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Nine unearned runs lift Redbirds past Cyclones

BISMARCK — Three different relief pitchers recorded timely outs when the Park Hills Redbirds were in danger of falling behind the Arcadia Valley Cyclones on Tuesday night.

The Redbirds finally created separation by netting five unearned runs with two outs in the sixth inning, and pocketed an 11-6 victory in MABA Senior Babe Ruth League action.

Second baseman Brad Bess finished 3-for-4 with four RBI and Levi Moss chipped in two singles with two runs scored for the Redbirds.

Bess capped a three-run opening frame with a two-RBI single after an error extended the scoring threat. Garrett Coffman made the score 4-0 with a RBI single in the second.

Redbirds starter Dante Castro quickly struck out five straight batters early in the action, but a leadoff walk to No. 9 batter Cody Thomas turned into a tying Cyclones rally in the third inning.

Kory Kelley lifted a double down the right-field line, and two-out singles by Jordan Harper and Ryan Benson brought the visitors even at 4-4 after Chase Kelly contributed a RBI ground out.

L.J. Weible kept the score even after inheriting runners at the corners, and was the eventual winning pitcher after cruising through the fourth.

Levi Earnest walked eight and fanned 11 in defeat, falling one out shy of a complete game. He allowed only two earned runs, which helped the Redbirds regain a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the fourth.

Moss blooped a RBI single after pinch-hitter Jake Swain drew a leadoff walk, and Garrett Coffman remained in a rundown long enough for Moss to cross home plate with a key insurance run.

Arcadia Valley looked to retaliate in the fifth, but Coffman preserved a 6-5 edge with a ground ball and strikeout after Harper brought Chase Kelley in with a long double to center field.

Tyler Pearl induced the final four outs to earn the save, including a pivotal called strikeout as the Cyclones stranded a runner at second base.

Earnest was forced to work around six defensive errors, and emerged from the fifth inning unscathed after Jon Stabenow singled, Eric Thompson walked and Bess bunted for an infield hit.

But the Redbirds converted a similar situation in the sixth to break the game open. Josh Scheffius scored when a passed ball was thrown wildly to the covering pitcher at home for a 7-5 lead.

Bess followed with his second two-run single of the night, and additional scoring occurred on Castro’s infield hit and a subsequent error.

Benson added a RBI single against Pearl in the seventh, and was among five Cyclones with multiple hits.

Chase Kelley went 2-for-3 with two runs scored while Kory Kelley, Harper and leadoff batter Micah Casteel each had a double and single.

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