Brian Bocock and Corey Armentrout have been named the Bob Wade Player and Pitcher of the Week for the eighth week of the RCBL season.
Bocock batted .520 during the week with two home runs and nine RBIs as he helped lead the Reds to four wins. He had four multi-hit games this week, including two three-hit games and one four-hit game.
The Reds started the week with a 17-4 win over Stuarts Draft, a game in which Bocock went 3-for-5 with three runs scored and a home run.
After a 6-3 loss to Broadway on Wednesday, the Reds dominated in a 14-0 win over Elkton. Bocock finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored and his second home run of the week. He also drove in four runs on the night.
On Friday night, Bocock had four hits against Montezuma as he came around to score twice in a 13-1 win. The former Major-Leaguer finished the week with a 2-for-5 night at home against the Braves as the Reds won 11-6.
Bridgewater finishes out the season with games this week against Elkton and New Market, both at home.
Corey Armentrout got the start for Clover Hill on Sunday night in a matchup against the New Market Shockers. The reigning Pitcher of the Year pitched eight shutout innings as the Bucks clinched the pennant.
Armentrout struck out 11 batters while only giving up two hits and one walk as Clover Hill won 9-0. He improves to 4-0 on the season with 45 strikeouts.
The Bucks finish out the season on the road Tuesday against Grottoes.
BRIDGEWATER - The Bridgewater Reds went down early, but were able to mount a comeback as they defeated the Montezuma Braves 11-6 on Sunday night.
The dark clouds over Ray Heatwole Field gave the game an ominous feeling as the Reds found themselves in a hole early on. The Braves jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the first three innings before Bridgewater started to get into a groove.
“We just kept battling,” Reds head coach Robert Sherfey said. “You have slow starts sometimes. We hit the ball hard, just hit it right at them. You’ve just got to keep battling, keep your heads up, keep passing it on and hope that things will turn out, and they did.”
The Reds scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but still weren’t able to get ahead as the Braves added two more runs in the top of the sixth.
Even after the Reds had gotten their offense going, they couldn’t find a way to stop the Montezuma bats. Enter Tyler Bocock. Coming onto the mound in the sixth to relieve John Page, Bocock got himself out of a jam as Montezuma left the bases loaded in the inning.
“Just come in and throw strikes, make them hit the ball,” Bocock said about his mentality coming into the game with runners on. “Just wanted to keep it close because I know if we keep it close long enough, our offense will strike like it did and we’ll end up winning the ballgame.”
The Braves would leave two men on in each of the next two innings and one in the ninth as Bocock finished out the game for the Reds. Bocock pitched 3.2 innings, giving up just one run on six hits.
Soon after he came into the game, the Reds had a six-run sixth inning to take their first lead of the night and give Bocock more confidence on the mound.
“Once you get runs and we’re ahead, you just go out there and pound the zone and let the defense do what they do,” Bocock said. “It puts the momentum back in our favor and I think we did a good job of that tonight.”
The defense that Bocock spoke of did their job well as they were able to get their pitcher out of tough situations late in the game. Every time the Braves had an offensive opportunity, Bridgewater would find a way to get out of the inning. The Reds defense caused Montezuma to leave 15 runners stranded in the game.
Meanwhile in the Bridgewater lineup, the Reds combined for 12 hits. Four batters had multi-hit performances, including Brian Bocock, who finished the night 2-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Derek Shifflet went 2-for-4 on the night with two runs and three RBIs.
The win moves the Reds to 19-7 on the season, but with just two games left, they’ll have to settle for second place in the West as Clover Hill has clinched the pennant and the West Division title. Provided the weather holds up, the Reds will finish out the season with a game against Elkton on Tuesday and New Market on Wednesday, both at home. As Coach Sherfey says, though, there’s no telling what might happen with the forecast this week.
“We’ve kind of got our plans for what we want to do, but we can’t control Mother Nature, so if it happens to be so be it,” Sherfey said about the impending rain this week. “We’ll just go with what it is and play it when it’s there and available.”
