BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - Bayport-Blue Point starting pitcher Chris Brewer shouted into his mitt during the fifth inning of a baseball Class A state final Saturday after failing to cleanly field a sharply hit comebacker.
At the time, Brewer had just allowed the tying run to score in a championship game and there were runners on first and third with only one out after the play.
"I was upset at that play because I saw the guy who was on third hanging off the base and I knew if I caught that, then we're out of the inning," Brewer said, sporting a blue mohawk. "Once that run scored, I got my anger out."
A visit to the mound by assistant coach Asa Grunenwald followed, and Brewer induced his second double play of the game to get out of the jam a few pitches later.
It was just that kind of a day for the senior righthander on the mound. Brewer didn't exactly struggle through a complete game win, 5-3, at NYSEG Stadium against Williamsville South (Buffalo), yet he certainly labored through seven tough innings. Brewer allowed eight hits, four walks and three earned runs, and struck out one.
What Brewer consistently did well was pitch out of jams. Only once did he finish an inning without allowing a batter to reach base. Yet four times he finished an inning without allowing a run.
"He's an ultimate, ultimate competitor," coach James Moccio said. "We wanted to see him gut it out."
The bottom of the seventh was no different from five of the six previous innings for Brewer, in terms of allowing a runner to reach base. With two outs in an inning in which Williamsville South had already scored a run, there was a runner on first and the tying run at the plate. Yet as he had done all game, Brewer used his two-seam fastball and got the final batter to ground out to clinch a state championship and undefeated season for BBP.
Afterward, instead of shouting into his mitt, his glove was thrown in the air in jubilation before teammates swarmed the mound.
"After that line drive in the fifth came out of my glove, I was starting to get worried," Brewer said. "But at the end of the game, it was just the greatest feeling ever knowing we couldn't have done any better."