ELKTON - Mark Arrington has made only three starts this summer, but he has made every single start count. The Blue Sox pitcher tossed his third complete game of the year on Monday night, leading his team to a 5-3 victory over the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks.
Last night’s win was a big one for the Blue Sox, who move to within one game of the first-place Grottoes Cardinals. Coming off a tough, late-inning loss to Clover Hill on Sunday and taking the field without regular starters Lee Carneal, Connor Lilley, and Cameron Stanley, Elkton hitters worked 9 walks en route to their fifth win of the year.
A J.J. Loker RBI-single and passed ball gave the Blue Sox an early 2-0 lead, before both starting pitchers cruised through the next three frames.
Trent Miller, Jacob Slaughter, and Jack Decker each drove in a run (one in the fifth, one in the sixth, and one in the seventh) to break open the game and give Arrington the run support he needed.
The story of the night was Arrington’s performance on the mound. Arrington took a two-hit shutout into the sixth inning before Jay Thompson drove in Ryan Cooper with a sacrifice-fly to right field. His final line on the night read: 9 IP, 8 H, 3 R (2 ER), 4 BB, 11 K. Arrington is now 2-1 with a 1.60 ERA on the year.
J.J. Loker reached base in every plate appearance last night, going 1-1 with three walks. He also stole two bases, giving him five on the year.
With the loss, the Diamondbacks fell to 4-11, however, they remain just three games out of first place in the Eastern Division. Ryan Cooper continued his hot-streak, knocking in three hits, including his third double of the season. Since June 19th, Cooper has raised his batting average from .258 to .327. He has reached base at least once in his last seven games and is on a six-game hitting streak.
Cooper will look to extend those streaks as Stuarts Draft travels to Bridgewater tonight, while Elkton is off until Thursday night when they travel to New Market to take on the Shockers.