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By Dean Barker
The Clover Hill Bucks were dominant all around in a 13-1 seven inning win at the first place Bridgewater Reds on Friday, June 30. After this game, both teams are tied for second at 11-5. It was an important win for the Bucks, who had lost two in a row.
“(I told my team to) just play our game like we do every game, really,” Bucks head coach Kevin Chandler said. “Just play fundamental defense, press 90 feet, have quality at-bats.”
James Swart got the win to improve to 1-0, pitching three scoreless innings with one hit, two walks and three strikeouts. Jackson Sherman pitched the first four innings, giving up one earned run on four hits with five walks and two strikeouts.
“I was just trying to throw all pitches in the zone, be aggressive, compete, try not to walk anybody, just throw everything I can for strikes,” Swart said.
Nick Griffin pitched the first three and a third innings and took the loss to fall to 1-3, giving up five runs (three earned) on ten hits with two walks and a strikeout. Jared Peake pitched an inning and two thirds, giving up six earned runs on seven hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Mason Luck pitched an inning and gave up two earned runs on one hit with no walks and no strikeouts. Liam Simpson pitched a scoreless inning with one hit, no walks and no strikeouts.
In the second at-bat of the game, John Siciliano hit a solo shot to left to give Clover Hill a 1-0 lead. Siciliano would add two more in the second with a two out, two run RBI double to the center field wall.
“Just seeing balls up, get a good pitch, try to put something in play,” Siciliano said.
Derek Shifflett’s two out grounder to short got through in the bottom half of the second, allowing one run to score.
With two on in the top of the fourth, Luke Shifflett would rip a single to left to drive in Josh Eberly. Lucas Bauer would do the same to drive in Siciliano and make it 5-1 Bucks.
With two on in the top of the sixth, Shifflett doubled to left to add some insurance, and Bauer drove him in to push the lead to 8-1. Bucks pitcher Tyler Conley singled up the middle to extend the lead to 10-1.
“Well I haven’t had a ton of at-bats this year, but you know, we come out here, we’re feeling good, trying to put some good swings on some balls,” Conley said. “I actually came out to right field after the first two at-bats, and (former Buck Ty) Bocock gave me some great advice, so (I) went up there and tomahawked one through the infield and good things happened.”
With the bases loaded, Josh Eberly was hit to make it a ten run game. After Siciliano grounded into a double play, Kevin Navedo doubled to center to drive in two, making the final score 13-1.
The Bucks had thirteen runs on nineteen hits with no errors and ten runners left on base. Siciliano and Shifflett were both 3-5 with three RBIs. Navedo and Bauer were both 3-5 with two RBIs. Conley was 2-5 with two RBIs. Eberly was 1-4 with an RBI. Koice Quintanilla was 2-3 with two walks. TJ Johnson went 2-5. Alex Knicely was 0-2 with a walk. Every Buck in the starting lineup reached base safely.
The Reds had a run on five hits with no errors and twelve base runners stranded. Shifflet was 1-4 with an RBI. Chris Huffman was 2-3 with a walk. Jordan Yankey was 2-3.
The Reds will hope to bounce back when they host the Elkton Blue Sox on Saturday, July 1 at 7:30 pm. The Bucks will look for their second straight win when they host the Grottoes Cardinals on Saturday, July 1 at 7:30 pm.
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