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By Mitchell Broughton
There was a near-capacity crowd last night at Eagle Field on the campus of James Madison University to witness the win-or-go-home battle between the Bridgewater and Broadway — where the Bruins won game five 1-0.
Taking the mound for his second start of the semifinals, 2020 RCBL Pitcher of the Year Adam Riggleman was outstanding. The right-hander threw six shutout innings where he struck out seven while only allowing four hits and one walk. In the seventh inning Riggleman handed the ball off to last year’s Pitcher of the Year John Judy. The EMU star stormed through the final three innings. Judy struck out five of the last nine batters including the final out in the top of the ninth to put another capitalization on a historic season for Broadway.
The lone run of the ballgame was Broadway’s Kevin Rush in the bottom of the third. Rush reached on an error by the Reds’ shortstop Brett Tharp. Two batters later it was Tyler Ault who got his revenge from game four, where he flew out to end the game with bases loaded. Ault turned on a Derek Shifflett fastball that bounced off of the left field wall for a stand up double, which scored Rush from first base. Ault finished the game with two hits and perhaps the biggest hit of the playoffs for Broadway.
Derek Shifflett took the mound for his fourth appearance in the last five days and pitched a complete game for the Reds. Shifflett threw all eight innings and kept Broadway to only three hits. His fatigue was definitely apparent though, he struggled to find the strike zone often but the Reds’ defense came through to keep the game close throughout the contest. Shifflett also had two hits. His catcher, Jonathan Sexton also had a pair of hits including a double but the Reds could never get anything going against Broadway’s arms.
Broadway will face the winner of Grottoes and New Market, who play tonight in a winner-takes-all game five at Rebel Field. This is the first time Broadway has been to the championship series since 2004; they have not won a title since 1938. Bridgewater finished with an overall record of 15 -14.
FINAL: Broadway 1 Bridgewater 0. Win: Adam Riggleman (5-1). Loss: Derek Shifflett (5-3). Save: John Judy.
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