Stay up to date with news straight from the rcbl staff
By Dean Barker
The #5 Broadway Bruins soundly defeated the #4 Montezuma Braves 13-5 in game one of the RCBL Quarterfinals on Tuesday, June 27 at Ruritan Field. The defending champion Bruins are one win away from going back to the semifinals, while the Braves will have to bounce back with two in a row to advance.
In his RCBL Playoff debut, Jacob Bell got the complete game win to move to 3-0, giving up two earned runs and nine hits with fourteen strikeouts. Hunter Clever took the loss to fall to 0-1, giving up seven runs on six hits in three innings. Clever went 2-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Donald Seekford relieved him, giving up six runs on seven hits in four innings.
Other than a leadoff ground rule double from Kyle Armstrong, Bell was perfect through the first three innings. This would allow the Bruins to take the lead in the second and never look back. Devon Neal drove in Jett Shue with a single to center field. Bryce Turner came home on a wild pitch, and Trent Abernathy drove in Justin Lohr and Ben Hutcheson with an RBI single to make it 4-0 Broadway.
In the fourth, a double from Caleb Taylor would plate one, followed by RBI singles from Shue and Neal. Turner would reach first on an error from shortstop Isaiah Blanks, which also allowed Shue to score and make the deficit 8-0. In the bottom half, Blanks would reach first on an error from third baseman Jaydon Nixon, and then scored on a two-run homer from Clever. Tyler Smith would single, and Gavin Rush would drive him in with a two out RBI double to cut the lead to 8-3.
Nixon would make up for his error with an RBI single in the sixth. Lohr would then reach on an error from Blanks, which allowed Turner to score. Abernathy hit a sacrifice fly to left field to bring Nixon home, and a single from Trevor Thomas would make the score 12-3.
With two outs in the top of the seventh, Neal and Turner would walk. Hutcheson came through with an RBI single to push the lead to 13-3. Bell would strike out the side in the bottom half. Had it been the regular season, the mercy rule would have ended the game at this point.
Clever would drive in Armstrong with a single in the bottom of the eighth, and JT Stevenson brought in Owen Marshall with a two-out RBI single in the ninth, but Bell would strike out Armstrong to end the game.
The Bruins left twelve runners on base, and had two errors, leading to three unearned runs. The Braves stranded five and had four errors, resulting in two unearned runs.
Abernathy was 1-4 with three RBIs and one run scored. Neal went 3-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Shue went 2-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Taylor went 2-5 with an RBI and a run scored. Lohr was 1-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Broadway collected 13 hits.
Clever was 2-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Rush went 2-4 with an RBI. Stevenson was 1-4 with an RBI. Armstrong was 2-5 with a run scored. Montezuma had nine hits.
Bell said he would not have been able to pitch as well if he did not have the bats working behind him.
“Probably one of the biggest keys to the game, they (Broadway) put up all the runs,” Bell said. “(It) gives me a lot of confidence to go out there. I don’t have to pitch around people, I can go right at them, and I can give up a couple of runs here and there, but it gives me a huge confidence boost. They did a great job tonight.”
The Bruins will host the Braves tonight, July 28, at Broadway High School for game two at 7:30 pm. Should the Braves win game two, they would host a decisive game three on Thursday, July 29 at Ruritan Field at 7:30 pm.
By Leyton Pullin
The Grottoes Cardinals picked up a win in game one of their first round series against the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 5-4 off the back of starter Adam Dofflemeyer who tossed 8 innings and only allowed 2 runs for the Cardinals.
Grottoes got on the board first in the top of the 3rd inning as David Wood reached on an error by the short stop Grayson Bush that bounced over the head of Jack Pausic at first base. Dalton Nicely came to the plate next and also reached on an error to put two on and no outs. Clayton Michael added a single later in the inning to jam the bases full of Cardinals. Dylan Nicely came to the plate next and delivered as he did all regular season long with a RBI single to score Wood and put the Cardinals in front 1-0.
The Cardinals added another run in the 6th as Dylan Nicely singled to lead the inning off. Jacob Merica came to the plate later in the inning and singled driving Nicely in to score after some assistance from a wild pith earlier in the at bat. Grottoes stretched their lead to 2-0.
