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By Olivia Carson
Montezuma came out strong in the first few innings last night to take an early advantage in their matchup against the Elkton Blue Sox. The game was played at Montezuma Ruritan Park on Tuesday June 29. It was the first time these teams had seen each other this season due to their initial first game getting rained out on June 11 and postponed to Monday July 12.
Micheal Robertson starts it off for the Braves in the bottom of the first inning, as he walks to first, steals second, advances to third from a catching error and eventually makes it home off a sacrifice fly to left field.
Soon after, Jacob Critzer stepped up to the plate with bases loaded and did what needed to be done, he hit a grand slam to put the Braves up 5 - 0.
Blue Sox pitching makes a substitution, trading Elliott Erkel for Alex Mann who then allows four more runs from the Braves in just the first inning.
Gavin Rush would single, scoring 1 runner, Robertson would return to the plate at the start of the lineup to gain a 2 RBI single and score once again off a sacrifice fly to center field. At the end of the first inning, the Montezuma Braves were up 9 - 0.
Elkton gets a chance to score in the second inning when Robert Carbello doubles with a runner on second and third. Tillman Butler was tagged at third while Tristan Gordon got caught in a run down between third base and home plate leaving the Blue Sox still scoreless.
Another run was earned for the Braves when Rush got a walk to first with bases loaded, scoring Hunter Clever. The Blue Sox then made another pitching change, giving Will Craig an opportunity to turn the game around. During the next at bat, Robertson makes it to first off an error by the Blue Sox third baseman with bases loaded to score Logan Jones.
Both teams neglected to score any more runs during the rest of the competition and later in the seventh inning, the Blue Sox were run ruled by the Braves to end the game with a score of
11 - 0.
Elkton plays again on Friday July 2 at Grottoes to compete against the Cardinals for the second time this season while Montezuma will take on the New Market Shockers at Rebel Park Wednesday night with hopes to add to their 4 game win streak.
By Leyton Pullin
The Clover Hill Bucks prevailed over the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 16-14 at the Diamond Club on Tuesday night in a crazy back and forth affair.
The game saw 30 combined runs, 25 total hits, 7 errors and 6 total homeruns.
Clover Hill started the scoring right away in the top of the 1st. Doug Pollock would struggle to start the game for the D-Backs loading the bases up on a hit batsman and two walks. John Siciliano would deliver with the bases loaded for the Bucks with a 2 RBI single to make it a 2-0 game. One batter after Kevin Navedo would score on a wild pitch to stretch the Clover Hill lead out to 3-0.
Stuarts Draft struck back in the 2nd the best way they know how as Grayson Bush crushed a solo homerun to right center field to make it a 3-1 game.
Clover Hill’s bats wouldn’t be silenced for long as they stretched their lead once again. In the top of the 3rd Siciliano reached on a fly ball that dropped between a foursome of Stuarts Draft fielders. Kevin Kirk delivered the next at bat with a two-run homerun over the double decker wall in right field to extend the lead to 5-1.
Stuarts Draft bounced right back in the bottom half of the 3rd with back-to-back singles by Calen Owens and Zach Roberts to lead things off. The next two batters would be retired before Cody Bartley delivered a three-run smash to right center to cut into the Bucks lead 5-4.
Clover Hill continued the tennis match style of play as they put three runs up in the 4th. Jacob Grabeel showed off his wheels with a leadoff triple followed by a Navedo walk to get the inning started. Cody Swisher did his job as he singled and scored Grabeel. Siciliano singled the very next at bat to drive in Navedo. Siciliano would score later in the inning on a sacrifice fly to stretch the lead out to 8-4.
Stuarts Draft did not bounce back until the bottom of the 5th and they did in a big way putting up a four-spot including a Chaz Harvey RBI sacrifice fly to tie the game at 8-8.
Clover Hill wouldn’t let the game stay tied for long, In the 6th Taylor Fitzgerald would deliver a 2 RBI single to score Swisher and Kirk to go up 10-8.
Right on cue Stuarts Draft’s offense would explode out of the 7th inning stretch putting up another four-spot. Tyler Wilcher would come to the plate with the bases loaded and deliver a 2 RBI single. He was followed by a Calen Owens RBI ground out that would score Bush to put the D-backs in front for the first time all night. Zach Roberts would cap off the inning with an RBI double to score Wilcher and stretch the lead to 12-10.
