on May 1, 2008 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Bulldogs bounced from playoffs by Chapman

PENDLETON – The game wasn’t even an hour old and a befuddled David Skelly sat on the edge of the dugout and started talking to no one in particular. But at the same time, he was speaking to everyone wearing a Pendleton High School baseball uniform.

“What are we doing?” he asked in disgust. “This doesn’t resemble anything remotely (close) to anything that we’ve practiced this year.”

What his Bulldogs were doing was quite possibly having the worst fundamental game of their season, which couldn’t have come at a worse time as Chapman took the 12-1 victory in the District 3 AA state playoff game at Pendleton Wednesday night.

As a result, the Bulldogs saw their somewhat surprising season come to an end with a record of 9-14.

But it’s pretty safe to say that of all those losses, the way this one happened was completely unexpected.

Pendleton committed seven errors on the night, and truth be told, if not for some friendly scorekeeping, there could have been one or two more charged.

Regardless, the Bulldogs just didn’t have the mental sharpness they had displayed the game before, where they didn’t have any errors in a nine-inning game Tuesday night against Batesburg-Leesville, which will host Chapman today at 5 p.m. for the district championship.

“For as well as we played (Tuesday) night, we couldn’t play any poorer tonight,” Skelly said. “Not making any excuses, but that game last night took a lot out of us. Emotionally, I think we were drained.”

To put in perspective how difficult a night it was for Pendleton on defense, the Panthers (12-8) scored their first two runs, both unearned, after what seemed to be the third out of the inning on a strikeout.

But the pitch scooted past Pendleton catcher Michael Skelly to the backstop, which in turn allowed the batter to reach first on a passed ball. The next two batters got singles to drive in a run each.

If that wasn’t enough, Chapman scored more in weird fashion in the third inning when Pendleton center fielder C.J. Gleaton lost a routine pop fly in the dark sky and the ball dropped safely. Two runs scored on the play, which occurred with two outs.

“It just snowballed,” the elder Skelly said. “When you give a team one or two extra outs an inning, I don’t care who you play, it’s going to be difficult to win. We couldn’t flush an error away to get out of the inning without making another one.”

However, miscues weren’t the only way Chapman was able to score runs. It did pound out 17 hits, after all.

Offensively, things weren’t much better as the Bulldogs mustered only five hits, though three of them went for extra bases. They never looked comfortable at the plate.

“Keeping them off balance was the game plan from the beginning,” said Panthers pitcher T.J. Waldrop, who went the distance. “But my teammates scoring all those runs made it a lot easier to pitch.”

Though the ending didn’t come the way David Skelly had envisioned, he is still proud of his team, nonetheless.

“No one thought we’d do anything this year,” he said. “We challenged for the conference championship and the seniors have built a solid foundation for the future.”

Chapman 12, Pendleton 1

CHS 234 100 2 — 12 17 0

PHS 001 000 0 — 1 5 7

Pitching

IP H ER K BB

W — Waldrop 7 5 1 6 1

L — Burton (6-2) 3 10 6 4 2

Hitting

CHS — Waldrop, 3-5, 3B, 3 R, 3 RBI; Kimbrell, 2-4, HR, 3 RBI; Collins, 3-5, 3 R.

PHS — Gleaton, 2-4, 2B; Burton, 1-4, 2B, R; Gibson, 1-3, 2B.