The Bowie Jackrabbits came through after three days of playing former district opponent Boyd in the bi-district round of the playoffs.
After a disastrous first game in which the Jackrabbits lost 13-7, Bowie won a lightning delayed home game that finished Saturday morning 8-5 and turned around to beat the Yellowjackets 14 hours later, 8-3 on the road.
The first game was played on Thursday at Boyd. The Yellowjackets took the lead in the first inning. A two out double and an error in the outfield with the next batter led to Boyd taking a 1-0 lead.
The Jackrabbits tied the score in the top of the third inning as Kash Stockard led off with a double. Singles from Evan Kennedy and Taylor Pigg followed to drive Stockard home, but a double play and a pop out to the pitcher kept the game tied 1-1.
The Yellowjackets took advantage of three free bases, a base hit and two errors to score three runs and take a 4-1 lead after three innings. While the third inning was rough, the fourth inning was excruciating.
Bowie’s pitchers had trouble finding the strike zone, walking six batters in the inning and hitting a batter. Add it a couple of hits and sacrifice flys and Boyd scored six runs to break the game open and go up 10-1.
Fearing a run rule outcome, the Jackrabbits offense started to put some things together. Facing a new pitcher, a leadoff walk and single was followed by Payton Price double to right field to drive in a run. Braden Armstrong drove in a run with a single followed by Weston Partridge, who grounded out to the shortstop but not before cutting the lead to 10-4.
Boyd made up those runs next time up to bat. Three base hits and walk scored three runs, but Bowie avoided giving up one more run that would have ended the game early, trailing 13-4.
In the sixth inning after the first two batters got on base, Kennedy hit a triple that drove in a run. Pigg followed with a groundout to drive in another run to cut the lead to 13-7 where it stayed as Boyd won.
With 11 free bases given up and seven errors in the field, the Jackrabbits could only play better as they hosted the Yellowjackets the next night. With crowds from both teams coming out for support on Friday, the atmosphere was sure to be electric.
The beginning of the game was a bit of déjà vu for everyone as three walks, a base hit and an error allowed Boyd to go up 2-0 immediately. Bowie kept pace as a triple from Price and a sacrifice fly from Armstrong tied the game at 2-2 after the first inning.
The second and third innings did not have a lot of things happen on the field, but off the field there was plenty. The first lightning delay cleared the stands at 8:50 p.m. sometime in the second inning.
The rules say games can only be started again after the last lighting strike in a 10-mile radius was struck 30 minutes ago. After about 40 minutes, the game started.
The Yellowjackets scored on a passed ball strike three to go up 3-2, but the second lightning delay came about in the bottom of the third inning about an hour after the first one.
If spectators had not left from the first delay, this one convinced some the game was not finishing that night as constant rain came with it. After an hour and half delay the lightning cleared out for the game to continue thanks to the turf field and the rain staying light. Some hardcore fans stuck it out, but it was a far cry from the packed stands at the beginning of the game.
After the game resumed, Armstrong drove in another run on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3 at the end of the long third inning.
Pitcher Pigg struck out three batters in the fourth inning to keep Boyd at bay while Bowie’s offense came alive. After the first two batters got out, Stockard started things off by getting hit with a pitch. Kennedy followed with a drawn walk. Pigg loaded the bases with an infield single.
Still only one out away from squandering a bases loaded opportunity, Price came through with a single that drove in a run, giving the Jackrabbits their first lead not only of the game, but in the series.
Cooper Little followed with a huge bases clearing triple that broke the game open. Armstrong followed with a single to drive in Little, giving Bowie an 8-3 lead.
The Yellowjackets responded with a run in the fifth inning, but Pigg struck out his eighth and ninth batters of the game to keep the Jackrabbits lead breathable at 8-4. Bowie’s batters failed to get on base for the first time in the game.
Luis DeLeon came in to get the save. A leadoff walk is erased when the defense pulled its second double play of the game, both thanks to slide infractions from Boyd’s lead runners in those situations.
The Yellowjackets had one more chance in the seventh inning and scored a run thanks to a triple and a sacrifice fly, but that was all as Bowie won 8-5 as the clock struck 12:36 a.m. Saturday morning.
The third and deciding game was played later that day at Boyd.
The Jackrabbits struck first as Kennedy led off and got on second base thanks to an error. After a Pigg base hit moved him to third base, a passed ball allowed him to score as Bowie took a 1-0 lead from right off the bat.
A leadoff walk and a fielding error started things off ominously on defense for the Jackrabbits. The Yellowjackets got both runners home by the end of the inning to take a 2-1 lead.
The teams exchanged scoreless second innings before Bowie’s offense got things going again for an explosive third inning. Price and Armstrong drove in runs with back-to-back hits to retake the lead.
An error in left field allowed another run to score on a Partridge hit. With the bases loaded and two outs, DeLeon drew a walk for another run to give the Jackrabbits a 5-2 lead.
Boyd cut the lead to 5-3 with three base hits to end the third inning. The teams exchanged scoreless fourth and fifth innings. In the sixth inning, Pigg and Little each knocked in runs to increase Bowie’s lead to 7-3.
Boo Oakley came in to get the save for the Jackrabbits and only gave up a two out single to move the game into the final inning. With two outs, Kennedy hit a groundball to shortstop that was mishandled for an error that allowed another run to get by and increase Bowie’s lead to 8-3.
Despite giving up a one out walk and single, Oakley fielded a ball to get an out at third base and then struck out the final batter swinging to secure the save and the series.
To read the full story, pick up a copy of the mid-week edition of the Bowie News.