CLOVER HILL - The Clover Hill Bucks have clinched the top seed in the 2018 RCBL playoffs. The Bucks earned the top seed in prime fashion on Sunday night, throwing a combined shutout over the Eastern Division-leading New Market Shockers, winning 9-0.
Corey Armentrout put in his best performance of the season, tossing eight innings of shutout baseball. He gave up just two hits and one walk while striking out 11 hitters, using his overpowering fastball and an unhittable changeup that routinely fell out of the zone and away from hitters.
Clover Hill fans were treated to some more good news last night, watching RHP Kevin Chandler return to the mound to pitch a scoreless ninth inning to close out the game. Chandler lasted less than an inning in his last start against Grottoes, before being taken out of the game. Despite taking a line-drive to his non-throwing hand, Chandler appeared healthy again.
It was a quick-moving contest early on as both teams settled into the game. That was until the third inning when the Clover Hill offense erupted for five runs.
Cody Warner recorded an RBI-single, followed by a line-drive two-run double by Luke Shifflett. The final run came off a solo home run by Clover Hill 1B Danny Grogg. His deep drive landed over the mini-green monster in left field at Buck Bowman Park.
The Bucks racked up 11 hits on the night and struck out just three times. No one needed Statcast data to see the barrels and big-time exit velocities produced by the Clover Hill offense on Sunday evening.
The hardest hit ball of the night may have been Josh Eberly’s pinch-hit two-run double late in the contest. The right-handed hitter was sitting fastball, saw it, and ripped it down the third base line, scoring Matt Larson and Tanner Moyers to continue the late-game offensive output for Clover Hill.
Clover Hill will finish their regular season at Grottoes on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, New Market still has two games on the schedule and is in a dog fight for the Eastern Division title with Grottoes. They return to action on Tuesday at Montezuma and finish the season on Wednesday at Bridgewater.
ELKTON - Friday night, the Grottoes Cardinals fell one run shy of completing a ninth-inning comeback against the Clover Hill Bucks. On Saturday night, the Cardinals completed the job.
On an uncharacteristically cold night in Elkton, the Cardinals defeated the Blue Sox, 8-3, after scoring five runs in the top of the ninth inning. With their win, Grottoes remains just one game behind New Market in the race for the East, with just a few more days remaining in the regular season.
The story of the night was St. Bonaventure RHP Josh Pittman. Coming off back-to-back performances against Clover Hill and Bridgewater in which he was hit hard and often, Pittman gave up just four hits and two earned runs across seven innings.
His counterpart, potential RCBL Pitcher of the Year Kris Lalk, went 8.2 innings, striking out 10 hitters in the process. Unfortunately, four errors behind him ultimately cost his team the game. Lalk now sits at 87 strikeouts in 52.2 innings.
Brady Cockerham relieved Pittman in the eighth inning, putting in another high quality performance. Cockerham struck out four across two innings, refusing to allow a hit or a walk. He has very quietly put up 2-0 record and 1.39 ERA in seven relief outings this summer.
As for the offense, Grottoes took a two-run lead into the bottom of the fifth, after an RBI-single by Ray Tricarico and Keegan Woolford’s ninth home run of the season.
JJ Loker’s two-run double in the bottom of the seventh gave Elkton a 3-2 lead, until the ninth inning.
Dan Scott led the inning with a HBP, followed by a Logan Grimm single, and an error on a Jacob Merica ground ball. With no outs and the bases loaded, the Cardinals went to work.
Keegan Woolford drew a bases loaded walk, Dylan Nicely recorded an RBI-single, and Eli Lam drew a walk, giving the Cardinals a 5-3 lead with just one out.
Two more runs would come across on a Jacob Zoller single, finalizing the Cardinals’ rally.
Tonight, weather pending, New Market and Elkton have big matchups against Western Division foes, Clover Hill and Bridgewater, respectively. Both games will have a big impact on Grottoes and their standing in the Eastern Division.
