Brownsburg built a three-run lead Monday night, but county rival Avon tried to take advantage of shaky pitching and fielding in its final at-bat before reliever Michael Klayer delivered the final out, giving the visiting Bulldogs a 4-3 victory.
Brownsburg coach Eric Mattingly wore a grin that spoke volumes.
“We made it close at the end,” Mattingly said. “There were a few mistakes, but Triston (Polley) pitched well, and Michael Klayer did the job when we needed it.”
Avon coach Troy Drosche felt his team could have walked away with a victory.
“We gave ourselves an opportunity to win at the end, and it just did not happen,” Drosche said.
Brownsburg’s pitching trio of Caleb Sampen, Polley and Klayer limited the Orioles to four hits, while the defense behind them delivered two double plays.
Avon nearly took the victory away in the final inning after catcher Cole Bennett opened with a double, two hitters reached on errors and a third reached after being hit by Polley. Ultimately, Avon plated two runs in the seventh inning.
In the early innings, both teams put base runners on, but Brownsburg did the better job of creating runs.
Tyler Houston opened the first with a triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Ryan Robbins. Two innings later, Houston reached base, while singles for Anthony Travelsted, Ryan Robbins and Sampen gave Brownsburg a 3-0 lead.
Avon had its chances, and loaded the bases in the first and third, but couldn't covert those into more runs.
“Early we had opportunities to score runs, and that was the difference,” Drosche said. “Brownsburg had opportunities and scored. We just needed to put the ball in play and put more pressure on the defense when we had the chance to score.”
Andrew Dishinger, making his first varsity start, delivered the second double play in the fifth inning and bailed out Polley. Dishinger ended Avon's threat by catching a sharp line drive by Chandler Sanburn, and throwing out Jake Smith as he tried to return to second base.
“Defense and pitching wins games,” Mattingly said. “Dishinger came up with some huge (defensive) plays.”
The win improved Brownsburg to 9-7 overall and 4-5 in the Hoosier Crossroads Conference. Avon fell to 11-8, but at 5-4 in the HCC, stayed ahead of the Bulldogs in the conference race.