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By Leyton Pullin
The Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks picked up a 14-4 win over the Grottoes Cardinals on Wednesday July 28 in a win or go home game in order to force a decisive game 3.
Stuarts Draft got right to work in the top of the 1st inning as they took advantage of a shaky start of the outing from Tyler Pullin. Zach Roberts led the game off with a single right back up the middle off of the glove of Pullin on the very first pitch he saw. Draft the proceeded to load the bases on a hit by pitch and a walk to put Thompson and Hass aboard. Jack Pausic came to the plate next and wore a pitch from Pullin to allow Roberts to score and put eh D-Backs on the board 1-0.
Grottoes struck back quickly in the bottom half of the inning as Clayton Michael stayed hot with a single with one out. Dylan Nicely came to the plate next and delivered as he has all year with an RBI ground rule double to push Michael across to tie the game at 1-1.
Stuarts Draft added more runs in the top of the 2nd with a pair of sacrifice fly outs to Boogie Saunders in center field by Roberts and Hass to bring Grayson Bush and Calen Owens in to score and take the lead 3-1.
Grottoes bounced back in the bottom of the 3rd as Saunders wore a pitch from starting pitcher Doug Pollock to reach safely for the first time all night. Michael again delivered with an RBI triple in the deepest ball park in the RCBL to push Saunders across. Later in the inning Jacob Zoller joined the hit party with a RBI single of his own to score Saunders and tie the game at 3-3.
Both pitchers straightened up as both Pullin and Pollock tossed scoreless frames in the 4th inning. However, the same could not be said about the 5th as Stuarts Draft opened the game up with a 7 spot to take a 10-3 lead. Roberts and Hass added 2 more RBIs each in the inning.
Doug Pollock’s night would finally come to an end as a lightning delay paused the game for nearly 40 minutes and he was replaced by Luke Kehoe who finished the bottom of the 6th for the D-Backs.
Stuarts Draft added another run in the 7th as they loaded the bases on a walk, hit by pitch and a Thompson single before Jack Pausic walked with those bases loaded to score Lucas Adam and stretch the lead to 11-3.
The D-Backs added 3 more runs in the top of the 8th as they again loaded the bases before Adam hit a base clearing triple to knock in Tyler Wilcher, Bush and Owens to push the lead to 14-3 and put Grottoes back against the ball due to the run rule.
Grottoes started the bottom of the 8th with Clayton Michael reaching on a hit by pitch. Jacob Zoller attempted to keep the inning alive as he doubled to score Michael. The next two hitters Moyer and Lutz to close the game out due to the 10-run rule.
Stuarts Draft picks up the win 14-4. Doug Pollock gets the win after going 5.2 IP and allowed 3 earned runs off of 4 hits and 4 punchouts. Tyler Pullin took the loss for Grottoes after 4.0+ IP and allowing 5 earned runs. For Stuarts Draft Will Hass and Zach Roberts each picked up 3 RBI. Jack Pausic also added 2 RBI.
Manager Les Sandridge said the key to the win was the pitching. Doug Pollock did not surrender a walk in his start and Luke Kehoe only allowed one in his relief effort to keep the “freebies” off the bases.
Game 3 will take place at the Diamond Club in Stuarts Draft on Thursday July 29 at 7:30 PM in a win or go home scenario for both clubs. “We just need to be patient at the plate,” said Sandridge when talking about what would be the keys for the elimination game on Thursday.
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