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Lutheran West 6, Columbia 5
By Mark Fenske  | staff
Thursday, May 13, 2010

ROCKY RIVER --  Games—from little leagues to the pros, from the sandlots to the stadiums—are won and lost for many varied reasons.  Usually the fingers are pointed at pitching, or too many errors, or too many runners left on base, or too many strikeouts.  Rarely, however, does a fan go home and, while reflecting on a game, blame bunting as the problem.  Maybe lack of hitting with two outs, or the inability to avoid the big inning, but never bunting.

And yet, bunting decided Thursday’s game.

It all began in the bottom of the second inning.  Senior Zach Hausmann had just cut the Columbia advantage to 2-1 with a monster bomb onto the roof of the school—his fourth onto the school this year, and his sixth HR of the year in total, tying Ben Miller’s (class of 1998) single season record.  With senior Billy Valletto on first, senior Mitch Zaharewicz laid down LW’s first successful bunt in the game, sacrificing himself to move Valletto to second.  Senior Ryan Jones singled him to third and went to second when Columbia threw to the plate.  LW had second and third with one out.  

Now it was junior Brandon McCartney’s turn to bunt.  With Valletto charging down the line, McCartney dropped a perfect bunt passed Columbia ’s pitcher toward second base.  Not only did Valletto score easily, but McCartney reached first safely without a throw and Jones safely to third.    

Next up was senior Ty Hoy.  LW had successfully completed the suicide squeeze with Hoy at bat three times previously, and this time would be no different, despite the fact that Columbia knew it was coming.  Hoy laid it down, and Jones who was charging from third beat the throw to the plate to score the Longhorn’s third run of the inning.

LW would grab its fourth run on a RBI single from senior Mike Holick before Columbia retired senior Justin Chislow to end the inning.  

LW had taken a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Columbia starting pitcher Tyler Shope had walked Mitch Zaharewicz with the bases loaded.   After the inning ended, LW Coach Dave Sellke went to his bullpen to relieve starter Billy Valletto and was rewarded with a scoreless inning from sophomore Anders Mahon in the sixth.  

Bunting again took center stage in the seventh.  Mahon had given up a one out double and then promptly balked Columbia pinch runner Darus Few to third.  Sellke went to Chislow to slam the door.  Chislow, who had one save prior to this game, knew that Columbia was going to try to do what LW had done so successfully earlier in the game and squeeze the tying run in from third.  

With the runner charging, Chislow’s first pitch was bunted about fifteen feet up in the air into foul territory down the first base line, about a third of the way between home and first.  Chislow sprinted for it.  Valletto, who was catching at this point, also went sprinting for it.  Both players and the ball arrived at the same time with Valletto undercutting Chislow as he dove to grab the ball.  Whether the contact came first, or if Chislow caught the ball and then tumbled over Valletto, no one knows.  What is known, however, is that Chislow hung on and got the out.  

With both players okay and back to their positions, Chislow wasted no time and struck out Zak Bates on three nasty breaking pitches to end the game. 
Wed 3/31/10
L, 6-2
Thu 4/1/10
W, 12-2
Tue 4/6/10
W, 9-8
Wed 4/7/10
W, 12-2
Thu 4/8/10
L, 7-0
Sat 4/10/10
L, 7-6
Sat 4/10/10
W, 12-1
Mon 4/12/10
L, 5-3
Tue 4/13/10
W, 14-0
Wed 4/14/10
W, 19-10
Mon 4/19/10
L, 10-6
Tue 4/20/10
W, 5-4
Wed 4/21/10
L, 8-6
Fri 4/23/10
W, 10-8
Tue 4/27/10
W, 13-6
Wed 4/28/10
W, 9-3
Fri 4/30/10
W, 16-1
Sat 5/1/10
W, 19-0
Sat 5/1/10
W, 25-7
Mon 5/3/10
L, 5-4
Wed 5/5/10
L, 8-7
Fri 5/7/10
W, 10-0
Sat 5/8/10
W, 8-7
Sat 5/8/10
Lincoln West
W, 12-8
Mon 5/10/10
W, 5-0
Thu 5/13/10
W, 6-5
Wed 5/19/10
W, 3-2
Thu 5/20/10
L, 6-5
Fri 5/21/10
L, 11-10

Lutheran West
3850 Linden Road
Rocky River, Ohio 44116-4099

Phone: 440.333.1660
Fax: 440.333.1729

Acts 3:6-8 I don’t have much, but what I have I give to you:  In the name of Jesus-Walk!  The man jumped up leaping, dancing and praising God!