Clover Hill would break back in true tennis match fashion in the top of the 8th. Kevin Kirk drew a lead off walk before a Ross French delivered a two-run homerun over the double wall to tie the game. That was not all for the Bucks as Lucas Adam would come in to try and keep the game tied for the D-Backs. The bases would become loaded on a hit, error and a walk before Bridgewater College Senior Jacob Grabeel crushed a Grand Slam on a two-strike pitch to put the Bucks out in front 16-12.
Stuarts Draft attempted to put a comeback together in the bottom of the 8th as Tucker Hrasky came in for the Bucks. Will Hass would lead the inning off with a walk. The next two batters would be retired before Chaz Harvey delivered a two-run homerun to cut the lead to 16-14. Grayson Bush drew a walk the next at bat. He advanced all the way to third base before being stranded after Wilcher grounded out to third base to end the inning.
Hrasky would appear back in the bottom of the 9th for the Bucks and would surrender a two out hit to Terrell Thompson but would retire Wilcher the very next at bat to end the game.
For Stuarts Draft they fall to 5-5 on the season with the loss as they approach the halfway point of the season. Lucas Adam (0-1) takes the loss for the D-Backs after not recording an out in the 8th inning and giving up the grand slam to Grabeel. Stuarts Draft will be back in action on Friday July 2 as they will host the Broadway Bruins (6-3) at 7:30PM.
The Bucks pick up their sixth win on the year and move to 6-3 on the year. Clover Hill will have a chance to take second place in the standings as they travel to Broadway on Wednesday June 30 at 7:30 PM. Haden Baldwin (1-0) picks up the win for the Bucks in a wild outing despite being in line for the loss when he came off of the mound after the 7th inning. Grabeel had the game winning Grand Slam in the 8th inning for the Bucks. “I choked up with two strikes and tried to put a ball in the air to the outfield,” said Grabeel. Grabeel came into the game struggling at the plate just hitting .077 on the year headed into the game. He went 2 for 4 on the night with a triple, a homerun and 4 RBI.
By Dean BarkerThree days after the Bridgewater Reds beat the Broadway Bruins 12-8, Broadway returned the favor, utilizing five Bridgewater errors to stump the Reds 12-2 at Ray Heatwole Field on Tuesday, June 29. The game was called after seven, due to the mercy rule. With the win, the Bruins improved to 6-3, while the Reds fell to 2-9. Every Bruin in the starting lineup reached base at least once.
Jacob Bell picked up his first win of the season to move to 1-0, striking out ten in seven innings. He gave up two runs, none of which were earned. Logan Phelps took the loss to move to 0-2, being responsible for five runs in two innings, four of which were earned. Phelps replaced Pablo Suarez, who was the scheduled starter. Suarez would also give up five runs in two innings, with two earned runs.
Bell was very pleased with his performance, in which he one-upped his nine strikeout performance from June 20 against Stuarts Draft.
“My arm felt good tonight, you know, catchers were in sync tonight,” Bell told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “(My) pitches were good, (they) were located off the plate, just getting chased all night.”
The Reds capitalized on Bruins mistakes in the bottom of the first. Derek Shifflet’s fly ball to right center was called off and dropped by center fielder Peyton Davis, allowing Shifflet to reach second. Brett Tharp would attempt a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, which led Bell to overthrow to first, allowing Shifflet to score. After a single from Corbin Lucas moved Tharp to third, Antonio Florentino-Sosa would strikeout swinging. However, on the third strike, Lucas would unsuccessfully attempt to steal second, distracting the infield to allow Tharp to come home, making the score 2-0.
The Bruins would come storming back in the top of the third, batting around the lineup. Bryce Turner, Ben Hutcheson and Justin Lohr would lead off with a single each, Lohr’s being a bunt. Trent Abernathy’s sharp liner bounced off second baseman Tharp into right field, allowing two runners to come home. Abernathy would reach second on a throwing error from right fielder Lucas. Caleb Taylor would follow up with an RBI single to make it 3-2, at which Pablo Suarez would come in for Bridgewater. He was greeted by a three run homer from Devon Neal to make the score 6-2 Broadway. Suarez would retire the next three to end the inning.
