Bucks win another via the mercy rule

FARWELL – A season ago, the Bucktail Bucks baseball team finished its season with just one win, the lone success coming when it split a season series against Sugar Valley Rural Charter School. Although plenty of hard work lies in front of them, the young Bucks improved to 3-0 when they defeated Sugar Valley, 21-6, on Tuesday.

Bucktail has won all three of its games by mercy rule which now includes a sweep over Sugar Valley and a Monday evening win at Galeton.

“We’re making contact with the ball throughout the entire line-up. We’re not a team that has that one player that carries us, we’re a blue collar team and at anytime anyone of our players could be the one that we call on when we need a key at bat” said Bucktail coach Bill Probst.

Evidence of that came just minutes earlier when Matt Hoffman knocked in Trevor Burrows for the game-winning RBI. Hoffman is one of those players that is still learning and likely won’t register a lot of at bats this season, but the sophomore made the most of his opportunity when he hit a shallow fly to right field to give the Bucks a fifteen run lead in the fourth inning, ending the game.

Sugar Valley’s starting pitcher Brandon Flick actually gave his team an early lead when he knocked in Danny Boone and Garrett Walizer in the top of the first on a two out two RBI hit to center.

The Bucks answered quickly in the bottom of the first as Logan Long and Gage Sutliff each picked up two RBIs singles while Cameron Sockman’s single scored one. Bucktail took a 6-2 after the first.

Sugar Valley took advantage of six walks in the top of the second inning and an RBI single by Boone to go back up 5-2 before the Bucks went with a pitching change to Cameron Sockman.

Sockman came in with the bases loaded and walked the first batter. It would basically be his only mistake on the mound.

After settling in and picking up an out, Sockman would not allow a hit in the third or fourth innings allowing his team to start to go to work at the plate.

Gage Sutliff led the offensive attack going 5 for 5 with four singles and a triple as he picked up five RBIs. Tanner Riggle went 4 for 4 and Liam Dwyer added a two-RBI single to right as the bats caught fire for the home team. The Bucks increased the lead to 20-6 in the bottom of the fourth behind two of Sutliff’s RBIs before the Hoffman walk-off. The Bucks combined for 17 hits as a team.

“Cameron did really well for us tonight, after that walk he was basically lights out, that’s how it’s going to need to be all season, we’re going to have to lean on different guys, last night (Monday at Galeton) it was Logan Long and Tanner Riggle that gave us big innings from the mound.

“I can’t say enough too about our volunteer coaching staff. Casey Friese, Butch Francis, Frank Sutliff and Jared Hulbert have such a wealth of knowledge and communicate so well, I’m very fortunate to have those guys on board” Probst said.

Bucktail 629 4 — 21

Sugar Valley 240 0 — 6

Top Bucktail hitters: Sutliff 5-5, 2 runs; Riggle 4-4, 4 runs; Devin Serafini 2-4, 2 runs; John Francis 1-3, 3 runs; Hoffman 1-1; Logan Long 1-1, run; Will Kelly, run; Richard Perry 1-2, 3 runs; Sockman 1-3, 3 runs; Liam Dwyer 1-2, run; Kenny Winkelman, 2 runs. Top Sugar Valley hitters: Boone 1-3, 2 runs; Walizer 1-2, run; Namaan Conway run; Flick 1-2; Jared Blackwell, run; Chris Aungst, run.