WESLEY CHAPEL – Strong pitching was the story at the Ranch Thursday night as the Bulls pulled off a 2-1 late inning win over the Freedom Patriots.
Senior Paul Sustachell, the Wiregrass Ranch starter, set the pace for the Bulls going 5.2 innings striking out six and allowing just one run on two hits. His counterpart, Patriots Mitchell Leroy also sat down six batters allowing just four hits over six innings.
After a scoreless opening four innings Kevin Kirby led off the top of the fifth for the Pats with a hard-hit single to Bulls third baseman Nate Lrissey. Andy Bates moved Kirby over with a sacrifice bunt.
On a pitch that fooled Jackson Seidl for a swinging strike out, catcher Noah Johnson couldn’t handle the pitch and Kirby scored on the throw down to first to break the scoreless tie.
That would be it until the bottom of the sixth. Austin Hiatt was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning for the Bulls. Hiatt then stole second and advanced to third on a fielder’s choice. An error by the Freedom shortstop scored Hiatt to tie the game at 1.
The game winner came with the next batter when Lrissey singled to score Derek Baker for the game winner. Chase Wills, who came in to relieve Sustachell, retired the Patriots in the seventh allowing just one base-runner. Jeremy Carrick popped out to first baseman Baker to end the game and give the Bulls the 2-1 win.