Photo by Michael Johnson
Livonia's Mike English (22) pumps his fist after crossing home in the bottom of the third inning. The sophomore would also score a big run in the sixth inning as the Bulldogs rallied for the 8-7 victory.
Chichester’s hit sparks Bulldogs
LIVONIA — Leading 7-3 in the bottom of the sixth inning, the wall fell down on Bath coach Bob Buckley and his Rams.
Two fielding errors combined with four balks and three walks by pitcher Danny Leonard led to five Livonia runs as the host Bulldogs (2-1) pulled off the come-from-behind 8-7 victory over Bath (1-1) in LCAA D-I action April 4 at Baker Field.
The victory for Livonia snapped an eight game losing streak against the Rams. The last Livonia win came in the 2007 sectional championship game.
The bottom of the sixth for Livonia started out with a Chris Romanowski single off Leonard’s glove up the middle. After a fielder’s choice, Livonia would put runners on first and second when Bath made an error at third base. That’s when the first of four balks by Leonard would move the runners up. Three straight walks issued to Mike English, Mitch Rathbun and Austin Gieseke would eventually lead to a huge two-run single by Nate Chichester that tied the game at 7-7.
Gieseke would score to give Livonia the 8-7 lead after Leonard licked his fingers on the mound resulting in his fourth balk of the inning.
Sophomore Alex Abrey came on in relief and pitched the seventh as he allowed a Jimmy Tunison single to open the inning.
After a fielder’s choice, Mitch Buckley singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Buckley would steal second to put the go-ahead runner in scoring position.
Abrey would battle out of it as he got the dangerous Leonard to pop up to third. He would strike out the final batter to end it.
Matt Feldman would get the win as he pitched to one batter in the sixth, while Abrey would get the save allowing no runs on two hits with one strikeout.
Sophomore Zack Kolodziejski, fresh off his opening day no-hitter, struggled this time around as he started and lasted just 2 2/3 innings, throwing 90 pitches.
“Bath is a pretty good team — maybe not like they’ve been in the past but they have a tough middle of the line-up,” said Livonia coach Scott Gilman. “I was proud of how our kids battled against Leonard and Chichester’s big hit was definitely the crushing blow.”
As for snapping Bath’s eight game winning streak against his Bulldogs.
“It was good to get that monkey off our back,” said Gilman, whose team left Friday morning for the Mingo Bay Tournament in Myrtle Beach.