On the final night of the Don Gutteridge League regular season Wednesday evening at JayCee Ballpark, Commerce Bank responded well to the adversity of giving up its early 7-1 lead with enough big plays down the stretch to win against Pepsi, 10-7.

On the final night of the Don Gutteridge League regular season Wednesday evening at JayCee Ballpark, Commerce Bank responded well to the adversity of giving up its early 7-1 lead with enough big plays down the stretch to win against Pepsi, 10-7.

“I’m not sure if it was to do with any motivational speeches we gave them,” Commerce Bank manager John Clark said. “Our guys don’t like to do a bad job. They knew when they came in (after that five-run inning) they had made some mistakes and met the challenge. We’ve had that happen all season and they’ve responded well all season.”

Commerce Bank scored six of its seven first inning runs with two outs. Dante Richardson drove in starting pitcher Kaleb Hamilton and James Clark with a single, Jeremy Lawson singled home Conner Spresser, Dakota Moback singled in Richardson and Lawson scored on the throw into the infield, which also moved Moback to second base. Moback scored on a Pepsi error.

“We were the beneficiary of some walks and the guys came out and did a nice job the first inning,” John Clark said. “We hit the ball well and scored some runs. They made some mistakes and we took advantage.”

Pepsi slugger Bryce Blockburger opened the top half of the second in style, with a double hit over the head of Commerce Bank right fielder Moback, who recovered to make an accurate relay throw to James Clark. Blockburger almost ran himself out of an extra-base hit as he overran the bag and just got back in time before Clark’s throw into second.

Blockburger later scored on a bases loaded walk by Christian Dalton and two fielding errors also contributed to five Pepsi runs, which narrowed the Commerce Bank lead to 7-6. Pepsi starting pitcher Grant Moser supported himself with a two-run single that scored Dalton and Tucker Hoffman.

“We gave up five runs in the second,” John Clark said. “I wasn’t real pleased with that second inning. We had some miscues ourselves that inning. It’s hot out, you don’t have 100 percent focus and you make little mistakes that cost you runs.”

Leading off the bottom of the second, Commerce Bank shortstop Drew Dawson rocketed one to deep left center, only to be robbed by center fielder Hoffman on a direct line dash to the ball. Then, in the next half-inning, Dalton plated Blockburger with the game-tying run.

Drake Markley led off the Commerce Bank third with a double and scored on a wild pitch, giving back the home team the lead.

“We came back and didn’t let up,” John Clark said. “It was a good game.”

Neither team scored in the fourth and fifth innings. In the fifth, Commerce Bank reliever Spresser pitched his way out of a one out, bases loaded jam with a little help from his friends behind him. Hoffman flied out to left fielder Dylan Lawrence and Spresser fielded his position for the final out, retiring Lucas Redd and ending the Pepsi rally on a 1-3 groundout.

“Our two pitchers did a nice job on the mound,” John Clark said. “We played some good defense to finish out the game, to finish out the regular season.”

Commerce Bank scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth, before the game was called.

Don Gutteridge baseball
At JayCee Ballpark
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Commerce Bank 10, Pepsi 7 (game ended with one out in the bottom of the sixth; 1 hour, 45 minute time limit)
Pepsi             151 000 — 7 7 2
Commerce    701 002 — 10 9 2
Grant Moser, Spencer Massoth (4) and Lucas Redd, Bryce Blockburger (3), Redd (5). Kaleb Hamilton, Conner Spresser (4) and Dante Richardson, Hamilton (6). WP — Spresser. LP — Moser. 2B — Blockburger; Drake Markley, Spresser. SB — Jeremy Lawson 2, Hamilton. LOB — Pepsi 7, Commerce 4.