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By Mitchell Broughton
In just his second start of the season, New Market right-handed Reilly Owen went the distance for his team, tossing a complete game shutout against the Montezuma Braves. The Shockers offense came through in clutch moments to help in the 4-0 win to keep their pennant hopes alive for another day.
Owen, in nine innings, faced 33 batters. He allowed just three hits and five walks while putting his defense behind him in the positions to strand six of those runners on base. The Shenandoah University product struck out 11 batters and six of those went down looking. Owen has primarily been called out of the bullpen in relief this season, pitching no more than two innings before last night, but he showed that his composure and finesse are worthy of perhaps another key start once playoffs roll around. The Shockers have an arsenal of arms: Darrell Thompson, Michael Prosperi, Hunter Enstminger — and now Reilly Owen.
On the offensive side, the Shockers had some difficulty facing Montezuma pitcher Chris Henderson, who doesn’t bring the heat like some arms in the RCBL. It’s becoming a pattern for the Shockers, who struggled in the first time that they faced the Braves when Grant Thomas was on the mound. I even heard Shockers outfielder say in frustration that his team “can’t hit off slow pitchers.” Getting over the hump, New Market was able to rally off ten hits. Ty Bennett, Matt House, and Pearce Bucher all had a pair of hits. The Shockers played small ball last night, playing hit and run constantly and they also stole four bases. Matt House, Pearce Bucher, Grant Thompson, and Ethan Laird all drove in one run a piece for the Shockers.
Today, July 30, is the last day of the regular season. Montezuma has already locked in the 6-seed for the playoffs at 8-12 overall. The Braves will travel to Buck Bowman Park to take on the Clover Hill Bucks and hopefully spoil their chances of making the top four. The Shockers, at 14-6, will host Stuarts Draft tonight at Rebel Field in a must win game if they want to have a shot at the pennant. If Broadway defeats Bridgewater tonight, they win the pennant; but if the Bruins were to lose and the Shockers win against Draft, the two will play a deciding game on Friday for the 2020 pennant.
FINAL: New Market 4 Montezuma 0. Win: Reilly Owen (1-1). Loss: Chris Henderson (0-1).
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