Vikings collapse in seventh|[04/20/08]

Published 12:00 am Sunday, April 20, 2008

Heading into the seventh inning Saturday, Warren Central seemed to be cruising toward a win. With one out in the seventh, they were in great shape. With two outs, they were still OK. By the time the third out was recorded, the Vikings were wondering what had hit them.

Brandon overcame a three-run deficit by scoring seven times in the top of the seventh — including the last five runs with two outs — and beat Warren Central 9-5. Zach Farrar went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI singles for Brandon (15-11), including the hit that drove in the go-ahead run. Brandon sent 13 batters to the plate in the seventh inning, and was helped by two walks and three WC errors.

Warren Central also hurt itself by squandering several early scoring opportunities. The Vikings stranded four runners in scoring position in the first three innings and had a runner thrown out at third in the fourth.

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“We couldn’t get an out. One out,” WC coach Randy Broome said. “It’s just a snowball effect. The first error, and everybody says here we go again. People start playing not to lose instead of to win.”

Brandon’s late rally spoiled an otherwise perfect Senior Day for WC’s Jonathan Longmire.

The right-hander has battled elbow pain all season long and had thrown only 8 1/3 innings this season coming into Saturday’s game. He went 6 2/3 innings against Brandon, allowing no earned runs and eight hits in his longest outing of the season. He walked two and struck out two, and also drove in two runs with a fifth-inning double to put Warren Central ahead 4-2.

“I felt pretty confident; the most I had all year. It’s the first game I hadn’t had any pain and I was bringing it up until the seventh,” Longmire said.

WC added another run in the fifth and led 5-2 going into the final inning. Brandon put two runners on via a leadoff walk and an error, but Longmire got two straight groundouts to put WC on the brink of victory. The third out proved a lot tougher to get.

After Kyle Tabor’s groundout brought in a run to cut it to 5-3, Jason Hicks followed with a single to pull Brandon within a run and Temple Harvey singled to put runners at first and second and end Longmire’s day.

Adam Lee relieved Longmire, but didn’t fare any better. Farrar singled to left to bring in the tying run, an easy grounder to short was booted to load the bases, and a bases-loaded walk brought in the go-ahead run. Another error and an RBI double by Matt Anthony led to three more Brandon runs and put the Bulldogs ahead 9-5.

Warren Central was retired in order in the seventh to end it.

“Not much to explain that. We needed one out and couldn’t do it,” Longmire said. “We played hard all day. We just didn’t finish.”