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By Megan Phelps
On Friday, July 3rd it was Christmas in July at Buck Bowman Park. Clover Hill had strung up lights around the stands and it was a sight to see! Christmas in July has been held at Clover Hill for about 5 years now. It is a long-standing tradition that brings joy to the fanbase. Not only does it bring joy to the people attending the game, it also brings it to those in need.
Toys for Tots is an organization that gives donated toys to needy children at Christmas. Clover Hill puts on Christmas in July as a fundraiser for Toys for Tots. Chris Cofer originally initiated this event because he wanted to see the stadium covered in Christmas lights. Whitney Cofer says, “He always had the craziest ideas. He thought how cool would it be to light up the ballpark with Christmas lights? And we couldn’t really figure out a reason to do that, and then he said let’s do Toys for Tots.” Clover Hill fills at least three tubs full of donations for the organization every summer. She says the Clover Hill community is always looking for opportunities to give back and this is another way for everyone to help.
Whitney says that Clover Hill enjoys being different and doing things that no one else is doing. Christmas in July is not something you see every day. She enjoyed seeing the excitement on her husband’s face when they lit up the ballpark for the first time. If you missed the lights don’t worry because the stadium will be lit for the rest of the season. Whitney is proud of her community and their efforts to give back.
By Mitchell Broughton
One of the single most difficult achievements in sports is batting for the cycle — one player hitting a single, double, triple and home run in one game. Last night, during the Grottoes Cardinals 7-4 win over the Broadway Bruins, Austin Nicely appeared to be on his way to statistical glory.
After a weather delay at JMU’s Eagle Field, Austin Nicely started off the game in the top of the first with a single to right field. In his second at bat in the third inning, Nicely’s line drive shot through the right-center gap drove in two runs and landed him at third for a triple. In the top of the fifth, he doubled down the left-field line and later scored off of a two-run home run by Keegan Woolford. After three at-bats Austin Nicely was just a home run short of completing the cycle. In the top of the ninth, Nicely came up to the plate and crushed a fly ball to deep right field, carrying over Broadway right fielder Austin Martin’s head and landing just shy of the wall at the warning track for his second triple of the game. Nicely finished the game going 4-for-5 with two triples, a double, two RBIs, and scoring himself three times.
Other Cardinals pitched in offensively as well. Jacob Merica had two hits, a double, a stolen base and a run scored. Shortstop Isaiah Blanks also had two hits and a double, but drove in a run.
A trio of pitchers out of VCU, Justin Sorokowski, Mike Dailey and Jack Masloff, took the mound for Grottoes. Individually, the most impressive outing came from Dailey, striking out five in three innings giving up only two walks and one hit. In total the Cardinals pitching core struck out 11, walked three and gave up seven hits.
For the Bruins, Liam McDonnell pitched four innings in relief. McDonnell gave up five hits, no walks and two runs, but struck out seven. At the plate, Chase DeLauter had two hits and a triple and Tanner Skidmore hit a two-RBI double in the bottom of the eighth in an attempt to close the score gap.
Grottoes stays tied for first with Clover Hill at 5-1; Broadway moves to 4-2 and third place in the league standings. Both teams will meet again for the deciding rubber match of the 2020 season on Tuesday at Eagle Field.
FINAL: Grottoes 7 Broadway 4. Winning pitcher: Justin Sorokowski (2-0). Losing Pitcher: Trent Abernathy (0-1). Saving pitcher: Jack Masloff.
Around the League: Clover Hill completed its regular season sweep over Bridgewater, defeating the Reds 16-8 last night at Buck Bowman Park. The other two games, New Market vs. Stuarts Draft and Montezuma vs. Elkton, were postponed due to the weather and will be rescheduled to tonight.
Follow the RCBL on Twitter for more news, scores, and updates — twitter.com/RCBLonline
By Mitchell Broughton
It was Christmas in July last night at Buck Bowman Park and the Clover Hill fans not only got the gift of a 8-5 win over Bridgewater, but also a treat of witnessing some star performances.
On the mound for the Bucks were fan-favorites Nick Corbin and Eric Yankey. Corbin started out the game. Throwing five innings, he struck out four and gave up five hits and two runs. Coming in for another save opportunity in the eight inning, Eric Yankey did what he does best. Yankey finished the game with five strikeouts, no walks, and just two hits — amounting to his second save of 2020.