In the top of the 8th Stuarts Draft would go to the bullpen and go to their set up man Parker Heinemann. Michael opened the inning up with a double to the right field wall. Dylan Nicely came up next and reached as his ground ball was mishandled at third base. Jacob Zoller came up next and singled to right center which allowed Michael to score easily but as the D-Backs made the throw home catcher Chaz Harvey collided with the home plate umpire allowing for the ball to get away and roll to the back stop. Dylan Nicely then took advantage of the miscue and came home to score as well on the play to stretch the Grottoes lead to 4-0.
Stuarts Draft responded in the bottom half of the inning as Cody Bartley hit a 2 Run home run to cut the lead in half to 4-2.
Grottoes came to the plate in the 9th leading by a pair and face Chandis Goff as Stuarts Draft went to the bullpen. Goff retired the first two hitters he faced before walking Boogie Saunders. Michael came up next and delivered some extra insurance as he doubled yet again this time scoring Saunders and extending the Cardinals lead to 5-2.
Grottoes went to Michael in the bottom of the 9th trying to close the game out however it turned out to not be that simple. Tyler Wilcher worked a full count before ripping a double down the left field line to lead off the inning. Bush came up next and was retired on strikes to put one down. Calen Owens followed and laid down a bunt that was fielded by Nicely just in front of the mound but no play could be made allowing runners to reach the corners with only one out. Zach Roberts came up next and delivered with a RBI single to score Wilcher and put the tying run at the plate. Terrell Thompson came up next and drew a walk but as he watched the fourth ball it got away from Nicely allowing Owens to sneak home and score to put the tying run now only 90 feet away at third as Roberts also moved up on the play. Jack Pausic came up next and hit a ground ball to third base with the infield in for Grottoes. Dalton Nicely fielded it and made the heads up play to throw it to home to try and catch the lead runner Roberts. Roberts got caught in a run down and was tagged out by Nicely halfway down the baseline for the second out. Cody Bartley cam to the plate next looking to duplicate what he had done earlier in the night. Michael called for time on the mound and discussed strategy with Nicely as to how to attack Bartley. Nicely said he also gave the young pitcher a few words of encouragement, “ We weren’t going to change anything, he was going to stick with his stuff,” said Nicely. A few pitches later Bartley hit a well struck ball to left field however Merica slid over to make the catch and solidify the game one win for the Cardinals.
Grottoes picks up the win off of a superb outing from Adam Dofflemeyer who threw 8 innings and struck out 8 while only giving up 2 runs. “We had been building for that all year. He’s a reliver in college and hopefully will be a starter next year,” said Manager Tim Nicely. Dofflemeyer picks up the win and Clayton Michael picks up the save but provided some offense as well for the Cardinals as he went 3 for 5 at the plate with an RBI. Dylan Nicely also added a 2 for 5 night with an RBI and 2 runs scored for the Cardinals.
Game 2 will take place on Wednesday July 28 at Shifflett Field in Grottoes at 7:30 PM as the Cardinals look to complete the series sweep with a win and advance to the second round.
By Dean Barker
After going down 7-2 in the top of the sixth, the #5 Broadway Bruins came storming back to beat the #7 Bridgewater Reds 12-7 on Sunday, July 25 in the regular season finale. The win gave the Bruins a 2-1 victory in the regular season series with the Reds. The win gave the Bruins a 10-11 regular season record, while the Reds had to settle for 6-15.
Bryce Turner picked up the win to improve to 1-1 for the season, giving up seven earned runs in seven innings with eight strikeouts and going 1-1 with three RBIs and a run scored at the plate. Derek Shifflet took the loss, giving up eight runs in seven innings on nine hits, while going 0-3 with an RBI and two runs scored at the plate. Shifflet recorded two strikeouts to complete the regular season with 65, the most in the RCBL this year.
The Reds punched first, with Shifflet scoring on a fielder’s choice ground ball from Antonio-Florentino Sosa. The Reds stranded two, and Justin Lohr’s triple in the bottom half was followed by an RBI single from Trent Abernathy to make the score 1-1.
Devon Neal would drive in Trevor Thomas on a sacrifice groundout in the third inning to take a 2-1 Broadway lead.
