On a cold night for baseball, there was plenty of heat thanks to a couple of fireballers on the mound.
Division I signees Michael Bollmer of Bryan Station and Walker Buehler of Henry Clay hooked up in a riveting pitchers' duel in close-to-freezing temperatures Wednesday night.
The fifth-ranked Defenders had the warmer feeling at the end of the night after rallying for a 2-1 victory.
Bollmer, a senior right-hander who's headed to Louisville, had 16 strikeouts and gave up just two hits in going the full seven innings. His fastball was clocked at close to 90 mph.
Buehler, a senior righty who's going to Vanderbilt, gave up three hits, two walks and two runs, and struck out 12 in 52⁄3 innings for the unranked Blue Devils. His heater was clocked in the low 90s.
"When you have two big-time pitchers like this, strikeouts are going to happen," Bryan Station Coach Eddie Brooks said. "The cold weather isn't going to affect anybody in a district game when the kids are pumped up and the adrenaline is flowing.
"Michael did what a senior is supposed to do — go out and throw a gem for us. (Buehler) did the same for Henry Clay."
Bollmer said he struggled early on. He walked Clay Lawless to start the game, and two batters later Buehler delivered an RBI double.
But Bollmer blanked the Devils the rest of the way. He struck out the side in the sixth and seventh innings.
"I knew it'd be a really good pitchers' duel," Bollmer said. "I had to bring my 'A' game. I told coach from the fourth inning on that I was just getting warmed up and I was good to go."
Buehler escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth inning by getting the last two outs on called third strikes.
But Bryan Station did score in the fifth. Chris Laporte doubled and moved to third on a balk. Ryne Combs followed with a grounder to third, and Laporte was caught in a run-down. But Laporte avoided getting tagged until Combs had made his way to third.
Michael Morton then delivered a sacrifice fly to tie it.
The Defenders scratched out the winning run in the sixth. Elijah Burdette singled with one out, went to second on a pick-off error and to third on a wild pitch. He scored on a passed ball.
"We made some mistakes," Brooks said, "but we were lucky enough to capitalize on mistakes Henry Clay made."
Bryan Station beat district rival Scott County 2-1 on Tuesday night thanks to UK signee Ryne Combs' 14-strikeout performance. The Defenders beat district rival Henry Clay by the same score, with 16 K's by Bollmer.
"I'm blessed to have two Division I signee pitchers," Brooks said. "Not only are they Division I, they're great pitchers. They make me look like a great coach."
Henry Clay 100 000 0—1 2 2
Bryan Station 000 011 x—2 4 1
Walker Buehler, Reilly Poulton (6) and Jordan Seeberger. Michael Bollmer and Jordan Lewis. 2B—Buehler (HC), Chris Laporte (BS).
Records: Henry Clay 8-4; Bryan Station 10-3