Tyler Brown provided the edge that his Alvirne High School baseball team needed to break from a stalemate with Bedford on Wednesday.
Brown struck out eight batters, allowed three hits and chalked up the game’s only RBI in the Broncos’ 1-0 Division I win over the Bulldogs. The lone run came in the top of the third when Brown blasted a sacrifice fly to left field that drove home his brother, Danny Brown, from third.
“I knew I was going to hit the first fastball I saw and it hit the end of the bat, but it worked out,” Tyler Brown said.
Danny Brown led off the inning with a pop to right field for a double, then proceeded to third on Matthew McKinley’s bunt.
“Some days you come out here and you just have to tip your cap to the other team,” said Bedford coach Billy Chapman. “It came down to one play that was the difference in the game and their pitcher did a heck of a job keeping us down today.”
The Bulldogs (6-6) were silent on the scoreboard, but still turned up base runners with the help of three walks, but the Alvirne defense was able to clamp down each time.
“(Brown) isn’t trying to strike everybody out because he knows the defense is going to be there for him,” Alvirne coach Mike Lee said.
Bedford nearly countered the Broncos’ score in the ensuing frame when Nicholas Angelini cracked a shot to left field for a double, then stole third, but was stranded when Brett Veilleux flied out to center field.
The Alvirne (7-4) defense came up big again in the bottom of the fourth when Brown walked to the first two batters, but scooped up a Grayson
Jennings bunt and whipped a throw to third getting the lead base runner out.
“By the last couple of innings he was in the mid-80s when he needed to be,” Lee said. “That’s what good pitchers do. He paced himself well so at the end he would have that little extra.”
Brown was in position to put more runs on the board in the top of the seventh with runners at the corners, but drove a shot into the torso of Bedford pitcher Ryan Lang and was thrown out at first.
“Our pitcher did a very good job of keeping us in the game,” said Chapman. “He learned how to pitch himself out of those jams when he needed to. He established his changeup early and that was the key to his pitching today.”
Lang (four strikeouts, four walks) let up five hits to the Broncos, but left eight base runners stranded and got out of another jam in the top of the first with runners at second and third.
“Their pitcher did a nice job of keeping us off balance and getting the big out when he needed it,” Lee said.
Alvirne closed out the final frame with a 1-2-3 inning, the last of its three on the day.
“I just made sure that I stayed smart and didn’t give them any bases,” said Brown.
The Broncos have now won seven of their last eight after dropping their first three games by a total of five runs. The loss snaps a five-game winning streak for Bedford.
“We’re in it for the long haul,” said Lee.