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By Tyler Carney
A back and forth game between last year's champion and runner up went down to the wire as the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks bested the Bridgewater Red 11-10. Draft looked more like themselves as they’ve had a rocky start to the season, this game could be a big turning point for the team.
The Reds have looked dominant lately and while missing some big names they got out to an early lead as they had a two run first inning to Draft’s one. Drafts one run was driven in off the bat of Cody Bartley on an RBI single. Bridgewater’s two runs came from Josh Tayman on a 2 RBI single.
Draft would take the lead back quickly as a three run second would push them ahead 4-2. Those runs would come from a RBI double from leadoff hitter Zach Roberts, and two RBI singles from Grayson Bush and Logan Duff.
Draft would continue the scoring with a three run fourth inning and would extend their lead to 7-2. An inning that saw 9 hitters come up to bat for the Diamondbacks would start with a RBI groundout by Bush that would allow the runner on third to score. Right after Duff would hit an RBI single. Calen Owens would get the last RBI of the inning on a fielder's choice as Draft had loaded the bases.
The Reds however would get back in it the 5th with two runs. Those runs came from Grey Sherfey on an RBI single and Tayman would get another RBI on a groundout to second.
The sixth inning was a big one for the Reds as they also got through all nine batters in the inning. A throwing error by the Diamondbacks first baseman would allow a run to score as the Reds had loaded the bases. The Diamondbacks almost got out of the jam getting two outs but Chris Huffman was up to bat. The MVP candidate would hit a liner to left, an absolute no doubt as the Reds got a grand slam and took the lead 10-7.
Draft would tighten up and respond with a 2 run 7th inning off of two RBI doubles from Logan Duff and Cody Bartley. Their defense would hold against the Reds offense and only be down one run going into the 9th. Bush would tie the game on a passed ball as he had made it the third off his own single. Caden Richter would then hit an RBI double to take the lead 11-10 where it would stand with good defense again from Draft.
“We finally got quality at bats, our pitching has been good but the difference tonight was the quality at bats,” said Diamondbacks manager Les Sandridge.
On that good pitching Trevor Vernon would get the start for Draft and held the Reds to 3 runs throwing 80 pitches. Logan Stump would replace him in the 5th and besides the grand slam pitched well and earned himself the win, he threw 79 pitches. Chandis Goff would close the game, his one inning of work put to bed any hope of a walkoff for the Reds. Goff would earn the save.
For the Reds, Joe Christopher would get the start on the mound only giving up 4 runs before being taken out in the 4th. Tyler Jones would come in the 4th and would only muster 2 outs to 4 hits, 3 runs, and 4 walks, he was replaced quickly by Jared Peake. Peake would get out of the jam and go until the 8th keeping the game close. Nick Griffin would come in and finish the game, however he’d give up the winning run giving him the loss.
The Reds, now 9-3, will be back in action at home June 20th against their rivals the Clover Hill Bucks who are now 8-2 after their big win vs Elkton.
The Diamondback will look too keep their momentum going as they are now 4-7 and will play Montezuma(5-) at home on June 17th.
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