Grottoes has just one game left on their schedule, a must-win against the Clover Hill Bucks at home on Tuesday, July 24th.
Clover Hill 8, Montezuma 3
The Clover Hill Bucks scored four runs in the first inning to take an early lead on the way to an 8-3 win over Montezuma on Saturday. Clover Hill added one more run in the third, two in the fifth and one in the eighth to complete the victory.
Bucks' starter Tanner Moyers didn't allow any base runners through the first four and a third innings. Moyers finished the night with six innings pitched, allowing just one run on four hits and striking out six batters.
Clover Hill catcher Cody Warner finished the night 3-for-4 with two runs scored and five RBIs. Warner hit a two-run home run in the fifth inning that scored Blake Sipe.
The Bucks improve to 20-5 on the season with the win. The Bucks have a 2.5 game lead over the Bridgewater Reds with two games left in the season. Their next matchup comes tonight against New Market at Buck Bowman Park.
New Market 11, Stuarts Draft 10
The Shockers were the first to get on the board last night on their way to a win over Stuarts Draft. A home run from Josh Tayman brought home Chase Smallwood to give the Shockers an early lead.
New Market put six more runs on the board during the fourth inning, which started with a RBI hit from Nolan Potts and an error made by Staurts Draft that brought home Joseph Rutherford.
Chase Smallwood walked to first bringing home teammate Billy Quinn, making the score 4-0. Ty Michau brought home Smallwood, Potts, and Gavin Rush with an RBI later in the inning.
Josh Tayman hit a sacrifice fly and brought home Michaud as the Shockers finished the fourth inning leading 8-0.
The Diamondbacks answered back by bringing home four runs in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Cooper started the four runs with a double that brought home Tyler Wilcher and Zach Brown, which made the score 8-2.
The Shockers scored one run in the sixth and two in the seventh to make the score 11-4.
The Diamondbacks answered back in the eighth and ninth, but couldn’t get past the Shockers, making the final score 11-10.
The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks will play again against the Elkton Blue Sox on July 25 at the Diamond Club. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. The New Market Shockers will play again tonight against the Clover Hill Bucks at Buck Bowman Park. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
GROTTOES - The Clover Hill Bucks improved their record last night to a league-best 20-5. An early offensive output and an unlikely bullpen hero emerged to secure a 7-6 road win over the Grottoes Cardinals.
Tyler Conley scored the first run of the game for the Bucks on a passed ball, right before cleanup hitter Luke Shifflett sent his second home run of the season up and over the outfield fence.
The Bucks would add two more in the second, as Kevin Kirk and Alex Knicely would come around and score on an error by Cardinals’ third baseman, Eli Lam.
Grottoes made things interesting in the sixth, pulling to within one after a four run explosion against the Clover Hill bullpen.
Three straight walks given up by Alex Knicely to load the bases for the Cardinals with no one out. Enter second baseman, Kevin Kirk. Kirk took the mound the first time this season in a less than ideal situation.
Keegan Woolford’s bases loaded walk scored the first run of the inning, followed by a two-run single by Dylan Nicely. Woolford would score the final run of the inning on an Eli Lam groundout, putting the Cardinals within striking distance of a big late-season win.
Kirk made sure that wasn’t going to happen, giving up just two hits and striking out three over the final three innings.
With the win, Clover Hill keeps their two game lead over the Bridgewater Reds for first place in the Western Division. With just a few days remaining in the regular season, the Bucks appear headed for the top seed in this year’s playoffs.
Grottoes remains in the tight race for the Eastern Division title, sitting just one game behind New Market. They travel to Elkton tonight for a must-win game against the Blue Sox. As for Clover Hill, the Bucks will travel to Montezuma tonight to take on the Braves and extend their Western Division lead.
MONTEZUMA - Continuing to show their dominance with a second-straight 10-run victory, the Bridgewater Reds defeated the Montezuma Braves 13-1 at Ruritan Park on Friday night. The Reds tallied up 13 runs on 17 hits to end the Braves’ four-game win streak and improve to 18-7 on the season.