On offense, it was all Tyler Bocock. The shortstop reached base on all five of his appearances at the plate. In the bottom of the fourth, with two outs and bases loaded, it was Bocock who stepped up to the plate and sent a blast over the left field wall for a grand slam to break the 3-3 tie. Bocock finished the game with two hits and five RBIs.
Also stepping up at bat for the Bucks were Bryce Suters and Blake Sipe. Suters, a JMU commit, had a double in the second inning, successfully stole three of the team’s seven stolen bases, and scored twice. Sipe at center field had two singles and scored twice as well.
For the Bridgewater Reds, George Laase had quite the game in front of a group of spectators that one would assume to be his personal fan club by the cheers. Laase started out the game in the top of the first with a 2-RBI double to right field, scoring himself off of a Tanner Moyers sac fly. Derek Shifflett was also crucial to the Reds last night, going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Shifflett also came in to pitch to regain control of the seventh inning, striking out two batters.
Bridgewater moves to 3-2 on the year with both losses to Clover Hill. The Bucks improve to 4-1 and are now in a three-way tie for first place with Grottoes and Broadway. These two teams will face off for the final time in the regular season on Sunday July 5 at Buck Bowman Park, where Bridgewater will be the home team to the “visiting” Clover Hill Bucks.
FINAL: Clover Hill 8 Bridgewater 5. Winning pitcher: Nick Corbin. Losing pitcher: Tyler Showalter. Saving pitcher: Eric Yankey.
Around the County League: Two rather exciting games also took place last night. At Rebel Field in New Market, Matt Meiser’s go-ahead RBI double in the top of the ninth propelled the Broadway Bruins (4-1) past the New Market Shockers (2-3) for the second time this season 9-6. Broadway’s Tyler Ault was 5-for-5 on the evening with a double and Chase DeLauter had two hits of his own, including a triple in the third inning that scored two. Luke Estep had a RBI double for the Shockers.
Late inning heroics continued in the County League as Montezuma’s Jeremy Wagner had a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth to win the game for the Braves over the visiting Elkton Blue Sox 14-13. Wagner finished the game with three hits and five RBIs. Lee Carneal and Will Decker combined for five hits, 6 RBIs and 5 runs for the Blue Sox. That game moved Montezuma (2-4) ahead of Elkton (1-4) in the league standings.
Follow the RCBL on Twitter for news, scores, and updates — twitter.com/RCBLonline
By Mitchell Broughton
The Broadway Bruins extend their win streak to three in a decisive win over the Montezuma Braves 6-1 Wednesday night at Montezuma Ruritan Park.
Glenville State College pitcher Adam Riggleman enters the game out of the bullpen in the fifth to pitch five scoreless innings against the Braves. Riggleman struck out six and gave up only four hits and zero walks in 20 batters faced.
Starting on the mound for the Bruins was Chase DeLauter out of JMU. DeLauter started out the game at the plate with a solo home run into the corn fields behind the right field fence at Montezuma Ruritan park to open up the scoring for Broadway in the top of the first. He finished out a strong first inning striking out two. In four innings pitched, DeLauter struck out four while allowing two hits, three walks and the lone run.
On the mound for Montezuma at the start was Fluvanna County High School and VCU commit Andrew Ward. The lefty pitched five impressive innings for the Braves. He struck out five and allowed four hits and the solo HR by DeLauter. For the second game in a row, it was the relievers that struggled to find a rhythm for the Braves. Relieving Ward at the start of the sixth, Jakob King gave up a single to Broadway’s Tyler Ault and walked four in a row, including two runs to break the 1-1 tie. The five Montezuma pitchers gave up seven hits and six walks, but occasionally got something going striking out ten batters.
Broadway moves to 3-1 in 2020 and will travel back to Rebel Field in a rematch of their seven-inning win against the New Market Shockers. Montezuma falls to 1-4 but will host the Elkton Blue Sox on Friday night. Both games are scheduled for 7:30 first pitches.
FINAL: Broadway 6 Montezuma 1. Winning pitcher: Adam Riggleman. Losing pitcher: Jakob King.
— Around the League: Twenty-five hits were recorded between Elkton and Clover Hill. The Bucks beat the Blue Sox 20-13 in seven innings at Buck Bowman Park. Second baseman Kevin Kirk went 3-for-3 on the evening bringing in three runs for Clover Hill. Blake Sipe and Kevin Navedo both homered for the Bucks.
