ELKTON - It’s not where you are in the standings two weeks into the season, but where you end up at the end of the year. However, the Clover Hill Bucks are the only undefeated team in the RCBL (5-0), and are playing the most complete baseball in the league.
On Friday evening in Elkton, the Bucks defeated the Blue Sox 9-0 behind their starting pitcher, and reigning RCBL Pitcher of the Year, Corey Armentrout.
Armentrout put on a clinic in throwing changeups last night, yanking on the strings down and in, and following up with the high heat effectively all night. In his six innings of work, he gave up 0 runs, two hits, and one walk, while striking out 11 Elkton hitters.
It may not look like it if you take a quick glance at the final score, but the first seven innings of this contest was a classic pitcher’s duel. Elkton’s starting pitcher Kris Lalk outdueled Armentrout, tossing seven innings of shutout baseball, giving up zero hits, just two walks, and striking out 12 Clover Hill batters.
Tied 0-0 heading into the 8th inning, Matt Larson battled for a leadoff walk in what would become a six-run inning for the Bucks. Ross French’s slap bunt, and diving reach to beat the defense to first base, proved to be the spark to ignite the Clover Hill lineup.
This has been the Clover Hill MO all season: stay competitive through the first six or seven innings before a relentless attack to end the game. Any team that makes these adjustments game after game is one to watch very closely as the season unfolds.
Over the final two innings, the Bucks drew five walks and recorded seven hits, including two big hits from cleanup hitter Cody Swisher.
Jordan Showalter and Eric Yankey came in to close out the game for Head Coach Chris Coffer, who will take his undefeated team into Broadway tonight to take on the Bruins. The Bruins are coming off a big win against Bridgewater during which they stuck out 19 Reds hitters.
As for Elkton, they will look for their first win on Sunday with a home contest against the Grottoes Cardinals.