Thanks to two Reds errors in the top of the fourth, Broadway would add two more. A sharp grounder from Turner was too much for Florentino-Sosa to handle, and a Hutcheson grounder off Suarez’s foot would allow Turner to reach third. Lohr would hit a sacrifice grounder to shortstop to bring in Turner. Hutcheson would attempt to take third, and a wild throw from Dylan Horne would allow him to score, increasing the lead to 8-2.
The beating just didn’t stop, as Jett Shue would reach second on a throwing error from Florentino-Sosa to lead off the fifth. Davis would rip a double to left to drive him in, at which point Reds head coach Robert Sherfey would pull Suarez for Wyatt Dansey. Turner would rip an RBI double to left center. Three batters later, with the bases loaded, Taylor’s RBI double to right field made the score 12-2. Dansey would escape a bases loaded jam to end the fifth.
The Reds’ five errors would haunt them, as they would account for four unearned runs. Bridgewater left eight on base. They were led in defeat by Tharp, who went 2-2 with a run scored, along with Shifflet, who was 2-3 with a run scored.
Neal went 1-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Taylor went 3-3 with two RBIs and a run scored. Abernathy went 2-4 with two RBIs, a run scored and a walk. Turner was 2-4 with an RBI and three runs scored. Lohr went 2-3 with an RBI and two runs scored.
Bell said the Bruins’ offense was vital to his performance.
“It was huge, because it not only helps me, but it helps our team, because then, we save up all our pitchers for later on in the season,” Bell said. “We’re able to go farther in games and help get quality wins.”
The Bruins will be back in action tomorrow night, June 30, when they host the Clover Hill Bucks at 7:30 pm. The Reds will have three nights to go back to the drawing board before they travel to Elkton to face the Blue Sox on Saturday, July 3, at 7:30 pm.
By Dean Barker
The Grottoes Cardinals had their largest win of the season as they crushed the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 15-5 at home on Sunday, June 27. The game was called in the middle of the seventh inning due to the mercy rule. With the win, the Cardinals improved to 6-4, while the Diamondbacks fell to 5-4.
Tucker Garrison picked up the win for Grottoes to move to 2-1, throwing all seven innings with eight strikeouts and five runs allowed. Garrison did not walk a single Diamondback. At the plate, Tucker went 2-3 with a walk and four RBIs, which came on a grand slam in the fifth inning. Trevor Vernon took the loss for Stuarts Draft with six runs allowed in 1 ⅓ innings pitched, falling to 1-1 on the season.
Garrison said the Cardinals’ defense was to credit for his success on the mound.
“I can’t take credit. I mean, I didn’t feel the best, but I just threw strikes, the defense helped me,” Garrison told RCBL’s Dean Barker.
The Diamondbacks actually scored first, as a Jack Pausic RBI double would put Stuarts Draft up 1-0 in the top of the first. The Cardinals would quickly get to work in the bottom half, as Boogie Saunders was walked, and Clayton Michael would rip a ground rule double. After an infield fly out, a sacrifice grounder from Dylan Nicely, a double from Jacob Zoller, and a single from Jacob Merica would each plate one to put Grottoes up 3-1.
Keegan Wolford would clobber his sixth home run of the year over the right field wall in the second inning with two on to make it 6-1. Right fielder Bob Funk didn’t even bother chasing it, as the ball was a no-doubter off the bat. Wolford was at it again in the third, as a single to right field plated two, and a single from Zoller would bring in another run to make it 9-1.
Cody Bartley would crush a home run to left field in the top of the fourth to make the score 9-2. With two outs and Dylan Wood on second, Funk looked as though he would catch a fly ball from Saunders to help Stuarts Draft escape the inning. However, Funk would slip in the right field grass, and the ball rolled to the wall, allowing Woods and Saunders to score on an inside the park home run.
The Diamondbacks would make one last push in the top of the fifth, as a single from Calen Owens, a double from Zach Roberts, and a single from Jack Pausic would make the score 11-5, but the D-Backs would leave two on base. In the bottom half, with the bases loaded and one out, Garrison sealed the deal with a towering grand slam to right field to put the game out of reach at 15-5, which was the final score. The only inning in which the Cardinals did not score was the sixth, when Bartley retired the side with two strikeouts.
