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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.
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