Pitching in: Oak Park Apartments pitcher Andrew LaBuda offers up a pitch to a Bump City batter during last week's game.Photos by FRANK PINC/Contributor

A back and forth game between Bump City and Oak Park Apartments culminated with a Bump City 11-7 win in the Knight Division finale of the OPRF PONY League finale last week.

Oak Park led 7-6 in the top of the fifth inning, and appeared to be on the verge of blowing the game wide open. The team loaded the bases with no outs. Bump City’s pitching and defense had struggled all afternoon, but they needed a strong effort to kill off a rally and keep the game close.

City turned to pitcher Clayton Schwarz in order to end the inning unscathed. Schwarz entered the game and induced a groundball to get the first out at the plate. He then battled to get a key strikeout. Schwarz, energized by the strikeout, got out of the jam with no runners scoring, ending things by forcing a groundout.

Boasted by newfound momentum after the clutch outs, Bump City responded by taking control of the game at the plate in the bottom half of the inning. Taking advantage of Oak Park’s ineffective bullpen and shaky defense, City exploded for four runs in the frame. They called on aggressive base running and timely hitting to take their first lead, 10-7.

City tacked on anther run to extend its lead, but they were not out of the woods yet. After getting two quick outs, closer Mitch Salsbury ran into some trouble by putting two runners on base. Needing just one out to put an end to the Oak Park rally, Salsbury revved back and jammed a batter. The result was a fly ball to shallow left-center field where centerfielder Matthew Malone gloved it.

Following Malone’s phenomenal defensive play to save two sure runs, Bump City was in a great position for the win. Salsbury, pitching to collect the save, mowed down the last three Oak Park batters in order to secure the victory. The win improved Bump City’s record to 10-6, while Oak Park Apartments fell to 10-4.

Bump City starter Evan Rhodes-Martin pitched three innings, giving up six runs on eight hits. Oak Park Apartments starter, Andrew LaBuda, also went three innings, yielding four runs on six hits.

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