Every single Cardinals batter had at least one hit. Grottoes was led by Wolford, who went 2-4 with two runs scored and five RBIs. Saunders went 2-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Zoller went 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Merica went 3-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Nicely was 2-5 with an RBI.
The Diamondbacks were led by Pausic, who went 2-3 with two RBIs. Roberts was 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Bartley and Owens both went 1-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Stuarts Draft had nine hits, and left a total of three runners on base.
The win was a morale boost for the Cardinals, who were on the receiving end of an 8-1 beating from the Clover Hill Bucks the night before.
“It’s baseball. You come back, every day it’s a new day, you get after it,” Wolford said.
The Cardinals will be off until Friday, July 2, when they host the Elkton Blue Sox at 7:30 pm. While the break is long, the Cardinals still appreciated having a quick game on Sunday night.
“”(It’s) huge, I’m happy to get out of here early on a Sunday,” Wolford said. “Work tomorrow will feel a whole lot better, getting a few extra hours of sleep,” Garrison added.
The Diamondbacks will hope to get back on track when they host the Clover Hill Bucks on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30 pm.
By Leyton Pullin
On Saturday June 26 Stuarts Draft defeated the New Market Shockers 6-2 behind a pair of homeruns from Zach Roberts and Lucas Adam.
Stuarts Draft started the scoring in the 3rd inning as Calen Owens reached on an error by the second baseman and then stole second base and advanced all the way to third on a wild pitch. Owens would then score as Jack Pausic turned on a pitch that zoomed past Pierce Bucher at third to put the D-Backs up 1-0.
Stuarts Draft would add on to their lead the next time at the plate as Chaz Harvey would draw a walk with one out and he would be followed by Owens with a ground rule double to put runners at second third and now two down. Zach Roberts would deliver as the switch hitter drove a 3 Run home run out to right center to put the D-Backs ahead 4-1 after 4 innings.
New Market would respond in the 6th as Frankie Ritter saw one pitch and hit a solo homerun to lead off the inning and get the Shockers on the board 4-1.
The Shockers chipped into the lead once more in the top of the 8th as Henry Delavergne lead off the inning with a triple and then scored on a Ritter sacrifice fly to right field to make it 4-2.
Stuarts Draft would respond in the bottom of the 8th the best way they know how, the long ball. Cody Bartley reached on a pop fly that fell between the first baseman, second baseman and right fielder and was followed by a Lucas Adam pinch hit homerun to extend the lead to 6-2 for Stuarts Draft.
Chandis Goff would come in to close out the game for draft and would retire the Shockers in order.
For New Market they fall to 5-4 on the year as Riley Owen (0-1) takes the loss for the Shockers on the mound. The Shockers were rather shorthanded as manager Nolan Potts had to come in and be the designated hitter. New Market will play host to Clover Hill (5-3) who are the winners of two straight in the RCBL Game of the Week on Sunday June 27 at 6:30PM. The game is being broadcast on 92.1 FM and 550 AM WSVA.
For Stuarts Draft William Mullins picks up the win in his first appearance on the season. “This was the first time I got to see Will [Mullins] throw and he said he could start so he got the start tonight,” said manager Les Sandridge. Sandridge had mentioned early on in the year that their pitching could be the question mark for the team as they moved forward but was happy with what he saw tonight, “I think we’ve found something with Parker [Hieneman] and Chandis [Goff] in the eight and ninth but the thing is we have to be able to piece it together to get to them.”
The D-Backs once again found run production from the longball as they now have five different players, Roberts(3), Owens(2), Funk(2), Pausic(2) and Adam(2), with multiple home runs. That is the most by far in the league as only Grottoes and Bridgewater have multiple players with multiple homeruns. “We’ve got good sticks,” said Sandridge.
Stuarts Draft will travel to Shifflett Field to take on Keegan Woolford and the Grottoes Cardinals (5-4) at 6:30 PM on Sunday June 27 in a matchup of two of the biggest power hitting teams in the league in one of the deepest ball parks in the RCBL.