Shifflet would ground to Turner, who threw it into center field to allow Jared Meadows to score in the fourth. Hunter Miller ripped a single to score two. After a ground rule double from Chris Huffman, Sosa replicated to drive in two more runs and make it 6-2. Brett Tharp would launch one over the left field fence to make the score 7-2 in the top of the sixth, seemingly giving the Reds a sufficient cushion.
Lohr would drive in Kevin Rush with a single in the bottom half. Then, Trevor Thomas and Jett Shue would each get a two-run single to tie the game. Devon Neal would rip a single to plate Ben Reid and give the Bruins an 8-7 lead.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Turner would help his cause with a three run triple, and Ben Hutcheson drove him in with a single to make the final score 12-7 Broadway.
The Bruins left ten runners on base, two errors, and gave up five unearned runs. The Reds stranded eight with no errors and gave up no unearned runs.
Sosa went 2-5 with three RBIs. Miller went 1-3 with one RBI, one run scored, and two walks. Tharp went 1-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The Reds totaled just seven hits.
Lohr went 3-5 with an RBI and two runs scored. Thomas was 2-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Shue was 1-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Abernathy was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. The Bruins had twelve hits.
When asked about the key to beating Montezuma in the quarterfinals, Turner was quite clear this offensive production would need to continue.
“Hit, it’s all about our hitting, you know,” Turner said. “We’ve got guys on the mound, it’s just been run support behind those guys lately. I think, after tonight, that’ll help us go into the playoffs and just carry some momentum. So, just hit the ball.”
The Bruins will travel to Montezuma to take on the #4 Braves Tuesday, July 27 at 7:30 pm in Game 1 of the RCBL Quarterfinals. The Reds will take on the #2 Clover Hill Bucks on Tuesday, July 27 at 7:30 pm for the quarterfinal opener at Buck Bowman Park.
By Leyton Pullin
On Sunday July 25 the Clover Hill Bucks wrapped up their bid for the No. 2 seed in the playoffs with a win over the Elkton Blue Sox 13-10.
Clover Hill hopped on top of Elkton right at the jump. The first 5 hitters for the Bucks all reached and scored including a John Siciliano 2 Run homerun. Ross French and Hayden Baldwin added RBIs on sacrifice fly outs to put the Bucks on top 5-0 before Elkton even got to the plate.
Elkton struck back in the bottom half of the 1st as Tillman Butler delivered with an RBI single to score Lee Carneal who walked earlier in the inning. Starting pitcher Mac Rexrode followed with a walk while the bases were loaded, pushing Tristan Gordon across to score and bring Elkton back to within 3 runs at 5-2 after the 1st inning.
Clover Hill tried to blow the game open as they loaded the bases with only one out in the top of the 2nd inning. Cole Jenkins delivered with a station to station single pushing Eberly across to score and still leaving the bases loaded. Ross French came up next and drew a walk to push another run across in the form of Drew Easter. After Easter crossed the plate Rexrode took the ball back to the mound but as he turned his back Bryce Suters took off for home plate and scored easily allowing the Bucks to stretch their lead to 8-2.
The Bucks added another run in the 3rd inning as they rallied with two outs in the inning. Eberly singled before he was driven in the very next at bat as Siciliano added another RBI with a double that scored Eberly to stretch the Bucks lead out to 9-2.
Elkton struck back right away in the bottom half of the 3rd inning as Gordon delivered with a 2 Run home run to score Jac Bourdon and himself to close the Bucks lead to 9-4.
Gordon delivered again in the 4th inning as Jeremy Kwolek and Lee Carneal walked ahead of him before he delivered with a ground rule double to score Kwolek. Carneal came in to score during the next at bat as a pitch got away from Montgomery behind the plate allowing him to score and cut more into the Bucks lead at 9-6.
The Bucks would not get any more runs on the board until the 6th inning as Tyler Conley reached on a one out double. Jenkins came to the plate later in the inning and popped a ball up to left field that was caught by an amazing effort by Jacob Crude in left field. Conley tagged and came into score despite some argument on whether he tagged up from the Elkton dugout. The Bucks extended their lead 10-6.
Elkton cut into the Bucks lead once more in the 7th as Gordon was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Elkton then loaded the bases before Elliot Erkel was hit by a pitch allowing Gordon to score and cut the Bucks lead to 10-7.
Clover Hill added 3 runs in the top of the 8th inning including a Conley solo home run to lead off the inning that snuck its way across the right field fence. The Bucks extended their lead to 13-7 with the game closing in on the three hour mark.