Jacob Grabeel’s go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth leads the Bridgewater Reds past the New Market Shockers 8-7 at Rebel Field. Calvin Pastel went 4-for-4 for the Shockers with a triple in the bottom of the second.
Still looking for the first win of the season, Stuarts Draft found hope taking Grottoes to extra innings. Cody Bartley’s RBI double in the top of the tenth gave the Diamondbacks the leading heading into the bottom of the inning, but it was Grottoes’ Isaiah Banks who won the game for the Cardinals with a walk-off 2-RBI double.
Follow the RCBL on Twitter for scores, updates, and news — twitter.com/RCBLonline
By Leyton Pullin
The Grottoes Cardinals defeated Stuarts Draft 6-5 in 10 Innings on Wednesday night.
Tucker Garrison got the start for Grottoes and the southpaw would toss 6 scoreless innings striking out 9 batters but wouldn’t get the decision as his counter part Jacob Matheney would throw 7 innings with two earned runs and struck out five. The scoring would start in the bottom of the 6th inning as the always dangerous Keegan Wolford would single and then Dylan Nicely would rip a double that would score Wolford giving the Cards a 1-0 lead. The D-backs would respond in the top of the 7th as Tanner Morris and Henry Cooke would reach on back to back walks. They would both score on a 2RBI double by Nate Burton who would later score giving Draft their first lead of the night at 3-1.
In the bottom of the 8th Grottoes would respond. Cam Irvine would lead off with a hard hit double and would score after an error allowed Jacob Merica to reach base who would also score. Keegan Woolford would walk and then be knocked in by a Dylan Nicely Double giving the Cards a 4-3 lead headed to the 9th. Tyler Pullin would come in for the save situation for the Cards. He would quickly hop out to two outs and an 0-2 count to Calen Owens who he would hit on the next pitch after a pitch got away on the inside half. He would eventually score on a rocket off the bat of Jack Pausic tying the game 4-4. Grottoes would load the bases in the bottom of the 9th but would come up short sending the game into extra innings. In the top of the 10th Will Hass would lead off the inning with a walk and would then score as Cody Bartley ripped a RBI double giving the D-backs a 5-4 lead.
Grottoes came to the plate in the bottom of the 10th as David Wood led off with a single followed by an Austin Nicely single to put two runners on for Jacob Dansey who would strike out. Then Isiah Blanks followed and hit a 2 RBI double to walk it off for the Cards giving them the win 6-5.
For Grottoes, pitcher Tyler Pullin said,” I’m not in the shape I should be but I want to thank the guys for backing me up and pushing the runs across,” after he gave up a run in the 9th and another in the 10th. Manager Tim Nicely said, “The big thing was our pitchers and defense keeping us in the game,” mimicking the team atmosphere Pullin talked about in the early season for the Cards. Tyler Pullin would pick up the win as the Card move to 4-1. Grottoes (4-1) will travel to Broadway in a rematch on Sunday.
For Stuarts Draft they drop to 0-4 but Manager Les Sandridge seemed to take away some positives from the loss, “Mentally we were right where we needed to be…. this is the team we needed and we crossed that crest.” Draft definitely found a positive on the mound in Jacob Matheney along with a new addition in Tanner Morris who made his presence felt in his first game of the season going 1 for 4 with a double and a stolen base. Stuarts Draft(0-4) will host New Market(2-2) on Sunday.
By Mitchell Broughton
A nine-run ninth inning rally leads the Bridgewater Reds past the Montezuma Braves 9-4 at Montezuma Ruritan Park last night.
Making his first appearance in 2020, highly touted James Madison pitcher and former Turner Ashby High School standout Justin Showalter continues his dominance from the 2020 NCAA season. Showalter struck out ten in seven innings, allowing just four hits, one walk, and two runs. Waring Garber came in relief in the eighth, striking out three to grab the win for the Reds.
Both teams struggled offensively early on and the game was scoreless until a Corbin Lucas single drove in the first run of the game in the sixth. In the ninth it was Lucas’ three-run home run that capitalized a seven-run rally to break the tie. Also pitching in for the Reds were shortstop Derek Shifflett, who got on base four times and drove in a run, and second baseman Tanner Moyers, who had two doubles on the night. It’s also important to note that Bridgewater left 18 runners on base, ten in scoring position.
