Thursday, July 29, 2010
Thursday night in Cheyenne, in Game One of the MCBL championship against the Fort Collins Foxes, Grizzlies’ center fielder Kyle Dodge took Holley’s message to heart with a 12th-inning, walk-off single to give Cheyenne the upper hand in the best-of-three series.
“I got two strikes and knew, in the bottom of the 12th with two outs and the winning run in scoring position I had to put it in play,” Dodge said. “I watched one go by right down the middle, and then I fouled the second one off. I had a feeling that I was gonna make pretty solid contact with the next fastball he threw me.”
With two strikes and two outs in the 12th inning, Dodge battled, lining a single up the middle, allowing third baseman Ryan Javech to score the winning run from second.
Grizzlies 5, Foxes 4.
“Kyle Dodge put a good swing on a good pitch,” Holley said. “The pitcher left it up and Kyle made him pay for it. He was just battling with two strikes. “
Battle: success. Ship: sunk.
Sweet, sweet victory.
It was Cheyenne’s first walk-off win of the season, and just its second win after trailing entering the seventh inning.
“It’s an easy walk to first base when you get a hit like that,” Dodge said. “You’re just watching the play and hoping they score.”
Boston plays Tessie after each Red Sox win; The Grizzlies now play Tunak Tunak Tun.
As the music blared, the excitement in the city went from Dierks Bentley’s guitar a half-mile north to the right-field grass of Pioneer Park, where teammates chased down and dog piled Dodge, letting out three week’s worth of bottled up frustration.
“It’s colossal,” second baseman Mike Wido added. “It’s nice to send Fort Collins home after 12 innings. Hopefully we can win it at their place now and dog pile at their stadium.”
“When you win close games like that against good teams, it gives you confidence,” Holley said. “We have the momentum, even with them being at home.”
The fact that the Grizzlies have a better road record than at home, and have played particularly well (3-3) in Fort Collins, means they are heading into the rest of the series in the driver’s seat.
Cheyenne had at least one runner in scoring position in 10 of the 12 innings, including each of the extra innings, but was unable to score until the last one.
“I was just trying to keep it close any way possible,” Schwenn said. “I was able to throw strikes and get outs and got a huge double play from Wido after the leadoff single.”
Schwenn threw 16 of 19 pitches for strikes, including first-pitch strikes to all six hitters he faced.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Grizzlies took advantage of two defensive errors by the Foxes to add two runs and take a 4-3 lead.
With one out, Wido beat out a slow roller to get the rally started. Judge grounded to shortstop, but Allen’s throw was high, sailing out of play and allowing both runners to advance. With runners on second and third and one out, the Foxes intentionally walked catcher Jefre Johnson to load the bases. But a groundball by Mike Domenick, that possibly could have been turned into a double play, went under second baseman Charles Bradley’s glove and into right field, bringing home both runs. Bradley had been named Fort Collins’ defensive player of the year earlier in the week.