Stay up to date with news straight from the rcbl staff
By Dean Barker
The #1 Bridgewater Reds (27-8) gave up five unearned runs on six errors in an 8-3 home loss to the #3 RCBL Shockers (25-11) in game one of the 2023 RCBL Championship. With the win, the Shockers take a 1-0 series lead and are three wins from their second title in three years.
“It’s great to go on the road and get the first one, get home field advantage back, and we’ve gotta keep that going tomorrow at home,” Shockers head coach Nolan Potts said.
Jaden Click picked up the win, throwing five scoreless innings with four hits, a walk and a strikeout. Cam Comins gave up two earned runs in four innings with a hit, five walks and two strikeouts.
“The defense (was the key) for sure,” Click said. “I just tried to throw strikes on all the pitches, the inside part of the zone was huge for me tonight.”
Chris Huffman took the loss, giving up four unearned runs on six hits with one walk and eleven strikeouts. Sam Garber pitched an inning of relief, giving up one unearned run on one hit with no walks and two strikeouts. Jared Peake pitched the ninth, giving up three earned runs on two hits with two walks and no strikeouts.
The Reds got on the board in the fourth with an RBI single from Derek Shifflett and an RBI sacrifice fly from Nick Griffin.
With two on and two outs in the top of the fifth, Antonio Sosa dropped a pop fly from Bodie Pullen that would’ve been the third out, although the ball was ruled foul, nixing the two runs that came home. Pullen recuperated and brought those two runners home with a single, and reached third on a wild throw to first.
“I just had to flush (the foul call), move on to the next pitch,” Pullen said. “Nothing I could do about it at that point, just keep making swings, put the ball in play.”
Matt House broke the tie in the top of the sixth when a two-out fly ball to right was dropped by Brett Tharp, allowing the third Shocker run to score in Pearce Bucher.
Luke Keister doubled with two outs in the top of the seventh to bring in Pullen and make it 4-2 Shockers. Corbin Lucas hit a deep fly to left in the bottom half with one on and two outs, but Pullen was there to reach over the fence and rob the home run.
House doubled in the top of the eighth, and Tharp’s throw to third was wild, allowing Harrison Madagan to push the lead to 5-2.
Pullen scored on a wild pitch in the ninth, and Frankie Ritter came home on a double from Keister, who scored on a wild pitch to Madagan.
“The mentality was that we wanted to go up 1-0 on the series,” Keister said. “We had to get on them early, play good defense, hit the ball, all three phases together, and we did that tonight, and good things happened.”
The Shockers had eight runs on nine hits with one error and eight runners left on base. Keister went 3-5 with two RBIs. Pullen was 1-4 with two RBIs and a walk. House was 1-4 with an RBI and a walk. Bucher and Ritter were both 2-5.
The Reds had two runs on five hits with six errors and eight base runners stranded. Griffin was 1-1 with a walk and an RBI. Shifflett was 1-4 with an RBI. Lucas was 1-2 with two walks. Jordan Yankey was 1-4. Garber went 1-1.
The Shockers will try to go up 1-0 when they host the Reds tonight at 7:30 pm for game two at Spotswood High School. Admission costs $5.
“We’ve got to come out tomorrow and play better than we did tonight,” Potts said. “That’s gonna be the whole key, play better every single night moving forward, and I like our chances.”
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.