By Dean Barker
The Bridgewater Reds managed to win a high-scoring 12-8 contest at the defending RCBL champion Broadway Bruins on Saturday, June 26. The win snapped a four game losing streak for the Reds and bumped them out of last place for the moment. Following the win, Bridgewater moves to 2-8 on the season, while the Bruins fall to 5-3 and a three-way tie for second place.
Dylan Shifflet gave up six runs and struck out fourteen in eight innings to improve to 1-1 on the year and pick up his first win. At the plate, Shifflet went 2-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Dylan Horne pitched the final inning, giving up two runs and striking out three. Horne went 0-3 with a walk and a run scored at the plate.
Cole Holsinger took the loss for Broadway, giving up six runs in the first inning before being pulled. Dawson Moomaw relieved him, allowing two runs to score in two innings. Jett Shue pitched the final five innings, giving up four runs and striking out four.
The Reds wasted little time, as Antonio Florentino-Sosa drove in Noah Cornwell with an RBI single and Grey Sherfey followed up with an RBI triple. Not to be outdone, the Bruins would respond in the bottom half with three runs of their own. Devon Neal would drive in two runners with an RBI single, and he would be brought home by a single from Jacob Petersheim.
Bridgewater would reclaim the lead for good in the top of the second. After two runners reached base and a sacrifice bunt from Cayden Clements moved them into scoring position, Shifflet drove them both in with a single. Next up, Brett Tharp would crush a two run homer to right field to put the Reds up 6-3. Bridgewater would add two from a Grey Sherfey RBI single in the fourth to make it 8-3.
The Bruins would try to start a rally in the eighth, as three runs would come home on three wild pitches. With two runners on and two outs, the lead run came to the plate in Trevor Thomas, but Shifflet would set him down for his fourteenth and final strikeout of the night.
The Reds would get all the runs they needed in the top of the ninth. After retiring two of the first three batters, Jett Shue looked as though he was about to set the Bruins up for a rally in the bottom of the ninth. However, he would walk Clements, and after the umpire ruled that Shifflet leaned into a pitch, he would rip a single to load the bases. Tharp would walk to bring in a run, and Cornwell’s double would plate three.
After striking out the first batter, Horne gave up singles to pinch hitters Jordan Yankey and Ben Hutcheson. Following two wild pitches, both runners would come home to make the score 12-8. However, Horne would regain his calm, and strike out the next two batters looking to give the Reds the victory.
Both teams left eleven runners on base. The Reds outhit the Bruins 11-8, and Broadway had four errors, compared to three from Bridgewater.
For the Reds, Brett Tharp led the way at the plate, going 1-4 with a homer in the second, three RBIs and two runs scored. He was helped by Noah Cornwell, who went 2-5 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Grey Sherfey went 2-5 with two RBIs, and Antonio Florentino-Sosa went 3-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.
The Bruins were led in defeat by Dylan Neal, who went 2-2 with three RBIs, two walks, a hit by pitch and a run scored. Jaydon Nixon chipped in, going 1-3 with an RBI and three runs scored. Jacob Petersheim went 1-3 with an RBI.
Shifflet is confident that this win proves the Reds are a force to be reckoned with, despite their slow start.
“We came into the game thinking it’s just another ballgame,” Shifflet told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “I mean, it’s a good team for sure, but if we play how we should, we’ve got a good team.”
The Reds will have two days off before they take on the Bruins again, this time at home on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30. The Bruins will host the Elkton Blue Sox tonight, June 27 at 6:30.
By Olivia Carson
After returning home with their first win of the season last Sunday over Clover Hill, the Blue Sox came ready to compete against the Grottoes Cardinals tonight at Stonewall Memorial Park. Although the Blue Sox were not able to collect another win tonight, they were able to put up a good fight.
The Cardinals started the scoring off early in the first inning with a wild throw by the Blue Sox catcher Jack Bourdon allowing Cardinal Dylan Nicely to complete the first run of the night. Grottoes was able to add on to their initial lead with two runs in the second inning off of a solid hit from Dalton Nicely.
Elkton responded in the bottom of the second when Koice Quintanilla singled off of a line drive to center field, scoring Jeremy Kwolek. The Blue Sox return to scoring in the bottom of the fourth once they receive a home run from Cam Shields with no one on base. Quintanilla scored Kwolek once again off of a bunt to tie up the game 3 - 3 at the end of the fourth inning.