On the mound to start the games for the Braves was George Mason pitcher Matt Sykes, he was relieved by Derek Ryan in the fourth. Both combined for ten strikeouts, three hits, and only one unearned run. That duo kept the game tight, but it was the three relievers after who struggled to get in a rhythm.
Despite the early-on struggles facing Showalter, the top of Montezuma’s lineup finally got going late to tie the game going into the final inning. Jacob Haney’s RBI double opened up the scoring for the Braves in the eighth. In the bottom of the ninth, center fielder Jeremy Wagner homered, driving in two runs in a last-ditch effort to come back from a seven-run deficit.
Bridgewater moves to 2-1 on the season and will travel to Rebel Field to take on New Market this evening. Montezuma, falling to 1-3, will host Broadway tonight as well — both games scheduled for a 7:30 first pitch.
FINAL: Bridgewater 9 Montezuma 4. Winning pitcher: Waring Garber. Losing pitcher: Grant Thomas.
— Around the League: Broadway's offense stays hot. The Bruins (2-1) beat Grottoes (3-1) 11-5 and handed the Cardinals their first loss of the season. Tyler Ault and Josh Jones combine for nine hits, four doubles, and six RBIs.
A pair of home runs from Grant Thompson and Henry Delavergne lead the New Market Shockers (2-1) past the Clover Hill Bucks (2-1) 10-3.
Elkton (1-2) opened up the evening with a five-run first inning, capitalized by a Tristan Gordon grand slam, to secure their first win of the season. The Blue Sox defeat the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks (0-3) 11-3.
Follow the RCBL on Twitter for scores, updates, and more articles — twitter.com/RCBLonline
By Leyton Pullin
The Broadway Bruins defeated the Grottoes Cardinals 11-5 in a four-hour marathon that featured nearly a 90-minute rain delay on Tuesday night.
The first inning went scoreless but then the sky would open up and we would go into a 1:20 rain delay. Straight out of the delay Tyler Ault would put a single in the gap and eventually score on a passed ball to give the Bruins the lead. In the top of the 3rd Jones and Judy would hit back to back singles leading to a Tyler Ault 2RBI double making it 3-0 Broadway. In the bottom of the 3rd Cam Irvine would reach on a hit by pitch for the Cards and would eventually score to make the score 3-1. Later in top half of the 5th Josh Jones would double then Ault would add another RBI for the Bruins making the score 4-1. Again in the top of the 6th the Bruins would add 3 runs in a walk filled inning making the score 7-1. Grottoes would respond with a four-run bottom of the 6th also filled with walks and with no hits. Broadway would tack on two more runs in the 7th and 9th inning making the score go final at 11-5. The game featured 16 walks and 6 hit batsmen.
Grottoes came into Tuesday nights game as one of the leagues top offensive teams holding a 3-0 record. On Tuesday they were held to just one hit as a team through the first seven innings of play. Gage Wood tallied up the only hit for the Cards in the first seven and Jacob Merica would add another in the 8th to give the Cardinals two hits on the entire night. Carter Lutz ends up taking the loss after coming in in the 2nd. Grottoes drops to 3-1 and will host Stuarts Draft (0-3) on Wednesday which will be featured in an online radio broadcast which can be found at rcblbaseball.com
Broadway will move to 2-1 on the season and will travel to Montezuma (1-3) on Wednesday. Jacob Bell will pick up the win for the Bruins in a four-inning relief effort with one earned run. Josh Jones went 5 for 5 with 3 doubles, 2 doubles, and 3 RBIs.
By Mitchell Broughton
NEW MARKET— A rather sloppy start for the New Market Shockers proved to be too much to overcome the Broadway Bruins offense. Broadway defeated New Market 15-3 in seven innings at Rebel Field.
Recent roster additions were the difference maker for Broadway. Starting pitcher Liam McDonnell from James Madison pitched a near perfect outing. The left-hander gave up zero hits and zero runs alongside four strikeouts and just one walk in three innings. His JMU teammate Chase DeLauter had two hits and knocked in three runs while also scoring one himself in his first RCBL action. Another newcomer, Austin Martin, was the unofficial player of the game. Martin’s two doubles drove in four runs for the Bruins; he was also instrumental on the defensive side, playing a role in both of Broadway’s double plays.
