King went the distance for the Bears and gave up only two hits and walked two.
The Blue Raiders (2-5, 1-2 5-AAA) get a shot at redemption when the series with the Bears (3-2, 2-1) concludes tonight at Raider Field. The first pitch is scheduled for 7 p.m.
“It’s just like we draw it up,” joked Bears coach Travis Adams as the teams exited the field. “That was a testament to Ty keeping them in check. We wasted a lot of opportunities. I didn’t keep count of how many we left on base, but we needed somebody to punch one through and it just didn’t happen. That’s just the way it goes.”
Colin Tippett took the loss for Cleveland, spreading out five hits while fanning three Bears and walking three and hitting two batters. Both Bradley runs were earned.
“It was a good game. Their pitcher threw good, our pitcher threw good, a mistake here and there was the difference in the game,” said a philosophical Cleveland coach Ted Carson. “We didn’t have many opportunities but the one time we did have the chance we scored.”
King lost a chance at a perfect game after thumping a Blue Raider in the top of the fourth but still had a no-hitter working until Jay McIntire picked up the first Cleveland hit with a single in the sixth.
The Bears took a 1-0 lead in the lower half of the second on singles by Tanner Cox and Caleb Pace.
Cox kept King’s no-hitter on track with a brilliant diving stop of a scorching ground ball off the bat of Cleveland’s Taylor Thompson. A perfect throw to first nailed Thompson and King finished the inning with his 13th K.
“We made some good plays. We had a couple of good plays at third and short. The last play at third was obviously a good play, but once again it goes back to Ty. He kept us in the game and they were on everything. Hats off to him, he’s a competitor,” said Adams.
The otherwise routine battle between the Bears and Raiders took a turn for the controversial in the bottom half of the fifth.
With Bears on first and third with two outs, Tippett made what appeared to be a routine fake throw to first before turning to try and catching Bradley’s Pace asleep off the bag at third. The move prompted Adams into a discussion with both the base and home plate umpires. After Adams’ exit, the officials’ dialogue continued, ending with an eventual reversal of the call to a balk and sending Pace home with the second Bradley Central run, and Carson to the plate umpire. A heated fulmination from Carson yielded no results and the call stood, with the Bears taking a 2-1 lead.
The difference of opinion apparently carried over to the bottom of the sixth resulting in the ejection of a Blue Raider with one out in the inning. When play resumed, the Bears were unable to push another run across, leaving two runners stranded.
“They had some runners on and our defense did a great job. Colin threw a great game and kept them from scoring. It was right down to the wire. The last hit (of the game), the shortstop made a good catch to keep the game from being tied,” said Carson.
King got ground balls to third in the top half of the seventh before Connor Mitchell picked up the second Cleveland hit in front of a walk to Derek Nichols. The Bradley junior got a routine fly ball to center field to give the Bears the win.
“I’m glad we came out and won the game, especially because of Ty’s effort. But our timely hitting is going to have to come around. Two-out hits are going to win games. We’ve got to figure out a way to do it,” said the Bears coach.
BEARS 2, BLUE RAIDERS 1
Cleveland 000 100 0 — 1 2 2
Bradley Central 010 010 x — 2 5 1
WP: Ty King (1-0) 2 H, 13 Ks. LP: Colin Tippet (0-2) 5 H, 3 Ks. Highlights: Caleb Pace 2-3, run scored, RBI. Records: Cleveland 2-5, 1-2, 5-AAA; Bradley Cental 3-2, 2-1.