The Blue Sox came to the plate in the bottom of the 8th knowing they were down to their last three outs. Gordon delivered again with his 4th and 5th RBIs of the night on another 2 Run home run to cut the Bucks lead back to 13-10. That would be the final score as Butler sat down looking to end the game.
The Blue Sox wrap up the regular season with a record of 4-17. Mac Rexrode gets the loss for the Blue Sox despite Tristan Gordons’s stellar night at the plate as he went 4 for 4 with 2 home runs and 5 RBIs. The Blue Sox will start the postseason as the No. 8 seed for the RCBL Playoffs. They will play the No.1 seed the New Market Shockers (15-6) in a best of three series starting on Tuesday night July 27 in New Market at Rebel Field. Game two will be at Stonewall Memorial Park in Elkton on Wednesday July 28.
For the Bucks they lock up the No. 2 seed with the win and a record of 14-7 on the year. Steven Woerner gets the win for the Bucks as they went through 8 pitchers in as many innings. Clover Hill will open the post season at the Clover Dome on Tuesday July 27 as they will host the Bridgewater Reds (6-15) in a best of three series.
By Leyton Pullin
Keegan Oliver will be making the move from the RCBL to the Frederick Keys of the MLB Draft League.
Oliver got the call from the Keys after working with RCBL Legend Mike Burtner who helped put together a video of him to showcase his talents as he was originally looking to be a graduate transfer as he just finished up his education at Bridgewater College but still has 3 years of eligibility left due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and a redshirt year due to injury.
Instead of a collegiate program the Keys came calling. Oliver played in what would be his final game in a Montezuma Braves uniform on Saturday July 24 playing Right Field and then came in and pitched in the 7th inning striking out two. Oliver had nothing but praises for the Braves organization, specifically coach Chris Rush.
“Coach Rush believed in me a lot and helped me get back to where I was, 110% back,” said Oliver.
Oliver is also coming back from Tommy John Surgery that he had done on his UCL in his right elbow prior to the 2020 college baseball season. Since his surgery and recovery the right handed has come back with more velocity and zip on his fastball topping out around 91 MPH according to Valley Baseball Scout making him one of the most exciting pitchers to watch in the league.
“[The RCBL] has helped me get back to where I never thought I could be size and velo wise,” said Oliver.
Oliver’s RCBL stint may be over for now as he will report to the Frederick Keys on Monday July 26 to play the final 5 games of the regular season beginning on Tuesday July 27 as the Keys host the West Virginia Black Bears and the Trenton Thunder.
By Leyton Pullin
On Saturday July 24 the Clover Hill Bucks defeated the Montezuma Braves 13-0 in 7 innings. The Bucks hit 4 homeruns on the way to victory.
Clover Hill hopped on top of the scoreboard right away in the top of the first as Josh Eberly opened the bottom of the 1st with a single. Drew Easter singled later in the inning to push Eberly around to third and put runners at the corners with one out. Bryce Suters came up later in the inning and hit a hard groundball to short stop that died on its way to Isiah Blanks allowing Suters to reach and Eberly to score putting the Bucks up 1-0.
The Bucks went back to work in the 2nd inning putting two more runs across on a Jacob Grabeel 2 RBI single to score Ross French and Tanner Montgomery to extend the Bucks lead to 3-0.
The Bucks came up to the plate in the third and loaded the bases on a Cole Jenkins single and back-to-back walks by French and Montgomery. Jenkins was able to score on a wild pitch one of the four thrown by Montezuma starter Grant Thomas to stretch the lead to 4-0.
Again, the Bucks would load the bases with no outs in the 4th inning this time on three singles by John Siciliano, Tyler Conley, and Cody Swisher. Suters came up next and worked a hard-earned walk with a full count to drive in Siciliano to stretch the Bucks lead to 5-0. The Bucks would then leave the bases stranded as Kyle Armstrong came into the game for the Braves and retired the next three hitters in order.
The 5th inning is where the Bucks really did their damage. Clover Hill pushed across 7 runs in the inning off of 6 total hits, 4 of those were home runs. Eberly started the scoring hitting a 2 Run Home Run to left center to score he and Grabeel. Bryce Suters added a 3 Run Home Run of his own to score he, Swisher and Siciliano. Jenkins and French then added back-to-back solo shots to end the homer parade but not before the game had been blown open putting the Bucks out in front 12-0.
