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By Dean Barker
The Clover Hill Bucks had an explosive night at the plate to beat the Bridgewater Reds 8-4 at Ray Heatwole Field on Thursday, June 24. The win snapped a three game losing streak for Clover Hill, who started the season 3-0. With the win, the Bucks move to 4-3, while the Reds fall to 1-8.
Steven Woerner picked up the win with two runs and six strikeouts in six innings pitched to move to 2-1. Tanner Ray took the loss to move to 0-2, giving up three runs in the third. Sal Coyle was responsible for four runs in the fifth.
With two on in the second inning with one out, Dylan Horne ripped a grounder past Ross French at first base that had extra bases written all over it, but it was just foul, and he would strike out the next pitch. However, Josh Eberly would throw the ball into right field trying to pick off Xavier Moore, and Jonathan Sexton would come home to put the Reds up 1-0.
The Bucks would respond in the top of the third, as Blake Sipe walked and Kevin Navedo clobbered a two run homer into left field. Tanner Ray would load the bases and walk Kevin Kirk to make the score 3-1. Bridgewater would then bring in Jared Meadows to strike out Alex Nicely and end the inning. Corbin Lucas would respond with a solo shot to left in the bottom half to cut the lead to 3-2.
The Bucks would break it open in the top of the fifth with an offensive onslaught. The Bucks would quickly load the bases with one out, and then a walk to Sipe would bring in a run. At this point, Bridgewater reliever Sal Coyle would be pulled after a third of an inning. All four runs that inning would be charged to him, as Navedo would then rip a two run single, followed by Drew Easter’s fly ball to left being dropped by Noah Cornwell, driving in a run. Clover Hill would load the bases again, but could do no more, as Antonio Florentino-Sosa would come in to pitch and stop the bleeding at 7-2 Bucks.
Sosa would walk the bases loaded to begin the sixth, at which point Tharp would switch positions with him at second. Sipe would ground into a 1-2-3 double play, but Navedo would be walked and Easter was hit to make the score 8-2. Tharp would strikeout John Siciliano to end the inning.
The Reds would add two in the seventh, with a sacrifice fly out to center from Grey Sherfey plating one. Noah Cornwell’s long fly to right was robbed by Bryce Suters, although it drove in a run. Cayden Clements struck out on a foul tip to end the seventh. Due to league rules limiting the time length of the game, the umpires called the final two innings off.
The Bucks had seven hits, and managed to win despite leaving sixteen runners on base. The Reds were limited to three hits, and stranded four runners. Moore led the Reds in defeat, going 2-3 with a run scored. Lucas went 1-3 with a home run. Cornwell went 0-3 with a walk and an RBI sacrifice fly. Sherfey went 0-2, reaching on an error and driving in one with a sacrifice fly. Kevin Navedo led the Bucks, going 2-3 with a walk, a homer, four RBIs and a run scored. Kevin Kirk went 1-3 with a walk that scored a run and a run scored himself. Drew Easter went 1-3, reaching on an error that scored one, a HBP that scored one, and scoring once himself.
Navedo thinks the Bucks are ready to be competitive after breaking out of a slump.
“We had a tough ride the last few games, and now we’re feeling ourselves again,” Navedo told RCBL’s Dean Barker. “New guys are coming in from high school and college, so we’re finally finding the right pieces, and we played clean defense today. That’s all that matters.”
The Bucks will hope to continue their winning ways as they host the Grottoes Cardinals on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30. Bridgewater will hope to snap a four game losing streak when they travel to Broadway to face the Bruins on Saturday, June 26 at 7:30.
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