By Adam Harnish The Bucks won again on Tuesday night, blowing out the Grottoes Cardinals 14-3 in eight innings. It was an all-around masterful performance from the team atop the RCBL standings, who have been on the top of their game to start the second half of the season.
“I think things are starting to click for us,” Clover Hill’s Drew Easter said after the game, who went 4-5 at the plate with three runs. “We’re waiting [at the plate], getting some good pitches to hit, and then putting good swings on the ball.”
The Bucks didn’t wait long to get started on Tuesday night. In the first inning, Clover Hill got the bases loaded, and were able to drive all three runners home to take a 3-0 lead. They tacked on another run in the fourth, but their major damage came in the sixth inning, when they erupted for five more runs to push the game to 9-0.
The old baseball cliché is that a good team can find lots of different ways to win a ballgame, and Tuesday was no different for the Bucks. For example: two of the biggest hits of that sixth inning? Back to back bunt singles by Drew Easter and Blake Sipe, who both came around to score in a wild showcase of the relentless Clover Hill offense.
“Every night we come out, we want to be as intense as possible on the baseball field,” Easter said. “We continue to apply pressure, and in this league, when you apply pressure...a lot of things end up going your way.”
Of course, the offense was only half the story for the Bucks, as the pitching staff was able to hold the Cardinals lineup scoreless for most of the night. Starter Jordan Showalter set the tone for Clover Hill, going four innings, allowing zero runs on four strikeouts.
“I just let the defense work,” Showalter said of his approach. “I know the guys behind me are going to make all the plays they need to make, it’s just a matter of going out there, hitting spots, keeping the ball down in the zone and getting some ground balls.”
As for the Cardinals, they were able to get baserunners on early in the game, but they were unable to convert and bring those runners home - nine Cardinals were stranded on the basepaths in the first six innings. It was a disappointing result for a Grottoes team that is making a push for the top of the standings.
The loss puts Grottoes at 8-10 on the year, sitting in fifth place. As for the Bucks, they move to 15-2 on the year, stretching their lead atop the RCBL standings to five games. Both teams return to action on Friday night.