Grottoes breaks the tie soon after with two back-to-back singles from Dylan Nicely and Jacob Merica to score two more runs in the top of the fifth. Their lead continues to grow as Keegan Woolford manages to hit two home runs two innings in a row to put the Cardinals up 10 - 3 at the top of the eighth.
The Blue Sox were unable to score for 4 innings after a Grottoes pitching change to Ty Lam in the fifth. The Cardinals decided to change up pitchers again, subbing in Trevor Croson who allowed Elkton to get a 3 RBI double from Canon Davies in the bottom of the eighth leaving the score 10 - 6.
Elkton would get one more run in the ninth after yet another Grottoes pitching change to Clayton Michael. Cam Shield would collect a line drive single to left field scoring Bourdon to end the matchup with a 11 - 7 loss against the Cardinals.
Grottoes now advances to a 5 - 3 record while Elkton is brought down to 1 - 8 for the year.
Outfielder for the Cardinals, Keegan Woolford was very impressed with his team's performance and has confidence that they will be able to come out strong against the Bucks in their next matchup.
“I think we played well, put all three phases together. We pitched well, played well and we hit well,” says Woolford. “Hopefully we can duplicate what we did last time against [the Bucks]...it should be a good game.”
The Cardinals defeated the Bucks 7 -1 previously this season and will play them once more on Saturday night June 26 in Clover Hill. The Blue Sox, however, will travel to Broadway to compete against the Bruins for the second time on Sunday June 27.
By Dean Barker
The Clover Hill Bucks had an explosive night at the plate to beat the Bridgewater Reds 8-4 at Ray Heatwole Field on Thursday, June 24. The win snapped a three game losing streak for Clover Hill, who started the season 3-0. With the win, the Bucks move to 4-3, while the Reds fall to 1-8.
Steven Woerner picked up the win with two runs and six strikeouts in six innings pitched to move to 2-1. Tanner Ray took the loss to move to 0-2, giving up three runs in the third. Sal Coyle was responsible for four runs in the fifth.
With two on in the second inning with one out, Dylan Horne ripped a grounder past Ross French at first base that had extra bases written all over it, but it was just foul, and he would strike out the next pitch. However, Josh Eberly would throw the ball into right field trying to pick off Xavier Moore, and Jonathan Sexton would come home to put the Reds up 1-0.
The Bucks would respond in the top of the third, as Blake Sipe walked and Kevin Navedo clobbered a two run homer into left field. Tanner Ray would load the bases and walk Kevin Kirk to make the score 3-1. Bridgewater would then bring in Jared Meadows to strike out Alex Nicely and end the inning. Corbin Lucas would respond with a solo shot to left in the bottom half to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Bucks would break it open in the top of the fifth with an offensive onslaught. The Bucks would quickly load the bases with one out, and then a walk to Sipe would bring in a run. At this point, Bridgewater reliever Sal Coyle would be pulled after a third of an inning. All four runs that inning would be charged to him, as Navedo would then rip a two run single, followed by Drew Easter’s fly ball to left being dropped by Noah Cornwell, driving in a run. Clover Hill would load the bases again, but could do no more, as Antonio Florentino-Sosa would come in to pitch and stop the bleeding at 7-2 Bucks.
Sosa would walk the bases loaded to begin the sixth, at which point Tharp would switch positions with him at second. Sipe would ground into a 1-2-3 double play, but Navedo would be walked and Easter was hit to make the score 8-2. Tharp would strikeout John Siciliano to end the inning.
The Reds would add two in the seventh, with a sacrifice fly out to center from Grey Sherfey plating one. Noah Cornwell’s long fly to right was robbed by Bryce Suters, although it drove in a run. Cayden Clements struck out on a foul tip to end the seventh. Due to league rules limiting the time length of the game, the umpires called the final two innings off.