As was the case with Thursday night’s win over Elkton, last night’s game was close for the majority of the contest. The Reds scored the first runs of the game in the top of the fourth inning when Andrew Berry and Derek Shifflett came around to score on a single by Kevin Bocock.
Neither team would cross the plate again until the top of the seventh when the Reds sent four men across to widen their lead. Bridgewater scored three more runs in the eighth and four more in the ninth to take home the victory.
Shifflett, making his fourth start of the season, limited the Montezuma bats early in the game. The Reds’ starter struck out the side twice during his outing and racked up 13 total strikeouts in seven and two-thirds innings. Four batters went down on strikes as they watched a Shifflett pitch sail by them in the zone.
Shifflett gave up just five hits in the game and one run off a solo home run to right field by Braves’ first baseman Ryan Kiser.
Brian Bocock continued his hot streak, finishing the night 4-for-6 with three runs scored. Kevin Bocock, Tyler Bocock, Josh Wright and Andrew Berry each had multi-hit games as well.
Wright and Corbin Lucas each hit home runs for the Reds. Lucas hit his in the top of the ninth, a no-doubter that flew clear over the left field fence.
The win keeps Bridgewater in second place in the West Division, just two games behind the Clover Hill Bucks. Each team has three games left before the season ends next Wednesday.
Bridgewater’s next matchup comes tomorrow night as they host the Braves at Ray Heatwole Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
ELKTON - For the second time in a week, the Bridgewater Reds have shut out the Elkton Blue Sox on the road, winning Thursday night’s game by a score of 14-0. The Reds knocked in 16 hits against Elkton as they bounced back from a loss to Broadway the previous night.
“I think we had a tough loss last night, we didn’t really hit the ball,” Reds’ left fielder Brian Bocock said. “We came out tonight just ready to play again.”
The Reds were without some of their usual starters as they took on the Blue Sox, but that’s something they’ve gotten used to this season as they’ve learned how to adjust.
“That’s what the County League is all about,” Bocock said. “You get guys who have work and families and everything else so you don’t play with all your guys all the time, but tonight was a good bounce back game for us and we’ve got to be ready to go tomorrow.”
Bocock finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBIs. He hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to make the score 10-0 Reds. The former Major-Leaguer also showed off his defensive abilities with a diving catch in left field in the bottom of the second inning.
“It was good,” Bocock said about his performance Thursday. “We were short on guys and we were able to put some good at bats together and come out on top and get out of here a little early.”
Josh Wright, Daniel Heatwole and Gehrig Spradlin also had mutli-hit games with Wright coming around to score four times and driving in three runs. Spradlin finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored, recording his first official at bats of the season.
It took the Reds a few innings to break the game open. Bridgewater scored two runs in the first and one in the second. After two straight three up, three down innings, the Reds were ready to pile on the runs in the second half of the game.
Bridgewater sent two men across in the fifth before scoring five runs in the sixth and four in the seventh to win the game by slaughter rule.
The Reds improve to 17-7 with the win and trail Clover Hill by just two games in the West Division standings. Each team has four games left in the season, leaving the possibility for Bridgewater to win the West title, but the team isn’t too focused on that.
“I think we’re just out here getting ready for the playoffs honestly,” Bocock said. “We did the same thing last year. Yeah, we’d like to win the division obviously or we wouldn’t be out here, but we stubbed our toe a couple times this year and if we catch them, great. If not, we’ll be ready for the playoffs.”
The Reds travel to Montezuma tonight to take on the Braves at Ruritan Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
NEW MARKET - The RCBL’s East Division has a new leader going into the final week of the season. New Market hosted Grottoes on Wednesday night, defeating the Cardinals 6-5 to move into first place in the East.
The game was every bit as dramatic as a battle for first place should be, with multi-run innings, late-game comebacks, and an extra-inning walk-off victory by the home team Shockers.