Clover Hill again added another run in the 6th as Ross French walked with the bases loaded to score Alex Knicely and stretch the lead out to 13-0.
The Braves went to the plate in the top of the 7th knowing they needed 4 runs to keep the game going but had to face Clover Hill “Hammer” Tucker Hrasky. The lefty tallied three punchouts in the bottom of the 7th only allowing one base runner in the form of his former Bridgewater College Keegan Oliver who walked but was stranded when the game came to a close due to the 10-run rule 13-0.
For Montezuma they drop to 12-9 to end the regular season. The Braves are locked into the No. 4 seed for the post season and will take on the No. 5 Seeded Broadway Bruins (9-11) in the opening round of the RCBL Playoffs starting Tuesday July 27 with game one of the series being in Montezuma at a time to be announced. The series will be best of three games.
The Bucks pick up the win and control their own destiny when it comes to playoff seeding. Jacob Grabeel (2-0) picks up the win on the mound after 1.0 IP for the Bucks The Bucks (13-7) keep their hopes of landing the No. 2 seed in the playoffs alive as they can clinch it with a win over Elkton (4-16) on Sunday July 25 at 7:30 PM in Elkton. With Stuarts Draft’s win tonight, the Bucks could fall to the No. 3 spot with a loss.
By Dean Barker
In the final game of the 2021 RCBL Regular Season, the second-place Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks overcame two three-run deficits to beat the regular season champion New Market Shockers 14-6 on Saturday, July 24 at Rebel Field.
The Diamondbacks, who were 5-5 halfway through the season, won their last six games (and nine of their last eleven) to finish the regular season 14-7. With a Clover Hill loss at Elkton tonight, the Diamondbacks will be the #2 seed in the playoffs and face the #7 Bridgewater Reds. If the Bucks win, Stuarts would be #3 and would face the #6 Grottoes Cardinals. The Shockers finish at 15-6, and will be the #1 seed in the playoffs as they host the #8 Elkton Blue Sox.
Despite the significant change in record, Diamondbacks head coach Leslie Sandridge said there wasn’t much difference between how his team played in the first and second half.
“You just keep playing hard, and chips fall where they may,” Sandridge said. “Don’t leave anything on the field, and that’s what these guys do, they just play hard all the time.”
Trever Mitchell got the win to complete the regular season 3-0, giving up one run in three innings and striking out four. He relieved Liam Kehoe, who gave up four runs in two innings. Matt House took the loss to fall to 1-3, giving up eight runs (six earned) in four innings.
Henry Delavergne led off the bottom of the first with a solo homer to right field to give the Shockers a 1-0 lead. Frankie Ritter would follow up with a single past the third baseman Jeff Randozzo, and Pearce Bucher was walked. They would pull off a double steal, and Ritter would manage to come home as the ball got away to push the lead to 2-0. With Bucher on third and Ty Bennett reaching on a walk, House would ground into a 6-4 fielder’s choice, but would reach first to allow Bucher to score the Shockers’ third run.
With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the third, Terrell Thompson would rip a line drive to right field to bring home two runs and cut the Shocker lead to 3-2. That would be all, as House would retire the next two batters to escape the jam. Bucher would answer in the bottom half with a leadoff no-doubter to left field, and Bennett would replicate two batters later to push the deficit back to three at 5-2.
The Diamondbacks would strike back, as a two out, two run double from Calen Owens dropped just in front of Ritter in center. Zach Roberts was hit, and Thompson would bunt to reach first and load the bases. Jack Pausic would launch a three run triple off the left field wall to give Stuarts Draft their first lead of the night, and Cody Bartley would drive him in with a single to make it 8-5 Diamondbacks. Delavergne and Ritter would reach second and third in the bottom half, but would not score.
With the bases loaded in the seventh, Tyler Wilcher was hit to bring home one run. Grayson Bush followed up with a two run single to right field, and while Bush was stealing second, Wilcher came home to score. Pausic would drive in another run with an RBI single to shortstop, but Thompson was caught at third, ending the inning with the D-Backs up 13-5. Wilcher would rip an RBI single to right field in the eighth to make the score 14-5. Delavergne drove in one with a sacrifice grounder in the eighth, but that would be it for New Market, as Stuarts Draft would win 14-6.