The Bucks had seven hits, and managed to win despite leaving sixteen runners on base. The Reds were limited to three hits, and stranded four runners. Moore led the Reds in defeat, going 2-3 with a run scored. Lucas went 1-3 with a home run. Cornwell went 0-3 with a walk and an RBI sacrifice fly. Sherfey went 0-2, reaching on an error and driving in one with a sacrifice fly. Kevin Navedo led the Bucks, going 2-3 with a walk, a homer, four RBIs and a run scored. Kevin Kirk went 1-3 with a walk that scored a run and a run scored himself. Drew Easter went 1-3, reaching on an error that scored one, a HBP that scored one, and scoring once himself.
Navedo thinks the Bucks are ready to be competitive after breaking out of a slump.
“We had a tough ride the last few games, and now we’re feeling ourselves again,” Navedo told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “New guys are coming in from high school and college, so we’re finally finding the right pieces, and we played clean defense today. That’s all that matters.”
The Bucks will hope to continue their winning ways as they host the Grottoes Cardinals on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30. Bridgewater will hope to snap a four game losing streak when they travel to Broadway to face the Bruins on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30.
By Dean Barker
In a battle of the second and third place teams, the Montezuma Braves clawed back from a 4-0 deficit in the top of the fifth to beat the New Market Shockers 6-5 on a Hunter Clever walk off two-run single. With the win, the Braves improved to 4-1, and are just half a game behind the first place Broadway Bruins. The Shockers fell to 5-3, but maintained their spot in second place.
Elijah Dunlap picked up the win for the Braves to improve to 1-1 on the season. Dunlap pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing no runs, two hits, two walks, and throwing two strikeouts. Matt House took the loss for the Shockers, giving up two fatal unearned runs in the ninth.
The game started out with missed offensive opportunities, as both the Shockers and the Braves would load the bases with one out and strand all three runners in the second. However, the Shockers would add one in the third, as Pearce Bucher would reach on a single and later score on a wild pitch from Braves starter Lance Tate.
Following two 1-2-3 innings from Shockers starter Kaden Spaid, New Market would add what looked like a solid cushion in the top of the fifth. After two errors would put Frankie Ritter and Bucher on base with one out, a House single to left was bobbled by left fielder Kyle Armstrong, allowing both runners to come home. House would steal second and move to third on a sacrifice groundout from Spaid, and Harrison Madagan would hit a fly ball that Armstrong would drop, allowing House to score and make it 4-0 Shockers.
Montezuma would cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fifth, as Logan Jones was hit by a pitch to start the inning, took second on a passed ball, and scored on a single from Owen Marshall. Marshall took third on a passed ball and came home on a sacrifice groundout from Michael Robertson, making the score 4-2 Shockers. New Market would respond in the top of the sixth, as Ritter drove in Luke Keister with a sacrifice fly to center to make the score 5-2.
The Braves would once again chip away in the bottom of the seventh, as Robertson’s single to right would drive in Wyatt Campbell, pinch running for Marshall after a hit by pitch. Robertson would move up on a dropped third strike, and come home on a RBI double from Isiah Blanks. On a wild ball four, Clever took first base and Blanks moved to third. Shockers reliever Cade Templeton failed to pick off Clever at first, but Keister would throw out Blanks as he attempted to steal home for the second time of the season.
The Shockers almost put the game out of reach in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with just one out. However, Dunlap was able to get Bucher to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to stop the threat. Templeton would give up a single to designated hitter PJ Hanisak in the bottom of the eighth, but would strike out the next three batters swinging. Templeton left after two innings of two runs, three hits, a walk and four strikeouts.
With one out in the bottom of the ninth Robertson would reach first on a throwing error by Bucher, but the fence kept it from leaving the field and giving him second base, which he would then reach on a wild pitch. Armstrong would hit a grounder that Bucher just couldn’t handle, and would put him on first, with Robertson staying put. Blanks hit a ball to deep center field, but Henry Delavergne was there to make the catch. Robertson would move to third, while Armstrong stayed put. On the first pitch to Clever, he would steal second uncontested. With the count two and two, Clever ripped a grounder past a diving Bucher. Robertson would score easily, and Luke Estep’s throw home was just too late to stop Armstrong from scoring the winning run.
New Market shot themselves in the foot with eleven runners left on base, while accumulating eight hits and eight walks. The two latter numbers outdid Montezuma, who had just seven hits and four walks, while leaving eight runners on base.
