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By Dean Barker and Leyton Pullin
The East opened the scoring in the first inning as Zach Roberts opened the game with a lead off single and was driven in two batters later as the RCBL home run leader Keegan Woolford crushed a 2-run homerun to put the East on top 2-0.
The East added another run in the second inning as Tucker Garrison crushed a solo homerun to center field to extend the East lead to 3-0.
The West scored all of their runs in the bottom of the third inning putting up 8 runs all earned against Elkton’s Will Craig. Trent Abernathy got the scoring started with a 3-run homerun. Bryce Suters and Jonathan Sexton both added a RBI single each. Trevor Thomas walked with the bases loaded to drive in another run before an Isiah Blanks RBI sacrifice fly stretched the lead out to 8-3.
The East slowly began to cut into the lead beginning in the fifth inning as Garrison would score on an error by the catcher Brett Tharp to make it 8-4.
The East would strike again in the sixth with a Jose Rocha RBI single to score Tristan Gordon. Rocha would later score in the inning as Garrison hit a well struck fly ball to left that Alex Knicely was unable to secure cleanly. The lead was cut to 8-6 at that point.
Again, the East All Stars took a chunk out of the deficit in the eight as Rocha singled and scored on an error to make it a 1 run game, 8-7.
The East finally got their chance to take the lead in the 9th and they did that and more against Eric Yankey who came in to attempt the save for the West. Calvin Pastel walked to start the inning and was driven in by his New Market teammate Josh Tayman to tie the game. Yankey proceeded to walk the bases loaded and then walked Rocha to force across the go-ahead run for the East. The East added one more on a Garrison RBI groundout to stretch the lead out to 10-8.
Clayton Michael came in for the save and retired the West in order to finish the game for the East.
Grottoes Cardinal Tucker Garrison was named the RCBL All Star Game MVP as the Bridgewater alum went 1-3 at the plate with 2 RBI, 2 runs scored and got the win on the hill for the East.
New Market Shockers
The Shockers enter the All Star break at the top of the league standings at 10-4 and winners of five straight games. Pearce Bucher sits second in the RCBL in average at .444 averaging 4 hits per every 9 at bats. “My approach at the plate is just to stay within myself, not try to do too much and put faith in the guys behind me,” said Bucher.
The key to New Market’s success so far this season has to be their chemistry which Bucher later alluded to as the majority of the team is from Shenandoah University. “From the fall to the spring we have the same system when we play at Shenandoah and we try to use that here,” said Henry Delavergne.
The Shockers get back to it on Tuesday July 13 as they travel to Ray Heatwole Field for a 7:30PM date with the Reds (4-10).
Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks
The Diamondbacks come to the break with a record of 8-6 and are in fourth in the league standings. They sit 2 games back of first place New Market.
Zach Roberts sits atop the league in average hitting .459 on the year. “It’s been see ball, hit ball really,” said Roberts. “We’ve go-t a good offense, one of the better ones in the league. As long as the pitching keeps the ball in the yard and the offense keeps going, we’re in a good spot.”
The D-Backs will be back in action on Monday as they host nearby rival Grottoes (8-7) at the Diamond Club at 7:30PM.
The Grottoes Cardinals maintain their reputation as one of the most entertaining teams in the league sitting at 8-7, sixth in the standings but 2.5 games out of first place.
The bats have been the key for the Cardinals thus far this year with Dylan Nicely leading the league in RBI(22) and Keegan Woolford leading the league in home runs(6). Nicely and Woolford both said they go to the plate and “… see ball hit ball.” Nicely also talked about his teammates, “I’ve got some good guys ahead of me with Boogie [Saunders] and Clayton [Michael] that make my job pretty easy.”
Grottoes will travel to the Diamond Club to play the D-Backs on Monday July 12 at 7:30 PM.
Elkton Blue Sox
The Elkton Blue Sox sit at the bottom of the RCBL standings at 2-12 on the year. Elkton will look to turn their season around as they get back in action Monday July 12 as they travel to Montezuma at 7:30PM.
The Bridgewater Reds are 4-10, in seventh place in the RCBL, and six games out of first. However, the Reds have been clicking lately, winning three of their last five games of the first half. They will return to action against New Market at home on Tuesday, July 13 at 7:30 pm. Derek Shifflet thinks the Reds will continue to trend upward in the second half.
“Just keep having fun, keep playing baseball like we know, keep the errors down, and just keep having a good time,” Shifflet said. Shifflet is leading the league with 50 strikeouts, and struck out five in the All-Star game, while also reaching first on an error.
Clover Hill Bucks
The Clover Hill Bucks are 7-6, fifth place in the RCBL, and 2.5 games out of first. The Bucks have struggled as of late, losing three of their last four.
Bucks pitching coach Justin Getz thinks the team will improve as the season goes on. “We’ve got some pieces missing in the puzzle right now. Things will fall in together as they start playing hot baseball here late in the season, and start rolling into the playoffs,” Getz said.
The Bucks will open the second half at the Broadway Bruins on Monday, July 12 at 7:30 pm.
The Montezuma Braves sit tied with the Broadway Bruins for second at 8-5, 1.5 games out of first place. The Braves were in first place going into the last week, but lost three of their last four to fall into second. They did, however, win the season series against second-place Broadway, 2-1.
Keegan Oliver thinks Montezuma will have to produce from the mound in order to have a good second half.
“Keep going out, and just think three up, three down every inning,” Oliver said. Oliver gave up three runs in the All-Star Game.
The Broadway Bruins are tied with the Montezuma Braves for second place at 8-5, a game and a half out of first. After starting the season 3-0, the Bruins went 5-5 until the break.
Bruins outfielder Trent Abernathy hit a three run homer for the West.
While last year’s team won the RCBL title, the current Bruins only have five returning players from that club. However, head coach Chip Abernathy likes what he has seen from his young team.
“They’re all young, so you can throw them in there, and they don’t really know yet that ‘Hey, I’m not supposed to produce here,’” Abernathy said.
The Bruins return to action Monday, July 12 at 7:30 pm at home against the Bucks.
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