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By Mitchell Broughton
In a rematch of the opening-night thriller, the Clover Hill Bucks outlast a potential Broadway Bruins ninth inning comeback to win 8-7 last night at Eagle Field.
On the mound for the Bucks, Eric Yankey was brilliant at his old stomping grounds. The left-hander struck out five and gave up just one hit in five complete innings. Overall the Clover Hill pitching core hindered the high-powered offensive Broadway onslaught, limiting the Bruins to just four hits through the entirety of Friday night’s contest.
For a starting lineup without some key position players such as Bryce Suters and Drew Easter, Clover Hill’s game continued on as normal. Shortstop Ross French, catcher Braeson “Barbie” Fulton, and designated hitter Tyler Bocock lead the way for the Bucks on offense. Barbie Fulton started the game with back-to-back RBI singles, opening up the early lead for Clover Hill. French doubled twice, knocking in one run and scoring once himself. As for Bocock, he did what he does best. With bases loaded in the top of the sixth, a single to right field scored two more runs in part of what could’ve been a game-winning inning for the Bucks. He finished the game with three RBIs, increasing his season total to a League’s second best of 15.
Broadway struggled early at the plate. Through six innings of play the Bruins’ lone hit came from center fielder Chase DeLauter, who homered over the right field wall in the bottom of the fourth, his third of the season — tied for most in the RCBL thus far. DeLauter later doubled in the seventh, scoring three runs in a momentum shifting inning for Broadway, bringing his season total to League-best 16 RBIs. Entering the game as the RCBL’s most efficient batter, Tyler Ault was held without a hit for just the second time this year.
Down two heading into the bottom of the ninth, Broadway found themselves with bases loaded and no outs. DeLauter then grounds out to first base, which allows a run to score. Josh Jones would then be walked the next at bat, putting Broadway in an optimal position to walk the game off with bases loaded and just one out. But Clover Hill closer Tyler Conley regained composure and struck out the last two batters to save the game and put the Bucks in sole possession of first place after two full weeks of play.
Clover Hill improves to 7-2 on the season and will host Montezuma tonight at Buck Bowman Park. Broadway falls to 6-3. The Bruins will travel south to the Diamond Club to take on Stuarts Draft. Both games, as always, are scheduled for 7:30 starts.
FINAL: Clover Hill 8 Broadway 7. Winning pitcher: Eric Yankey (2-0). Losing Pitcher: Brett Whiteman (1-1). Saving pitcher: Tyler Conley.
Around the County League: Helping Clover Hill take sole possession of first place, New Market tops Grottoes in a 13-hit performance for the Shockers. Pearce Bucher went 3-for-4 with a triple and three RBIs for the Shockers. Austin Nicely doubled twice for the Cardinals, but his brother Dylan was skunked at the plate, going 0-for-4 on the night.
Elkton shocks Bridgewater at Buck Bowman Park, the Blue Sox’s pitchers stunned the Reds in a 6-3 victory. Carrson Atkins hit a solo home run in the sixth and later doubled in the eighth for Elkton, breaking the late-game tie.
Stuarts Draft surprisingly pulls off the most dominating performance of Friday night. The Diamondbacks mercy-ruled the Montezuma Braves in seven innings 19-4. Cody Bartley homered in part of a five hit, five RBI performance for Draft. Jack Pausic homered twice to join the tie for most in the league with three on the season. Pausic finished the game with four hits and four RBIs for the Diamondbacks in a revenge game over the Braves.
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