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By Mitchell Broughton
There are definitely advantages to playing on turf. Rainfall and lightning strikes around the Valley cancelled the majority of RCBL games yesterday, but after a delayed start, the Broadway Bruins defeated the Clover Hill Bucks for the first time this season, 9-6, at JMU’s Eagle Field.
Adam Riggleman started the game on the mound for the Bruins. The Broadway right hander came into last night’s action leading the league with a 0.58 ERA in 15 innings pitched. In his short appearance, Riggleman struck out three batters and only allowed one hit. Lightning struck again and the game was delayed for another half hour, Riggleman did not take the mound again that night. Relieving him was JMU lefty Liam McDonnell. McDonnell came and pitched a solid performance after a pause in the action. In three innings he amassed five strikeouts, gave up three hits, and allowed three runs to score. Coming into save the game for the Bruins was reigning Pitcher of the Year John Judy. Judy, in four innings, did his best to keep the awakening Clover Hill offense at rest. He gave up four hits and three runs but regained composure when it was the most important and got out of a jam in the top of the ninth to secure the Broadway win.
On the offensive side, Chase DeLauter continues to dominate on his path to the league’s MVP and maybe even a Triple Crown. In the bottom of the first DeLauter took a Sam Ewald fastball over the wall in right field for a two-run home run to open up the scoring for Broadway. DeLauter finished the game with two hits, the other being a double, and two RBIs. He currently leads the RCBL in batting average (.500), home runs (9), and RBIs (29).
After the rain delay in the bottom of the second, Bruins first baseman Natty Solomon hit their second home run of the game, a two-run shot as well. Solomon finished the game with two hits and three RBIs/ Trent Abernathy also went yard for Broadway. His three-run blast over the left field fence increased their lead to 7-3 heading into the fifth inning. Bryce Strawderman also got in on the action. The second baseman had two hits of his own to go along with two more RBIs.
Clover Hill didn’t let the early lead take them out of the game. The Bucks scored two runs in the top of the seventh to make the score 9-5 heading into the final two innings. They even had a chance to tie the game up with bases loaded in the top of the ninth before John Judy got Broadway out of that jam. Ross French and Blake Sipe both had doubles and finished the game with two hits for the Bucks. Five Clover Hill batters had RBIs in last night’s contest (French, Sipe, Bocock, Navedo and Shifflett), but the team effort wasn’t enough to complete the regular season sweep over the top-ranked Bruins.
Broadway remains in first, improving to 12-4 on the season. They will host Montezuma back at Eagle Field tonight. Clover Hill falls to 9-6 on the year and they will have to travel to Stuarts Draft this evening to get back on track.
FINAL: Clover Hill 6 Broadway 9. Win: Liam McDonnell (2-0). Loss: Sam Ewald (1-1). Save: John Judy (1st of season).
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