Pictures by Isaiah Daies (@dlflics)
Pictures by Isaiah Daies (@dlflics)

Kai So, Buchholz Bobcats Pull 7-6 Win in Rematch vs Gainesville High

Game Preview

On the last night of Buchholz ESPN coverage for the season, the Bobcats invited the Gainesville Hurricanes for a rematch of the 9-0 shutout they performed on Wednesday. Out of reach of the .500 record they envisioned, the Hurricanes hoped to even the score of this series with a win.

Game Notables, Innings 1-3

The first inning seemed to pick up right off after the last game, with 5 runs scored between the two teams. Scott Jones started at pitcher tonight and was able to keep most pitches over the plate.  

For the Hurricanes, Tyler Guarino took the mound. Guarino and did a decent job throwing strikes across the plate. However, Gainesville seemed to be unable to fix the mistakes from their last outing. Hits from the Bobcats in this game had less air under them, which made the fast-rolling ground balls harder to snatch up by the Hurricane outfield that had no problem catching fly balls. Players such as Kai So did a great job threading the needle of the already mediocre Hurricane outfield. In addition, Buchholz was able to straight out-hustle the Hurricanes in multiple instances in their offensive stretches. A big stolen base from Noah Hayse raised the lead to 5. 

The Hurricanes introduced Colton Kelly at pitcher yet again in the third inning. This change helped a decent amount to stifle the Buchholz batting attack. #24 Donny Hiebert hit a huge double to stifle the pressure the Gainesville defense was putting on them. A debatable call from the referees swapped the two teams before the Buchholz fans could get inside the head of Kelly more than they already were. Buchholz followed this momentum up with 2 errors in a row on the outfield, which turned a single from #16 Jesus Canizalez into a triple. Despite this shortcoming, the Bobcats recovered quickly and racked up 3 outs before any batters could cross home plate. 6-2 at the end of the third, Buchholtz lead.

Game Notables, Innings 4-7

The beginning of the fourth inning saw Colton Kelly go for a new strategy and start aiming for the ankles of the opposing team. The Buchholz stands added insult to injury and put out some of the best chirps they have came up with this entire season. Noah Hayse walked to first base, grateful that he had his ankle protector on. 2 outs later, Kelly tried this strategy again while Kyle Brewer would limp to first. No ankle protector to save him this time around. With bases loaded, #2 Nick Taylor could not get any of his men on base. After a routine defensive shutout from the Bobcats, the inning would end the same way it began. 6-2 Buchholz. 

The next big moment in the game would come in the sixth inning when we would see some spotty pitching work from JJ Gardner. JJ would showcase his arm strength in this possession. However, his pitch accuracy would lead to problems once the bases were loaded. After a couple more walks and some big errors, the game was tied at 6 at the time of the next Buchholz batting possession. With the game on the line, #19 Kai So would make the play of the game. So hit a huge triple that almost cleared the back fence to put the Bobcats up 7-6 at the end of the sixth inning.

In the seventh inning, the Bobcats swapped out their pitching attack to opt for #6 Conner Brown. Brown was able to able to keep each of his pitches in the strike box. This led to a quick 2 outs for the Bobcats. A first base play that ended up being overturned led to a final out for the Bobcats and ended the game 7-6.

Interviews from Kai So and his father:

About Tyler Kenyon

Tyler Kenyon is a Tampa, FL native who is a third-year journalism and business student at the University of Florida.

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