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By Josiah Schulz
The 2020 campaign so far has not panned out the way the Montezuma Braves had hoped for to
say the least. Nearing the halfway mark of the RCBL regular season, the Braves held a 3-7
losing record and were coming off a gut wrenching 19-4 loss to a formerly winless Stuarts Draft,
handing the Diamondbacks their first win of this season.
“Last night, after the game was over, we met as a team to discuss where we were mentally.”
Head coach Chris Rush said. “We talked as coaches to them, but then we let the guys have
time as a team to communicate on their own and pretty much told them to figure it out. When
they came to the ballpark tonight they were ready to play.”
And ready to play the Braves certainly were. Montezuma came out of the gates strong,
beginning the second inning with a home run from third baseman Tavian Hall, sending
teammate Jacob Haney across home plate in the process.
“We really needed to start off faster than what we did last night, cause last night was ugly.” said
Hall. “You play a team like Clover Hill, you cannot come out slow or else they’ll put you in the
dirt for the rest of the game. We started strong, we held strong, and I feel like the more and
more we unify as a team the stronger we become.”
Hall was not the only player for the Braves to perform at a high level tonight. Outfielder Jeremy
Wagner made a big time hit at the top of the 5th to send home fellow outfielders Gavin Rush
and Owen Stuart to extend the lead to 4-1.
“We know who we’re playing against, we know where we’re playing at, now it’s just time for us
to put it in another gear and step it up.” said Rush. “These past couple games have been tough,
but through it all we’ve learned that we need to bring fire every single inning and never let up,
and that’s exactly what we did tonight.”
The bottom of the 7th would host an exciting hot hitting streak for the Bucks, resulting in the
bases being fully loaded and would keep the audience in attendance on their toes. This,
however, would be quickly thwarted by a crucial catch by Rush to end the inning and effectively
end the momentum Clover Hill had been building.
“Last night, as tough as it was, was good for them. They needed to feel that loss, and realize
what they gotta do to get out of it and they did it. The change in emotion and energy shown
tonight compared to the past 10 games was like night and day.” said coach Rush. “Clover Hill is
a very good team, and this win tonight was very important for us mentally moving forward.”
The Braves look to improve their record to 5-7 tomorrow night vs. the Broadway Bruins at JMU
Eagle field at 7:30 p.m.
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