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By Jen Chan
The Bridgewater Reds hosted the Montezuma Braves in a game that many did not think would happen. After a severe thunderstorm warning and the other RCBL game being canceled the Reds and Braves waited out the rain and it was game time, only 30 minutes behind schedule. Even with being 30 minutes behind schedule the game ended at the normal 10 pm mark to end the evening.
The game started off slow for the Braves as their first batter of the game, Kyle Armstrong, was walked to first and ended up being stranded on 2nd after a sac bunt from Hunter Clever. Jonathan Sexton would then be walked to put 2 runners on base, but Red’s pitcher Derek Shifflett would stop that to get his first 2 strikeouts of the game to end the top of the first.
The Reds would start off the scoring in the bottom of the first as Liam Simpson would make it to 1st on a bobble over to 2nd base that was placed oddly for Isaiah Blanks to throw over to 1st. Simpson would then make it to 3rd on a hit from Blake Sipe to right field and would make it home on a fielding error from Tyler Smith. On the same fielding error, Smith would make it to 2nd base but would not make it any farther as the next 2 batters would groundout and strike out, respectively.
More action for the Reds in the bottom of the 2nd as Shifflett would reach 1st base on a fielding error on the throw from 3rd to 1st. Nick Griffin would then get ground one in the infield to move Shifflett into scoring position. Greg Sherfey would reach on the 3rd error of the game as Shifflett scores the insurance run in the bottom of the 2nd. The errors that the Braves made were put to great use for the Reds to give them the 2-0 advantage going into the remainder of the game.
With only being down 2 runs, the Braves knew that it was their time to put themselves on the board. Blanks would get things started in a shallow hit to center field but would later be out on a fielder’s choice off a hit from Armstrong. With great base running, Armstrong was able to easily steal 2nd base. Clever walks to 1st to put 2 runners on base. Sexton would then shoot one into right center field to get himself to 1st. A misguided throw from the outfield takes an odd hop on the pitchers mound and gives all of the runners the ability to advance and scores Armstrong. Clever is unable to cross home plate as he is tagged out before the right-hand batter’s box.
The score would remain 2-1 in favor of the Reds for the remainder of the night with Derek Shifflett being selected as the Valley Care Management Player of the Game for his 12 strikeouts over 9 innings of work and his multitude of stops at the mound. He also helped his team score the winning run of the game in the 2nd inning.
“I just keep throwing pitches. The more I throw the less my arm hurts,” said Reds pitcher Derek Shifflett after the 9 innings of work for tonight’s game as he was eating his post-game meal from the concession stand.
The Reds will host their final home game of the season on Thursday July 14 starting at 7:30 pm, while the Braves will host the Bucks at Ruritan Field on Saturday July 16 at 7:30 pm.
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