, Cameron Hartzel (2), Logan Brewer (5). Cody Valentine, Jake Myers (7), Andrew Koons (8), Eric Ball (9). SO-BB: B-Weigle 1-4, Hartzel 4-4, Brewer 5-5. F-Valentine-5-2, Myers 0-1, Koons 0-0, Ball 0-1. 2B: B-Brewer, Connor Orner. F-Ball 2, Myers. HR: B-Brewer, Hartzer, Orner. F-Will Myers.