Frostburg wins wild 13-inning battle of bullpens over Wilmington, 4-3

Apr. 17—FROSTBURG — There are bullpen games, and then there's what happened at Bob Wells Field on Tuesday.

After 13 innings and 20 combined pitchers, Frostburg State walked-off Wilmington 4-3 on Tuesday,

"What was going through my head was let's get a hit," Frostburg head coach Anthony Williams said. "We hadn't scored a run since the first inning so we just wanted to scratch one across, any way we could. That team did a really nice job holding runners and limited our running game. Credit to them, they really competed well."

The Bobcats (25-9) took a 3-0 lead in the first inning off a Randy Steen RBI double to left and a Logan Helser two-run double to right.

In the third and fifth innings, Jack McDonald hit RBI singles to tie the game at 3.

McDonald and Tyler Pirrun led the Wildcats (20-14) with two hits, McDonald drove in three RBIs.

From here, the story became the battle of the bullpens.

Through the first nine innings, the Wildcats sent nine pitchers to the mound.

None lasted more than 1 1/3 innings with seven consecutive throwing one inning each.

"That's the first time we've ever played them, so we don't know much about their roster," Williams said. "I think both teams are fighting for a regional berth, so this was an important midweek game. I think everybody's taking their best shot."

The Bobcats had a shorter leash for their arms. Through eight innings, Frostburg used eight pitchers.

While four of the eight went at least 1 1/3 innings, four straight left with either one or two outs recorded.

"It's a midweek game, we wanna get one inning, maybe two innings max," Williams said of the short leash. "Keep the guys fresh for the weekend. We didn't have Ethan (Kiple) yesterday, so this was a good day to throw multiple innings."

After both teams seemingly emptied their bullpen, both teams finally found someone to give them length.

Brandon Gryg went three innings for Wilmington, entering in the 10th.

He threw three shutout innings, only allowing two hits with a strikeout.

Kiple entered in the 10th for the Bobcats.

He had a runner on in the 10th and the 11th, but stranded both.

He allowed a double to Pirrun in the 12th, followed by an intentional walk to put two on with two outs.

After a double steal put both runners in scoring position, Kiple faced a full count against Tyler Buntin.

Kiple got the called strike to strand the runners and keep the game tied.

"Biggest thing, the fastball in, fastball away," Kiple said of what was working best. "Curveball I could just spin it for a strike at all times. Kinda kept my changeup to the side, in my back pocket in case I needed it for later."

Kiple earned the win, allowing three hits and two walks (one intentional) with four strikeouts.

In the top of the 13th, Chase Flemlin sent a fly ball to shallow center.

Steen tracked it and made a diving catch for the second out.

"I think a lot of times in these extra inning games, momentum can shift," Williams said. "That was certainly a momentum-shifting play."

Steen, who led the Bobcats with three hits and an RBI, led off the bottom of the 13th with a hard ground ball past third base for a single.

He stole second two batters later, then Mikey Guy drew a walk.

On a 2-0 count the next at-bat, Ryan Bouma hit a fly ball into the right center gap.

It banged off the bottom of the fence for a walk-off double.

"It was a sigh of relief, we were in that game for so long," Bouma said. "I was just relieved I finally got a hit. I wasn't playing too well hitting wise."

The record for most pitchers used by both teams is too absurd to easily find, however, a Division II game on April 11, 2015 between Minnesota State and Bemidji State is a strong contender.

The Mavericks and Beavers each used eight pitchers in a 41-20 Minnesota State win.

The teams combined for 56 hits which is an NCAA record.

The major league record is 25 combined pitchers on Sept. 25, 2019.

The Colorado Rockies defeated the San Francisco Giants 8-5 in 16 innings.

The Bobcats head to Salem for a pair of doubleheaders beginning on Saturday at 1 p.m.

"That's a big win, that's against a really good team we might face down the road," Kiple said. "So to get that win under our belt, have a tight game like that and come out victorious, that's huge for us."

Jordan Kendall is a Sports Writer for the Cumberland Times-News. Email him with scores and story suggestions at