The Diamondbacks left six runners on, and had an error that didn’t lead to any runs. The Shockers stranded ten, and made four errors which led to three runs.
Pausic was 1-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Owens went 2-4 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Wilcher was 1-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. Bush was 1-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Bartley went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Thompson went 1-3 with an RBI and a run scored. The Diamondbacks totaled twelve hits.
Delavergne went 2-4 with two RBIs and a run scored. Bennett was 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Bucher went 1-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. House went 1-4 with an RBI. Ritter was 2-5 with a run scored. The Shockers put eleven hits together.
While the Diamondbacks have been playing their best baseball as of late, Sandridge is still very cautious as they get ready for the playoffs.
“It’s gonna be tough, all teams are gonna be tough in the playoffs, especially in a three game series,” Sandridge said. “Everybody’s got pitching for three games, so every game’s gonna be tough in the playoffs.”
By Dean Barker
With a 5-1 home win over the Grottoes Cardinals on Friday, July 23, the New Market Shockers clinched the 2021 RCBL Regular Season Championship, and will be the #1 seed for the playoffs. The pennant is their first regular season title, and just the second title in franchise history, as New Market won the 1972 RCBL Championship as Twin City.
“I’m happy to do this for New Market, first time in 49 years,” Shockers head coach Nolan Potts said. “Just proud of them, you know. (It’s) something we were working towards since I came here. I’ve been here eight years, I’ve been coaching three years, we’ve been working towards this. To be able to do it this year is a satisfying feeling.” Potts is a former Shockers player, in addition to being the head coach.
With the win, the Shockers improved to 15-5. Their regular season finale is slated for tonight at home versus the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks at 7:30 pm. New Market will take on the #8 Elkton Blue Sox in the first round of the playoffs. The loss concluded the Grottoes regular season at 9-12. Grottoes will be the #6 seed in the playoffs; their opponent has yet to be determined.
Ethan Laird pitched a complete game for the Shockers to improve to 1-1, striking out eight with one earned run and just one hit. Laird was perfect through two and one third innings, and had a no-hitter into the fifth. Tucker Garrison was tabbed with the loss, giving up four earned runs on nine hits in eight innings with nine strikeouts. Andrew Baugher pitched one perfect inning of relief to get the no-decision.
Laird credited his exceptional night on the mound to recent bullpen work.
“I had a little twitch in the bullpen to where I was able to find a good mechanic that I was able to repeat, and I was able to throw all three of my pitches for a strike,” Laird said. “It was unhittable, basically, I was just filling it in there.”
The Shockers took the lead for good in the first inning, as Henry Delavergne’s leadoff single was followed up by a left field double by Frankie Ritter. Pearce Bucher would hit a sacrifice fly to plate Delavergne, and Ritter would come home on a single from Luke Estep to give New Market a 2-0 lead.
David Wood was able to beat out a grounder to shortstop Ritter to break up the no-hitter with two outs in the fifth. The Cardinals almost escaped the bottom half, but shortstop Clayton Michael’s fadeaway throw couldn’t beat Ritter on an infield single. Ritter would steal second, and the throw from catcher Dylan Nicely would go into the outfield and allow him to score and push the lead to 3-0.
Boogie Saunders would lead off the top of the sixth with a walk, and would steal second. However, Laird would pick him off, and the Cardinals would go silently, making way for an RBI single from Luke Keister to make it 4-0 New Market.
Ritter would make his rounds again in the seventh, as he would single to left field and steal second. He would then steal third and score on a wild throw from Nicely, giving the Shockers their fifth and final run.
Saunders led off the ninth with a walk, and stole second base with one out. With two down, he would steal third and come home on a wild throw from catcher Ty Bennet to give the Cardinals their first run. That would be all, as Laird would strike out Dylan Nicely for the final out.
The Cardinals had four errors which led to one unearned run, and left three runners on base. The Shockers had two errors which did not account for the run, and left five runners on base.
Saunders went 0-2 with two walks and a run scored, while reaching on a fielder’s choice. Keegan Wolford went 0-3 with one walk. Wood was 1-3 with the one and only Cardinal hit.
