ELKTON - Derek Shifflett put his name in the history books on Thursday night. The Bridgewater pitcher threw a seven-inning no-hitter as the Reds defeated Elkton 13-0 by slaughter rule at Stonewall Memorial Park.
“It feels great,” Shifflett said about his performance. “When your team gets on top in the first two innings and gives you four, five, or whatever we had, it’s a little bit more relaxing.”
The Reds gave Shifflett plenty of run support, scoring five runs over the first two innings. Bridgewater added five more runs in the fourth, allowing Shifflett to really settle in on the mound.
“I just get a little more relaxed,” Shifflett said about finding his groove later in the game. “Like I said, when we have hitters like we have, you don’t really stress that much. When they get on top like that, you know you have plenty of padding, so you’re just out there competing and throwing.”
The former JMU pitcher struck out seven batters over the final three innings of the game, and 12 total on the night. He struck out the side in the fifth and sixth innings.
Shifflett allowed one walk on the night, allowing JJ Loker to reach in the bottom of the first inning. From that point on, Shifflett was locked in and no Elkton batter reached base the rest of the game.
Shifflett said that some of his teammates told him during the game that he had a no-hitter going, which made issuing the one walk just a bit more upsetting.
“A couple of the guys had said something,” Shifflett said. “I get a little competitive so when the one walk happened I was a little frustrated, but yeah I knew it was somewhere in there. When the teammates come up and say something it feels pretty good.”
Shifflett is now 2-0 on the season and leads the Reds in strikeouts with 27. He lowered his ERA from 5.71 to 4.07 with his performance on Thursday.
The Reds had just as good a performance on the offensive side as well. Bridgewater put up 13 runs on 12 hits against the Blue Sox. Andrew Armstrong finished the night 3-for-3 with a run scored and two driven in.
Brian Bocock also had three hits on the night and came around to score once.
Tyler Mahone, Josh Wright and Corbin Lucas each came across the plate multiple times in the victory, with Mahone and Lucas scoring three times.
The Reds improve to 14-5 with the victory and trail Clover Hill by just one game in the Western Division standings. The Reds next game comes tonight as they host Grottoes at Ray Heatwole Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Montezuma 6, New Market 4
Home runs by Kyle Matthews and Brett Jones led the Braves to a 6-4 victory over the Shockers at Rebel Field on Thursday. Matthews finished the night 3-for-5 with two runs scored and three more driven in as the Braves picked up their first victory since June 28
Head coach Ronnie Brunk had high praise for the entire team following the win.
“We had some good hitting as well, the home runs, finally hitting the ball hard at the plate,” Brunk said about his team’s offensive performance. “Having Ryan Kiser back tonight was big. I think he had three hits tonight. Kyle Matthews has been great. Brett Jones has been hitting the ball well and Brandon Lambert getting on at the top. Zach Roberts is a good hitter.”
Kiser returned to the lineup for the first time this season after getting injured during his college season. The first baseman finished the night 2-for-4 with an RBI.
The Braves had some solid pitching to help them out as well. Starter Jordan Yankey threw five innings, giving up three runs on six hits. Yankey struck out four batters in his outing.
Reliever Koice Quintinilla came on to the mound for the first time this season and pitched four solid innings. Quintinilla struck out four batters while allowing just one run on four hits to pick up the save.
“Yankey, I had told him, let’s go try to get me through two or three,” Brunk said. “Koice hadn’t pitched in this league ever. Jordan gutted through it and got people out and then Koice threw really well.”
With the win, the Braves improve to 4-16 on the season. Montezuma has a tough road in the West to finish out the season, but Coach Brunk was happy with his team’s performance last night.
“The defense was good tonight too,” Brunk said. “Everybody did their job tonight.”
Montezuma's next matchup comes Saturday night as the Braves head to Bridgewater to face the Reds at Ray Heatwole Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.