Otterbots Glen Giles

Outfielder Cayden Brumbaugh takes a swing during the Otterbots first game against the Burlington Sock Puppets on June 17.

It was rivalry weekend in Danville as the Burlington Sock Puppets came into town. However, in three very different games, Danville took the series winning two out of three.

Late heroics lift ‘Bots

In a game with a lot of highs and lows at American Legion Post 325 Field, the Danville Otterbots won against the Burlington Sock Puppets in a tiebreaker Friday night.

While scoreless for the first three innings, Burlington finally got to starter Eli Thurmond in the top of the fourth with RBI singles from Tony Castonguay and Isaiah Adams. Burlington would score again next inning with a fielder’s choice and throwing error by Grant Stephenson along with a Vince DiLeonardo-Benavides single bringing Pena home again.

Score was 4-0 in favor of Burlington, but not all was lost as Danville began to chip into the deficit with a Connor Dykstra RBI and Ryan Carr also helped with an RBI single to center off of Justin Honeycutt, 4-2 Sock Puppets.

Danville would capitalize on a passed ball in the sixth with another run, 4-3. They would soon tie the game with a Garcia RBI single off of Jordan Davis.

Burlington would have some firepower left, and they would show it in the top of the eighth off of Andrew Herrmann. Evan Appelwick drove a ball over the left field wall for a solo home run, 5-4 Burlington.

Only three outs were left for Danville to produce some late game heroics, and it got it started with a Dykstra single, Cayden Brumbaugh ran for Dykstra then with a Garcia RBI triple to right field, the game was tied once again.

Danville would win in a sudden death tiebreaker, but both defenses were not at their best as each team committed three errors.

For Burlington, Honeycutt pitched five and two-thirds innings before being pulled. He gave up six hits on four runs, two earned, walking one and striking out five. Davis pitched the remaining three and third innings, giving up three hits on one run, striking out five but also walking four. He was charged with a blown save.

For Danville, Thurmond pitched four innings on five hits, two runs, one walk and three strikeouts. Ryan Slaten pitched three innings while giving up four hits, two runs, one earned, walking three and striking out one. Herrmann pitched two innings and despite giving up the home run, he only gave up two hits and struck out two and walking one.

Burlington carries no-no into 9th, blank ‘Bots

There wasn’t a whole lot to get excited about at American Legion Post 325 Field Saturday night as the Danville Otterbots were held to just one hit all game as the Sock Puppets took control early and never looked back, gaining the victory, 9-0.

Right away, Burlington’s offense blitzed starting pitcher Colbey Klepper with four runs in the first inning alone. A lot of pitches were not being missed with a lot of solid contact. Even if contact wasn’t that solid, balls were still finding holes in between Danville’s defense. The scoring started with an RBI single by Evan Appelwick and Ryan McCrystal, then an RBI by Carlos Pena with a throwing error by Ty Acker bringing home Brogan Napier.

Klepper would last just two innings before being replaced by Mario Fernandez in the third.

Fernandez would throw two scoreless innings before allowing another run in the fifth by Napier doubling to right field bringing home Pena.

It only got worse in the sixth as an RBI single by Appelwick brought home another run. Then, McCrystal would crank a two-run triple to deep right, scoring Appelwick and Dante Girardi. Finally, Jedier Hernandez singled to center bringing home McCrystal.

It would not matter who was on the mound for Burlington as Danville could not get anything going. Batters had their fair share of solid hit pitches, but when contact was made, it was right to Burlington’s fielders.

It looked like Burlington might no hit the ‘Bots, but Cam Murphy scored the only hit to end the bid.

For Danville, in addition to the two innings pitched, Klepper gave up for hits on four runs, three earned, two walks and two strikeouts. He also took the loss. Fernandez pitched four innings, giving up eight hits, five runs, one walk and eight strikeouts. Jeffrey Polledo pitched three innings, giving up two hits, three walks and three strikeouts.

For Burlington, Michael Ciminiello pitched five innings, giving up no hits or runs on three walks and six strikeouts. He was credited with the win. Mason Ruh pitched an inning of work, not allowing a hit and only walking one. Thomas Ross pitched two innings with no hits or walks and striking out two. Jake Martin pitched the ninth, giving up the one hit, no walks and one strikeout.

‘Bots win in gritty affair on Father’s Day 

Solid pitching and an early lead was key for a Danville Otterbots victory on Father’s Day at American Legion Post 325 Field.

Luke Stephenson hit an RBI triple in the first inning off of Burlington starter Dylan Cumming to drive home Jevin Relaford after he got on base due to a fielding error by Evan Appelwick, putting Danville up right away 1-0.

Danville would tack on two more in the second with a Relaford two-run single, driving home Corbin Lanowitz and Ryan Carr, 3-0.

Burlington would score in the top of the third with a Ryan McCrystal sacrifice fly to left, bringing home Dante Girardi, but that would be as close as they would get as Danville’s relief pitching of Sawyer Osborne and Kevin Martin took over the rest of the way.

Burlington would threaten a few times with runners in scoring position, but nothing would come of it and Brock Duff would shut the door to end the game and earn the save.

Danville would garner seven hits in total while Burlington got six hits but also committed three errors compared to one for Danville.

Kenny Keller started for the ‘Bots and was solid in three innings of work with four hits allowed on one run, two walks and three strikeouts. Osborne pitched two innings and also was credited with the win. He only gave up one hit, one walk and struck out one. Martin only pitched one inning but didn’t allow a hit, walk or run. He also was credited with a hold. Duff pitched the final inning and only gave up one hit and striking out one while walking none.

Cumming took the loss for Burlington pitching six innings on seven hits, three runs, two earned, one walk and two strikeouts.

Staff Writer

Zach McKnight joined the Star-Tribune from Wadsworth, Ohio, as a staff writer. Zach earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University. Zach was also awarded 3rd place in Public Safety writing by the Virginia Press Association for 2021.

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