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The Clover Hill Bucks will hope to return to the RCBL Championship series in 2021 after an early exit in last year’s quarterfinals. The Bucks were swept by the Bridgewater Reds after beating them for the 2019 league title, finishing the season 13-11.
To win in 2021, the Bucks will need to be able to get on base. Last season, Clover Hill led the league in walks (144), placed third in RBIs (140), and was fourth in total runs scored (154). The Bucks will be led by Tyler Bocock, who excelled from the plate and the mound for Clover Hill last year. Bocock led the team in hits (25), home runs (5), runs scored (21), RBIs (21), and walks (23) last season. His 23 walks in the regular season were the most in the league. Bocock, a 2015 graduate of Stetson University, also had a 2.93 ERA and 16 strikeouts. This will be his third season as a Buck. Head coach Kevin Chandler says he will rely on Bocock to contribute.
“I expect Tyler to be Tyler, he is always ready and will give 100%,” Coach Chandler said. “He wants to win and will do anything to help the team do that.”
Shortly before last season, Clover Hill head coach Chris Cofer passed away at 46. Cofer was a staple in the Bucks community, having previously played for the Bucks before winning two RCBL titles in just five seasons as the manager. He was replaced by Chandler, who will be returning for his second year as Clover Hill’s head coach. Chandler has played for the Bucks since 2007, only missing the 2011 season to play in the Valley Baseball League.
While Chandler made three appearances last season and posted a 3.85 ERA, he does not intend to spend much time on the field after transitioning to his new role as skipper.
“I would like to leave it to the younger players, we have some talented young players this year and I'm excited to see them play and grow,” Chandler said.
Clover Hill had a solid season on the mound last year, tying Broadway for the fewest wild pitches (6), third fewest runs allowed (143), third fewest hit-by-pitch (18), and the fourth fewest hits allowed (193). LHP Eric Yankey will return for his fourth year with the Bucks. Last season, Yankey led Clover Hill in strikeouts (31) and saves (2). His two saves tied New Market’s Calvin Pastel for the most in the RCBL Regular Season. He will be joined by former Bridgewater College pitchers Tyler Conley and Nick Corbin, who had the third and fourth best ERAs on the Bucks last season at 0.81 and 2.49, respectively.
The Bucks will open the 2021 season on the road at the Grottoes Cardinals on June 5 at 7:30 PM. The next evening, they will host the Bridgewater Reds at the same time for their home opener at Buck Bowman Park. This game will also be a rematch of last year’s RCBL quarterfinals. Clover Hill will host six of their first nine games. The Bucks will play ten games at home and eleven on the road.
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