In their second game of 2020, Broadway has showcased an aggressive offensive strategy, which one can assume is the work of assistant coach Bobby Wease. For the most part, it’s been successful. The Bruins' two stolen bases last night bring them up to five on the season. The aggressive base running has put more runners in scoring position, simply leading to more runs.
On the other side, it was anything but a clean night for the New Market. The Shockers’ six errors led to four extra runs for the Bruins. Add that to the four hit batters by New Market pitchers and it leads to a twelve-run deficit after three innings that in most cases is improbable to come back from. Without the mistakes, the six New Market pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts and four walks.
However, the Shockers did begin to show some offensive rhythm later in the game. Shortstop Frankie Ritter was 2 for 4 with back-to-back doubles in the fifth and seventh innings, driving in one run for New Market. Ethan Laird also had a 2-RBI double in the sixth in an attempt to decrease their deficit.
Both teams, now 1-1, will take the field again on Tuesday night. Broadway travels to Shifflett Field to take on the Grottoes Cardinals and New Market will host the Clover Hill Bucks. Both games are scheduled to start at 7:30 PM.
FINAL in 7: Broadway 15 New Market 3. Winning pitcher: Liam McDonnell. Losing pitcher: Colton Harlow.
By Megan Phelps and Justin Berry
In an early game beginning at 5pm Grottoes Cardinals won over the Elkton Blue Sox. The final score was 10-2 in what seemed like a close game in the beginning. The Cardinals started scoring runs after the 4th inning, and couldn’t be stopped. The Cardinals coach, Tim Nicely, said that his win was due to his strategy of switching out players so everyone got a chance to play and thrive. He gave credit to their recovery guys stating that they really pulled the game through all the way to the end.
We also got the chance to interview Cardinals player Austin Nicely after the game. Austin had a great hit and had several RBI’s during the game. Austin stated that he was proud of his team. Austin continued and said that he was hoping for a win but he did not think it would be by so much. He agreed with Coach Tim Nicely, saying the second half of their team made it possible to get the win. Austin’s personal goal this season is, “…during this crazy 2020 year to just have fun.” Overall, last night’s game had a lot of high performing athletes, with the Cardinals using every aspect of their team.
By Leyton Pullin
Night number two of the RCBL season featured the newest installment of one of the oldest rivalries in all of baseball as the Clover Hill Bucks defeated the Bridgewater Reds 5-4 in walk off fashion in 10 innings.
Bridgewater started the scoring early in the top of the firs for the second game in a row as Corbin Lucas would hit a single that would score Derek Shifflett to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. The Bucks would strike back in the third with a lead off double from Kevin Kirk then Drew Easter would launch a 2-run homerun over the green monster in left field to give the Bucks a 2-1 lead. They would add another run in the inning as Tyler Bocock would hit an RBI single scoring Blake Sipe to make it 3-1 in favor of the homestanding Bucks.
Scoring would pick back up in the sixth as JMU commit Braeson Fulton would hit a RBI single for Clover Hill giving the Bucks a 4-1 lead. Then in top of the 8th Bridgewater would answer as Derek Shifflett would hit a 2 RBI double to make the score 4-3. The game would eventually become tied at four as Brett Tharpe would cross the plate on a Grey Sherfy ground out.
Clover Hill would get an opportunity in the bottom of the 9th but they would leave courtesy runner Alex Knicely stranded on third sending the game into extra innings. Eric Yankey would start the top of the 10th on the bump for the Bucks by giving up two walks but would come up with three straight punchouts to end the Reds attack. The bottom of the 10th opened as Drew Easter would drive a hard hit ball and would reach as Waring Garber could not make the play. Blake sipe would then step in and would drive in Easter to win the game 5-4 for the Bucks.
For Bridgewater they saw a productive night out of Derek Shifflett as he went 3 for 5 at the plate with 2 RBIs but he would end up with the loss in his short appearance in the 10th. Bridgewater drops to 1-1 and will travel to Montezuma (1-2) on Tuesday.
The Bucks saw solid run production from the top three hitters in their lineup as Drew Easter, Blake Sipe, and Tyler Bocock combined for 5 hits and 4 RBIs. Eric Yankey would pick up the win for the Bucks in his relief effort. Clover Hill improves to 2-0 and will travel to New Market(1-1) on Tuesday.
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