House went 1-5 with two RBIs and a run scored to lead the Shockers in defeat. He was helped by Bucher, who went 2-3 with two walks and two runs scored. Clever went 2-4 with a walk and two RBIs. Robertson went 1-5 with two RBIs and two runs scored.
Clever said he wanted to win this game for his teammates.
“I really just wanted to not let my teammates down,” Clever told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “There was a lot of pressure going into this game, and we fought the entire game, made a lot of great plays, and I just wanted to get it done for them.”
Montezuma will have Thursday night off before taking on the first place, defending RCBL champion Broadway Bruins. Clever thinks the Braves will need to be resilient to get the job done Friday, June 25 at 7:30.
“Once they punch on us, we’ve gotta punch them back, and we’ve gotta take advantage of every opportunity we get,” Clever said. “(We) can’t leave runners in scoring position, and (we’ve) gotta make the simple plays behind the pitcher.”
The Shockers will travel to The Diamond Club Saturday, June 26 when they take on the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks at 7:30.
To view the walkoff footage and the full interview with Hunter Clever, click here.
By Dean Barker
After six shutout innings from the Grottoes Cardinals pitching staff, the Broadway Bruins came alive in the seventh and eighth to take the lead and win 3-1 at home on Tuesday, June 22. The win avenged a 10-6 loss for Broadway to Grottoes from Friday, June 18. It also snapped a four game win streak for the Cardinals, who had beaten three undefeated teams and last year’s RCBL runner up in the New Market Shockers.
Bruins head coach Chip Abernathy made it clear that he pulls no punches against the Cardinals.
“They’re the scariest team to me,” Abernathy told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “I’m glad we’re done with them, we don’t play them anymore this year until the playoffs.”
With the win, Broadway improved to 5-1 on the year, while Grottoes fell to 4-3. Jordan Yankey picked up the win for the Bruins, pitching the seventh and eighth innings and striking out four. James Riddel picked up the save, striking out three batters swinging and giving up just one hit to Garrison. Andrew Baugher took the loss for Grottoes, giving up all three runs in the last three innings, although one was unearned. Tucker Garrison threw the first five innings, allowing no runs and throwing four strikeouts for Grottoes to get the no-decision.
After Dylan Nicely opened the top of the fourth with a double to center field, Cochran would retire the next two, but Jacob Merica would drive him in with a single to put Grottoes up 1-0.
The Cardinals began to pose a threat in the top of the seventh, as Merica reached with a single to center field and Garrison was walked. Following a strikeout from Andrew Baugher, a rundown broke out, as Nicely was well off of second base. He would be tagged out by shortstop Jett Shue, but Garrison would move to second, where he would be stranded. The Bruins tied it up in the bottom half with an RBI groundout from pinch hitter Ben Hutcheson to bring in Caleb Taylor.
The eighth inning was where it all fell apart for Grottoes. Shue would lead off with a pop out to Jacob Zoller at second base. Peyton Davis would pinch hit for Trent Abernathy, and reached second base thanks to a throwing error from shortstop Clayton Michael on a grounder. Trevor Thomas would then reach on a throwing error from third baseman Jacob Dansey, and Davis would come around to score, as the throw home from first baseman David Wood was high. The throw also allowed Thomas to reach third, where pinch hitter Jacob Petersheim would drive him in with an RBI single. Fortunately for Grottoes, Taylor would lineout to a leaping Wood, who landed on first base for the second and third outs.
The game was a pitcher’s duel, with only six hits for each team. The Cardinals left eight runners on base, whereas the Bruins left five.
Jacob Merica led the way for the Cardinals, going 2-4 with an RBI in the fourth. Jacob Taylor went 2-4 for the Bruins with a double, single and a run scored.
Coach Abernathy was pleased that the two RBIs came from bench players in Hutcheson and Petersheim.
“We want to get everybody playing, we want everyone to be a part of it,” Abernathy told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “Every night, it seems like it’s a different guy that gets the hit, so that’s been the nice part of it.”
The Bruins will have two days to rest before they host the Montezuma Braves on Friday, June 25 at 7:30. The Cardinals will hope to bounce back on Thursday, June 24 when they travel to Elkton to take on the Blue Sox at 7:30.
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