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Dragons edge Barons in thriller / April 29, 2010
A thrilling, back-and-forth game Tuesday came down to the bottom of the eighth inning, and Clint Thompson delivered.

Thompson, batting with one out for the Park View Dragons, rallied his team from one run behind with a double to drive in Jarrett Callahan, who led off the inning with a single. The run wiped out Bluestone’s one-run extra inning margin, taken when the Barons scored in the top half of the eighth to break an 8-8 tie.

The Dragons completed the 10-9 victory when Thompson came around to score the go-ahead run three batters later. After reaching base on his RBI double, Thompson came around to home plate the easy way, trotting in on two walks and a hit batter.

The wild rally capped a game marked by big innings, clutch hitting and sudden swings in momentum, making for an unpredictable afternoon at Dragon Field.

Bluestone started the game with Brandon Coleman on the mound and Park View countered with Ryan Mills, and for a time it looked like the latest installment in the cross-county rivalry might turn into a pitcher’s duel. Both hurlers sat down their opponents 1-2-3 in the first inning, although Bluestone broke through for a run in the second inning on a leadoff double by Will Seate and a single by Amotio Smith.

Bluestone tacked on two more runs in the third inning to make the score 3-0. With one out, L.J. Barnett stroked a double and came around to score on a triple by Jake Moore. Seate followed that with a double, and suddenly the Barons seemed to be off to the races.

Another run in the top of the fourth, on a Park View error and a Brian Davis double, staked the visiting Barons to a 4-0 advantage.

But the Dragons would rewrite the storyline with a six-run outburst in the bottom of the fourth inning. The comeback started with back-to-back walks to Eric Hudson and Russ Inge, followed by an RBI double by Joey Jones and a sacrifice fly by Mills to make the score 4-2.

After a groundout left the Dragons with two outs, the floodgates swung open. J. Callahan, the next man at the plate, reached base on an error. Cody Spillane followed with a single to drive in a runner, Thompson smacked a double to plate another run, and R. Clary followed that with a single to drive in the final two runs of the frame. By the time the dust settled, Park View held a 6-4 lead.

Neither team managed a baserunner in the fifth, but the Dragons scored a run in the top of the sixth to extend their lead to 7-4. After reaching base on a single, Chris Pennell advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on a Thompson single.

Staring up at a three-run Park View lead heading into the top of the seventh, the Barons came through with a big-time rally, scoring four runs to briefly take an 8-7 lead. Davis led off with a single, and one out later Barnett also hit a single. Franklin Watson followed with a walk, and Moore, Seate and Smith also had singles sanchwiched around an error on a ball hit by Coleman. The quick succession gave Bluestone four runs as Davis, Barnett, Watson and Moore all came around to score. Heading into the bottom of the inning, all the Barons had to do to win was get three more outs and keep the Dragons from crossing home plate.

Park View had other ideas. Their backs against the wall, the Dragons got a leadoff double by Hudson and an RBI single by Jones to score a run and knot the score at 8-8. That sent the game into the fateful eighth, in which both teams scored but Park View had the last laugh.

For the game, Park View banged out 12 hits, led by Thompson who went 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Jones also had three hits with two RBIs and a run scored, while Hudson went 2-for-3 at the plate with two runs scored. Clary drove in two runs on one hit and a walk in five at-bats.

Bluestone racked up 12 hits on the afternoon, led by Seate and Smith with three hits apiece — Seate had two doubles and a single, Smith’s three hits were all singles. Moore, Barnett and Davis all had two hits on the game.

The winning pitcher was Thompson, who took the mound in the seventh inning in relief of Mills and held the Barons to one run over 1-2/3 innings, striking out five. Mills, the Dragons’ starting pitcher, went 6-1/3 innings and gave up ten hits, four earned runs and two walks. He struck out five.

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