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By Jen Chan
The Bridgewater reads traveled down to Grottos to play the Cardinals. Before the game began the Bridgewater Reds were 1-1 and the Grottoes Cardinals were 2-0.
The game was off to a slow start for the Reds as they went down in order in the top of the first. The Cardinals got the game started in the bottom of the first as Cam Herron got the game going on a single that went through the middle of the infield. Herron would later be too quick for catcher Brett Tharp and successfully steal second base all while Cameron Irvine would get his first strikeout of the season. With two outs and Herron and Dylan Nicely aboard, Eli Lam would get a 2 RBI double to left center field starting the game off strong for the Cardinals. The inning would end with Lam left on base.
The top of the second is where the Reds started to get some runs of their own. With two outs it was Liam Simpson up to bat. Simpson shot one to left center field to get himself an extra base hit. He would later steal 3rd on a wild pitch from Adam Dofflemyer to Grey Sherfey. And with two runners aboard it was Jordon Yankey who brought in both runners for his first triple of the 2022 season. Yankey would later be left stranded to end the half. The bottom of the second gave Hunter Campbell his first career hit as a Cardinal landing one just fair of the foul line down the 1st base line. But with two runners aboard they were unable to connect all their hits to end the bottom of 2nd.
The Reds were unable to secure any baserunners for the next 3 innings, but the Cardinals were able to extend their lead in the 3rd and 4th innings. Hayden Lutz walked, Witt Scafidi sent a blooper to shallow left field to get 2 runners on for Lam to hit a line drive down right center field which would score both runs. Tucker Garrison would then be walked to put runners on 1st and 2nd. Lam would end up making it home on an error while Scafidi steals third. The Cardinals would leave 1 runner stranded. In the bottom of the fourth, Irvin got things started with 1 out lining one out to right center field. The next 3 batters would be walked adding to Lam’s RBI count of the night to 4. But with bases loaded the Cardinals were unable to execute runs as they end the inning in strikes stranding 3 runners.
The 6th inning is where the Reds were able to gain another run which would help them secure a chance at tying the game. Tharp would send a ball on the left side of the pitchers mound that was grabbed by Garret Huffman and thrown to first but Tharp was safe. Tharp did the unthinkable and dove to 1st base which is why he was safe. He would then steal the next 2 bases and make it all the way to third with 1 out. He would make it home on a sac fly from Tim Troyer to make the score 4-6 Cardinals still in the lead.
Things would not get interesting until the top of the 9th inning. Noah Cornwell would get the first out flying out to Irvin in left field, but with one out Filhart would walk the next 2 batters that he sees after long battles at the plate. With 2 runners on Simpson would then send one to right center field advancing the runners. Sherfey would gain 2 more RBI as he sends one the opposite direction giving himself his first double of the year. As the lone runner on base the inning ends with a pop out and a strikeout. The Reds were able to hold back the Cardinals from scoring stranding Jacob Dansey on 3rd base. But after the damage has been done the score of the game is tied at 6-6.
9 innings isn’t enough for these teams as we go into extra innings and following international tie breaking rules the last out is placed on second base to try to move the game along. Back up to the top of the line up for the Reds as Shifflett pops one out in center field to advance pinch runner Christian Rodriguez to 3rd base. Tharp pops one up to right fielder Dansey and scores Rodriguez to move the lead to 7-6 Reds.
The bottom of the 10th is played in almost the same way as Scafidi starts on 2nd base and ends up scoring the tying run once again on a RBI single from Ram. Lam has strategic base running and is able to make it to 3rd, but the inning ends in ground outs to prevent the Cardinals from ending the game.
To the top of the 11th we go! Cornwell starts on 2nd for the Reds and ends up scoring on a RBI single from Caden Swartley chopped into right field. The go ahead run comes from a walk to Yankey as he is walked on base and scores Huffman. The final out comes from a ground out to Garrison who takes it to 1st base to end the top of the 11th.
Huffman starts the bottom of the 11th on 2nd base and moves to 3rd as Dansey grounds out to 1st base. Herron hits one straight to short stop Yankey who fumbles it a little bit but successfully makes it to 1st to get the second out of the inning. And with a runner on 3rd Irvin doubles down the middle of the infield and scores Huffman. With the winning run in scoring position on 2nd, Tharp strikes out Lutz to finish the game in extra innings.
The Valley Care Management player of the game: Jordon Yankey
Both teams are now 2-1 in the season as they finish the first extra innings game of the season.
The Reds will be in action again on Sunday against the Broadway Bruins at Broadway High. The Cardinals will be at home again to face the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks. Both games start at 6:30
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