New Market took a one-run lead off an RBI single by Ty Michaud in the second inning, but a five-run fifth inning by the Cardinals gave them a big lead going forward. Adam Dofflemyer, Jacob Merica, Keegan Woolford, Dylan Nicely and Eli Lam all came around to score in the fifth as the Cardinals started to pull away.
New Market slowly chipped away at the lead by sending Trenton Burgreen across the plate in the sixth and Nick Goode in the seventh.
Trailing by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth, the top of the Shockers order came up to the plate. Joseph Rutherford walked with one out before Goode drove him home with an RBI triple. Goode came around to score in the inning to tie it up and send the game to extras.
Grottoes wasn’t able to get anything going in the 10th and 11th innings and the top of the Shockers order came back to the plate to lead off the 11th. After the first two batters got out, Goode singled on a full count to keep the Shockers’ hopes alive late in the evening.
Pat Wingfield stepped up to the plate with Goode on first, hoping to close out the game for New Market. The former UVA infielder drove a fly ball into right field, where it bounced in and out of Ray Tricarico’s glove and allowed Goode to score, winning the game for New Market.
It took him a couple of tries, though. As he was heading home down the third base line, Goode dove too early and ended up a few feet in front of home plate. He got up and made another attempt, this time touching home plate and sending the Shockers home victorious.
“[Coach Rush] said 'You gotta get on your horse' and I caught my feet and tried to barrel roll to the plate,” Goode said about his scoring play. “It was terrible but hey, we won, so who cares?”
Goode’s efforts earned him a Gatorade shower from his teammates, which he enjoyed despite the cool weather in New Market last night.
“It felt pretty good after a W,” Goode said. “It felt like old times. I played in the Valley League last summer and that’s what we used to do. That’s what it feels like now, we’re getting excited, so it’s awesome.”
Goode finished the night 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. He also came just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. The centerfielder out of Shenandoah University had some key at bats for the Shockers and he said he felt confident in every one.
“I knew we had a great pitcher with Benner on the mound who was going to keep us in the game,” Goode said. “Keeping it at five runs, I knew we could just chip away. Just keep putting in good at bats, that’s all that matters with the team.”
With the win over Grottoes and Elkton’s loss at Montezuma last night, New Market sits alone on top of the East Division at 10-14. The Shockers have four more games to finish out the season, only one of which is against an East Division team.
New Market’s next matchup comes on Saturday night as the Shockers head to Stuarts Draft to take on the Diamondbacks. That game will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Diamond Club.
CLOVER HILL - The usually intense feeling that typically fills the air when the Clover Hill Bucks and Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks play seemed to be missing on Tuesday night at Buck Bowman Park.
Coming off a 17-4 loss to the Bridgewater Reds, the Diamondbacks fell to another Western Division powerhouse, 14-7. With their 18th win of the season, Clover Hill takes a two game lead over Bridgewater in the West, having now won eight of their last ten games.
Clover Hill put their foot on the gas early, coming out to a 5-0 lead after the second inning. Blake Sipe, Drew Easter, Ross French, and Josh Eberly all chipped in run-scoring hits, part of a 17-hit performance by the Bucks’ starting lineup.
Every single hitter that started for the Bucks recorded at least one hit and reached base at least twice. Sipe upped his average to .323 after a three-hit performance, while catcher Matt Larson continues to very quietly put up a fantastic season in the back-end of the Bucks lineup.
Larson went 3-5 with an RBI, his 16th of the season. The RCBL All-Star is now hitting .343.
Jay Thompson and Nathan Brooks brought home the first two runs of the game for Draft in the top of the fourth and threatened with two more in the fifth, however, the high-powered offense of Clover Hill proved to be too much.
Ryan Cooper, Will Hass, Thompson, and Blake Schaar combined for eight hits and six of the runs scored for Stuarts Draft.
Making his fourth start of the season, Jordan Showalter went six innings, giving up seven hits and four runs (two earned) while striking out four Diamondback hitters. Showalter improved to 3-1 with a 3.11 ERA on the year.
The two teams will meet up for another contest tonight, this time at the Diamond Club in Stuarts Draft.