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Cardinals Mercy Rule Diamondbacks
By Dean Barker
The Grottoes Cardinals had their largest win of the season as they crushed the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 15-5 at home on Sunday, June 27. The game was called in the middle of the seventh inning due to the mercy rule. With the win, the Cardinals improved to 6-4, while the Diamondbacks fell to 5-4.
Tucker Garrison picked up the win for Grottoes to move to 2-1, throwing all seven innings with eight strikeouts and five runs allowed. Garrison did not walk a single Diamondback. At the plate, Tucker went 2-3 with a walk and four RBIs, which came on a grand slam in the fifth inning. Trevor Vernon took the loss for Stuarts Draft with six runs allowed in 1 ⅓ innings pitched, falling to 1-1 on the season.
Garrison said the Cardinals’ defense was to credit for his success on the mound.
“I can’t take credit. I mean, I didn’t feel the best, but I just threw strikes, the defense helped me,” Garrison told RCBL’s Dean Barker.
The Diamondbacks actually scored first, as a Jack Pausic RBI double would put Stuarts Draft up 1-0 in the top of the first. The Cardinals would quickly get to work in the bottom half, as Boogie Saunders was walked, and Clayton Michael would rip a ground rule double. After an infield fly out, a sacrifice grounder from Dylan Nicely, a double from Jacob Zoller, and a single from Jacob Merica would each plate one to put Grottoes up 3-1.
Keegan Wolford would clobber his sixth home run of the year over the right field wall in the second inning with two on to make it 6-1. Right fielder Bob Funk didn’t even bother chasing it, as the ball was a no-doubter off the bat. Wolford was at it again in the third, as a single to right field plated two, and a single from Zoller would bring in another run to make it 9-1.
Cody Bartley would crush a home run to left field in the top of the fourth to make the score 9-2. With two outs and Dylan Wood on second, Funk looked as though he would catch a fly ball from Saunders to help Stuarts Draft escape the inning. However, Funk would slip in the right field grass, and the ball rolled to the wall, allowing Woods and Saunders to score on an inside the park home run.
The Diamondbacks would make one last push in the top of the fifth, as a single from Calen Owens, a double from Zach Roberts, and a single from Jack Pausic would make the score 11-5, but the D-Backs would leave two on base. In the bottom half, with the bases loaded and one out, Garrison sealed the deal with a towering grand slam to right field to put the game out of reach at 15-5, which was the final score. The only inning in which the Cardinals did not score was the sixth, when Bartley retired the side with two strikeouts.
Every single Cardinals batter had at least one hit. Grottoes was led by Wolford, who went 2-4 with two runs scored and five RBIs. Saunders went 2-4 with three runs scored and two RBIs. Zoller went 2-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs. Merica went 3-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Nicely was 2-5 with an RBI.
The Diamondbacks were led by Pausic, who went 2-3 with two RBIs. Roberts was 3-4 with a run scored and an RBI. Bartley and Owens both went 1-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Stuarts Draft had nine hits, and left a total of three runners on base.
The win was a morale boost for the Cardinals, who were on the receiving end of an 8-1 beating from the Clover Hill Bucks the night before.
“It’s baseball. You come back, every day it’s a new day, you get after it,” Wolford said.
The Cardinals will be off until Friday, July 2, when they host the Elkton Blue Sox at 7:30 pm. While the break is long, the Cardinals still appreciated having a quick game on Sunday night.
“”(It’s) huge, I’m happy to get out of here early on a Sunday,” Wolford said. “Work tomorrow will feel a whole lot better, getting a few extra hours of sleep,” Garrison added.
The Diamondbacks will hope to get back on track when they host the Clover Hill Bucks on Tuesday, June 29 at 7:30 pm.
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