Bell City ends Advance's season

Tuesday, May 19, 2009 ~ Updated 12:21 AM
Advance's Jacob Bond reaches to poke a ball toward the Bell City second baseman Monday in Oran. (Kit Doyle)

The Cubs advanced to the district semifinals with a 5-1 victory.

ORAN -- Bell City's freshman starting pitcher worked his way into a jam in the first inning of Monday's Class 1 District 2 baseball quarterfinal.

Josh Overbey hit Advance's Jacob Bond with a pitch then allowed a single to Cory Cooper with one out. The Hornets were licking their chops, eager to get off to a fast start.

Garret Mayo then hit a popup near Bell City shortstop Leonard Schaefer, who couldn't find the ball. It dropped in and Bond took off from second for third.

But the umpires had called the infield fly rule and Bond was tagged out at third for the final out to extinguish the threat.

ABOVE: Bell City's Josh Overbey pitches against Advance Monday in Oran. BELOW: Bell City second baseman Eddie Dembowski tries to complete a double play over Advance's Ryan Moses. The batter was safe at first.

"I thought I was going to be mad at him," Overbey said of Schaefer. "It kind of worked out for us. It was weird. It settled me down a little bit, though."

The Cubs responded with a run in the bottom of the first and never trailed, capturing a 5-1 decision to advance to face Oran in today's 2 p.m. semifinal.

"It was just tough luck in that first inning because Jacob didn't hear the infield fly called and I didn't hear it called," Advance coach Allen Pearman said.

Overbey settled down after the first inning. He finished with six strikeouts and no walks in a complete-game effort.

"The curve was working a little bit today," Overbey said. "I just threw the slider every once in a while. Throw the fastball and keep them off balance with the curveball."

Bell City second baseman Eddie Dembowski fails to complete a double play over Advance's Ryan Moses Monday, May 18, 2009, in Oran. (Kit Doyle)

The Hornets (7-11) got a single from Bond to lead off the sixth, but he was erased on Bell City's second double play of the game. Overbey appreciated the defensive support from his teammates.

"We haven't been playing real good, but we made some plays today," he said.

Advance threatened in the seventh when Ryan Moses and Grant Gray collected back-to-back one-out singles, but Overbey recorded a strikeout for the second out. Michael Storie responded with a run-scoring single to center, and Bell City coach Matt Asher considered lifting Overbey.

"We've got several guys who can throw if we had to," Asher said. "It's the playoffs, so you've got to win today to play tomorrow. You don't want to save anybody. The plan was to go with him until he couldn't go anymore. If he gets another hit that inning, he's probably done at that point."

Overbey coaxed a ground ball back to him to end the game.

Bell City chose to be aggressive on the basepaths and it paid off. Four of the Cubs' five players who scored moved up at least one base because of an error. Advance committed five errors in the game. The other Bell City player to score moved up a base twice on wild pitches.

"It takes the pressure off us and puts it on them," Bell City senior Melvin Johnson said the of the aggressive baserunning.

There was one play in the third inning where the Hornets capitalized on Bell City's aggressiveness. The Cubs had runners on first and second with one out when Jeff Long hammered a ball into the left-center field gap. It looked like at least a double and the Cubs baserunners took off.

But Advance center fielder Dylan Dunnivan had other plans.

Dunnivan streaked toward the ball and laid out for the ball, diving about three feet off the ground and soaring parallel to the ground. He made the catch, then fired to second base for an eye-popping double play.

"That kid makes play after play after play," Pearman said. "He has got the most awesome legs I've ever seen on a center fielder. The dive was great and the catch was great. What a lot of people aren't going to understand is the amount of ground he covered to make that play. That was remarkable."

Pearman hoped his team would use Dunnivan's play to build momentum, but the Hornets could not sustain an offensive threat until the seventh, and Overbey again wiggled out of trouble.

"We just didn't hit the ball well today," Pearman said. "He pitched pretty well today. He was changing speeds. We just couldn't get it together."

Bell City101012x--550

WP -- Josh Overbey. LP -- Grant Gray. 2B -- Dylan Dunnivan (A), Melvin Johnson (BC), Overbey (BC). Multiple hits -- Advance: Michael Storie 2-2, Ryan Moses 2-3. Records -- Advance 7-11, Bell City 5-11.r t

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