Ferndale boys take Class B crown

Sunday, June 01, 2003 In fact, it could have gone on and on and on, the teams were that close.

Ryan Pedrotti made sure it didn't go too far, however.

Pedrotti's two-run home run in the eighth inning ended the game that neither team seemingly wanted to end, giving Ferndale an 11-9 victory and the school its first baseball championship under the current NCS format.

It was the school's third championship of the year, the second in less than four hours (the Wildcats' softball team won the NCS title earlier in the day). Ferndale's football team won the NCS title in the fall.

St. Bernard's, meanwhile, was looking for its third consecutive NCS title, having won the previous two Class B championships. The school has won eight baseball championships since 1975.

Pedrotti came to bat with teammate Adam Bugenig on second base and one out and hit a chest-high fast ball just beyond the left field fence to end a game that was as exciting as some of the previous matchups between the two schools.

Just a week earlier, Lucas Miranda and Ferndale outdueled Cody Flynn and St. Bernard's 1-0, with the game's only run coming in the first inning, in a game that gave the Wildcats the automatic playoff berth from the Little Four. The teams ended the regular conference season 10-2, forcing the playoff to determine the designated champion.

And with Miranda and Flynn the designated starters for the NCS finale, it reasoned that the game would mirror the earlier one.

However, the only thing similar was the final margin of victory.

In the first inning, the first four St. Bernard's batters got on base, three on Ferndale errors, and the first five Ferndale batters got on base.

By the time the inning was over, Ferndale had a 4-3 lead.

After that, the game was tied twice and the lead changed hands five times as both teams were relentless in not giving it away.

Miranda had a series of misplays in the opening inning as Ferndale committed three errors. None of St. Bernard's three first-inning runs was earned.

However, the Wildcats came back in their half of the inning to go ahead.

Ian Renner, Brandon Holliday, Adam Bugenig, Miranda and Ryan Pedrotti all reached base before the first out, a force play.

Then, Aaron Paine and Tyler Toste also reached base, but Cory Sutton and Renner struck out to end the inning.

Ferndale added single runs in the second (the first of two home runs by Miranda), third and sixth (the second of Miranda's home runs).

St. Bernard's got five runs in the sixth to take a 9-6 lead.

In thesixth, with one out, Ben Horton reached on an error, Hawk Obie was hit by the pitch, Todd Morris doubled in two runs, Flynn and Ross Long walked, loading the bases.

A double by Ryan Long, who had two singles and two doubles, drove in Morris and Flynn, and Sam Morris was hit by the pitch. A ground out by Joe Davis then drove in Ross Long with the fifth run of the inning.

However, the Crusaders didn't score after that, though getting a men on first and third with one out in the seventh and runners on second and third with one out in the eighth.

Miranda, a workhorse, measured up, getting a strikeout and infield out to end the seventh and striking out the final two St. Bernard's batters to end the eighth.

Flynn, on the other hand, came out after six innings. He struck out 10, walked four and hit two, and Ferndale had men on base in every inning.

St. Bernard's, meanwhile, got solid play again by Obie, the sophomore third baseman who reached base the first four times he came to bat, and by Ross Long, the sophomore first baseman was on base four of the five times he came to bat.

Like Ferndale, the Crusaders also had men on base in every inning and wound up leaving 13. Ferndale left eight men on base.


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