Brady Boling's 40-foot infield single was as productive as a 350-foot line drive off the wall as Bryan Station rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh to beat district rival Henry Clay 2-1 Wednesday night.
That's the beauty of baseball, said Bryan Station Coach Eddie Brooks: "Brady's swinging bunt tonight will look like a line drive in the gap in the books tomorrow."
Boling's hit capped a thrilling comeback for the Defenders, who were locked down by Henry Clay ace Walker Buehler until their last at-bat.
Buehler, who had an 11-strikeout no-hitter in his last start on the Blue Devils' spring-break trip to Florida, held Bryan Station to one hit and struck out nine in six innings.
The Defenders didn't go down quietly in the seventh, though.
Chris Laporte led off by stinging a double down the left-field line, and he went to third on a passed ball.
Buehler struck out the next batter, but pinch-hitter Brandon Mayle-George laced a single to right to chase home Laporte with the tying run.
After Ryne Combs walked, both runners moved up on another passed ball. That brought Boling to the plate.
Buehler had gotten Boling out earlier on a breaking ball. "His curve is sick, just nasty," Boling said. "I knew he'd throw it again, and I knew I had to put it in play."
With a 1-2 count and two outs, Buehler went with his curve again, but this time Boling nicked it just enough to send a slow roller that hugged the third base line. No play was made, and the winning run scored.
Combs, a junior left-hander, started on the mound for Bryan Station. He worked five innings, gave up just one run — Reilly Poulton's infield single got the RBI for Henry Clay — and had five strikeouts and no walks.
Bren Redmon came on in relief and threw no-hit ball the last two innings. He had three K's.
"Both were on tonight," said Boling, Bryan Station's senior catcher. "Ryne came out chucking it ... and Bren came in and did exactly what he's supposed to do. He's one of our best closers, and he got the job done."
Brooks said a last-gasp rally in a game that featured terrific pitching and error-free defense is good for the soul.
"It's fun to watch, fun to play and fun to coach a game like this," he said. "And when you can find a way to win, it's something you can build upon and you can pat yourself on the back for a day."
Henry Clay Coach Jordan Tarrence said he thought early on Buehler was throwing well enough that one run might be enough to win.
"But I kept telling our guys we needed to score more than one," he said. "We blew several chances."
When Bryan Station got a runner at third with no outs in the bottom of the seventh, Tarrence felt Buehler could get out of the jam.
"But their guy (Mayle-George) did a good job as a pinch hitter and with a full count got a base hit.
"Give them credit. They did what they had to do to beat us."
Brooks was as relieved as he was happy.
"When you're matched against a guy like Buehler, you know it's gonna be a dogfight," he said. "We got lucky and won this one."
Henry Clay 000 100 0—1 6 0
Bryan Station 000 000 2—2 4 0
Walker Buehler and James Hendron. Ryne Combs, Bren Redmon (6) and Brady Boling. 2B--Chris Laporte (BS).
Records—Henry Clay 5-7; Bryan Station 5-2