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By Josiah SchulzThis season, the Elkton Blue Sox have become infamous for being “the team to never count out”, with many of their wins coming from deep deficits very early in the game. For example: Elkton’s comeback victory against the former #1 team in the league Clover Hill Bucks, who held an 8-0 lead in the first 4 innings of the game. Even when the Sox do not finish the game with a victory, they always seem to make some sort of magnificent comeback run to give the opposing team a run for their money. Another example: Elkton’s 6-5 comeback loss against the former #1 Broadway Bruins.
The first three innings of the ballgame (as per ritual, it would seem) would turn out to be a living nightmare for the hosting Blue Sox. Elkton would allow a grand total of 14 runs, 9 of which would come strictly from walks.
“We completely walked ourselves out of the game.” Said Blue Sox coach Dave Loker. “When you get down by such a huge deficit, not only is it hard on the team, but it’s especially hard for the players in the field. None of the pitches made contact with the ball, it was just walk after walk… That’ll tend to lul the defence to sleep as well. If we would have not allowed so many walks, it would have actually been a decent ballgame.”
With the exception of a pair of exciting home runs from J.J. Loker and Will Decker, there would be no late-game magic tricks pulled out of the Blue Sox’s hats tonight. Elkton would walk 13 Diamondbacks tonight; a number even the proud Blue Sox fan base would not be able to muster their mass encouragement like usual.
“We had too many walks. Bottom line. Gave up too many free bases, made a couple mistakes in the field, and from there things just kind of began to snowball out of control.” Said outfielder and fan-favorite J.J. Loker. “Once you dig yourself in a hole like that, it’s hard to come back.”
On the flip side, this emphatic victory tonight may just be what Stuarts Draft needed to get over their regular season hump. Coming into tonight's matchup, the Diamondbacks held a league-worst 2-12 record. However, this record would certainly not reflect the consistent stellar individual performances by right fielder Terrell Thompson. Thompson would contribute 3 runs and an RBI in Stuarts Draft’s dominant 16-4 victory over the Blue Sox.
“Me as an ‘old guy’, I’m trying to lead by example for the most part, but I tend to get on myself a lot.” Said Thompson, who is playing his 4th season with the Diamondbacks. “I know my worth as a player. I felt like tonight I could have played better, but my teammates really had my back. I can’t perform every single game, so some guys stepped big time up tonight in the heart of our lineup. I’m glad we got this ‘W’ and I hope we can carry this on tomorrow night and Sunday.”
“Our team chemistry is really, really good. Sometimes even our chemistry can be a little bit too much for a coach!” Said Diamondbacks head coach Chuck Booth with a hearty chuckle. “You know what, we’re having fun. We’re better than a 3-12 team. They know that and I know that. We’ve played a lot of close ball games this season. Almost all of our games could have gone either way. Lots of games going into late innings.. Unfortunately many of them did not turn out the way we wish it should have, we hope to continue this momentum and have a disruptive playoff run. It may take us an inning, maybe two or even three, to get our hitting warmed up, so it’s important to have a short-term memory and look forward.”
Despite the loss, Elkton will look to heed Stuarts Draft’s advice and forget about their 3 game losing streak, and rather focus on their game tomorrow night against the Grottoes Cardinals @ Home at 7:30 p.m.
The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks will hope that their consistent playing will show up tomorrow night as well, as the D-Backs prepare to play the 2nd best team in the league in the New Market Shockers. The game will be hosted at New Market’s Rebel Field at 7:30 p.m.
Final Score: Stuarts Draft 16 - Elkton 4
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