Keister went 2-4 with one RBI. Ritter was 3-4 with three runs scored. Estep was 1-4 with one RBI. Matt House and Delavergne both went 1-4 with a run scored. Bennet went 1-4. Bucher went 0-2 with a walk and an RBI. The Shockers had nine hits on the night.
Potts thinks the Shockers will need to stick to fundamentals to win the RCBL Championship.
“(If) we do all three well, we get good pitching (we throw strikes), we get hits, and the defense plays well behind them, that’s gonna be the key to our success moving forward,” Potts said. “We’re not taking anybody lightly, because it’s the playoffs, and we learned in the first game a couple of years ago (that) anything can happen in the playoffs. So we’ve just gotta come ready to go, one more game tomorrow, but then get ready for next week.”
By Leyton Pullin
The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks defeated the Clover Hill Bucks on Thursday July 22 5-2 off of a terrific performance from their pitching staff.
The Bucks got to work early in the top of the 1st as Josh Eberly led the game off with a double. Kevin Navedo followed him with a one out walk before Drew Easter came to the plate. Easter then laid down a beautiful bunt that allowed everyone to reach safely including allowing Eberly to score to put the Bucks up 1-0.
Kevin Chandler got the start for the Bucks as they called on the manager who retired the first seven hitters he faced before Grayson Bush singled in the bottom of the 3rd. Bush took off for second and stole it successfully before Calen Owens flew out for the second out. Zach Roberts came to the plate next and came in clutch as he has all year for the D-Backs as he hit a ground rule double that allowed for Bush to score and tie the game 1-1.
Trebor Vernon, the starter for Stuarts Draft, had settled down after the first not allowing a run until he got to the 6th inning. Drew Easter singled for the Bucks with one down in the inning. The Bucks then proceeded to load the bases as Cody Swisher was hit by a pitch and John Siciliano walked. Bryce Suters was up next and was retired on strikes. Just when Vernon looked to be in a better situation Cole Jenkins came to the plate and singled. All runners advanced station to station allowing for Easter to score and put the Bucks back on top 2-1.
The D-Backs went back to work in the bottom of the 6th and put their first runner aboard with an assist from Jenkins at third base who was not able to make a play on a ground ball allowing Chaz Harvey to reach. Harvey’s curtesy runner came in and was aggressive on the base paths and stole second base. Bob funk then delivered that same at bat with a RBI double to left field to score Harvey and tie the game up at 2-2.
The Bucks then had a chance in the 7th as Kevin Kirk doubled but was left stranded after a pitching change as the D-Backs went to Parker Heineman in relief of Vernon.
Stuarts Draft then went to work in the bottom half of the inning as the D-Backs loaded the bases up with no outs on three straight singles including two bunts that were not executed well by the Bucks as no one was covering first base on both. Cody Bartley came to the plate next and made great contact driving a ball to deep left field for a base hit down the line. Bush and Owens came into score putting the D-Backs out in front for the first time all night. They added one more as Funk added another RBI this time in the form of a single bringing Roberts to score.
Draft had another opportunity in the 8th as they loaded the bases with no outs but left all the runners out there in the same place after a fly out to second and Terrell Thompson grounded into a double play to end the inning.
Chandis Goff came into the game to try and close it out for the D-Backs and did although he did give up a rare walk to Eberly although he was stranded when the final out was recorded.
For Clover Hill they drop to 12-7 with two games left on the schedule. Blake Sipe (0-1) takes the loss for the Bucks in his first outing of the season. Sipe gave up 4 runs, 3 earned, in 4.0 IP. Drew Easter was the only Clover Hill player to record multiple hits on the game as he went 2 for 4 with two singles and a lone RBI. The Bucks will host Montezuma (11-8) next time out on Saturday July 24 in the RCBL Game of the Week on WSVA at 7:30PM.
For the D-Backs they pick up a hard-earned win behind three great performances on the mound by Trevor Vernon, Parker Heinemann, and Chandis Goff. “The pitching was really good tonight,” said manager Les Sandridge. “We didn’t know what we were going to get out of Vernon. He through hard and well at Broadway so we weren’t sure what we were going to get tonight,” Sandridge continued. Vernon went 6.1 innings only giving up 2 runs off of 5 hits and struck out 4 in one of his best outings of the year.
The Draft bats also came in clutch as they have most of the year as Bob Funk and Cody Bartley both had 2 RBIs for the D-Backs. Zach Roberts also added a RBI ground rule double.
The D-Backs (13-7) they are now in a position where they could possibly force a play off game for the RCBL pennant with New Market if the Shockers were to lose on Friday to the Cardinals and then lose on Saturday to the D-Backs. That will be the next matchup for Stuarts Draft on Saturday July 24 as they will travel to Rebel Field to take on the Shockers at 7:30 PM.
By Dean Barker
After squandering a six run lead in the bottom of the sixth, the second place Clover Hill Bucks scored five unanswered runs to beat the third place Montezuma Braves 15-11 on Wednesday, July 21. The win was the fifth straight win for Clover Hill, who improved to 12-6 and is just 1.5 games out of first. The loss dropped Montezuma to 11-8 and into fourth place.
Jackson Sherman got the win to move to 2-0, giving up one unearned run and striking out three in two innings. Jacob Dunford took the loss to fall 0-2, giving up three runs in two thirds of an inning.
The Braves opened the game with an RBI grounder from Hunter Clever, and RBI single from PJ Hanisak, and an RBI single from Grant Thomas. The Braves would strand two.
Ross French would drive in Cole Jenkins on a sacrifice fly in the top of the second, and Josh Eberly and Kevin Kirk would double steal in the third to make the score 3-2 Braves.
Bryce Suters would score on a wild throw from the catcher Wyatt Campbell to tie it up in the fourth. French would bring in one more with a sacrifice fly, and Eberly plated one with and RBI double to make it 5-3 Bucks.
With the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Cole Jenkins would drive in one with a sacrifice groundout. Alex Knicely would ground into a fielder's choice that brought home one run. With the bases loaded and two outs, Eberly and Navedo walked to bring in two runs to make the lead 9-3. In the bottom half, Keegan Oliver would score on a throwing error from Jenkins on a Clever grounder to cut the lead to 9-4.
Knicely drove in Suters with an RBI single in the top of the sixth to push the lead back to six at 10-4. In the bottom half, with the bases loaded, Thomas would drive in Owen Marshall and Gavin Rush with a double to right field. Oliver would drive in Thomas with an RBI single. Isiah Blanks followed up with an RBI single to drive in Wyatt Campbell and Oliver. Then, Kyle Armstrong and Blanks would both score on wild pitches to complete the wild comeback and put the Braves up 11-10.
The lead, however, was short lived, as Blake Sipe would drive in Kirk with an RBI single to tie the game at 11 in the top of the seventh. Thomas would reach third in the bottom half, but was unable to score.
Sipe and John Siciliano would each hit two run singles in the top of the eighth to give the Bucks a 15-11 lead, and the Braves went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half. The game was called at the point, due to time constraints.
Even after blowing a huge lead, Bucks head coach Kevin Chandler said he still had confidence his team would get the job done.
"At the end of the inning, we're only down one...it's just like 1-0," Chandler said. "In our minds, it's 'alright, go get another run.' Which we did, and the came back and scored four in the eighth."
The Bucks stranded twelve base runners, and had three errors, leading to three unearned runs. Montezuma left five on had two errors which did not lead to any unearned runs.
Sipe went 3-6 with two RBIs and two runs scored. Knicely went 1-3 with two RBIs and three runs scored. French with 0-1 with two RBIs on two sacrifice flies. Jenkins was 2-4 with one RBI and three runs scored. Eberly went 2-4 with and RBI and two runs scored. The Bucks had a total of 14 hits on the evening.
Thomas went 4-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Blanks went 2-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Oliver went 2-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Armstrong went 2-4 with a run scored. The Braves had fourteen total hits. Besides Oliver and Armstrong, every single Braves batter scored one run.
Chandler said he was proud of his team's performance.
"It was big, but, you know, these guys are resilient, and they're gonna fight 'til the end," Chandler said. "So I have all the confidence in them, and never a doubt."
The Bucks have clinched at least the #4 seed in the upcoming RCBL Playoffs, and could still earn the top spot with three winds and two New Market losses. Tonight at 7:30 pm, they will travel to the Diamond Club to take on the third place Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks. The Braves will host the Bridgewater Reds tomorrow, July 23, at 7:30 pm.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.