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By Dean Barker
The Clover Hill Bucks utilized a five-run sixth inning to hand the defending champion Bridgewater Reds a 8-6 loss on Monday, May 29 at Buck Bowman Park. With the win, the Bucks moved to 3-1 and second place in the RCBL, while the Reds fell to 1-1 and a tie for fifth.
“You just focus on what we do, and on playing our fundamental baseball, and not getting too high or too low on emotions,” Bucks head coach Kevin Chandler said. “At the end of the day, it’s another baseball game, and we’ve gotta execute.”
Jaden Isidro picked up the win for Clover Hill, pitching the sixth and seventh innings and giving up five runs (four earned) and three hits with no walks and four strikeouts. Reid Long pitched the first five innings and gave up one run on six hits, one walk and nine strikeouts to get the no-decision. Tyler Conley pitched a scoreless last two innings with three strikeouts, one walk and no hits in a non-save situation.
Jared Peake took the loss for Bridgewater, giving up two earned runs in an inning and a third with two hits, no walks and a strikeout. Chris Griffin pitched the first five innings, giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Landen Campbell pitched two thirds of the sixth inning, giving up four earned runs on one hit with three walks and no strikeouts. Tyler Jones pitched a 1-2-3 eighth with a strikeout, no hits and no walks.
Luke Shifflett got the Bucks on the board first with a bases-loaded RBI groundout in the third to make the score 1-0. Lucas Clark then ripped a sharp liner which Griffin miraculously caught to end the inning.
The Reds would respond in the top of the fifth, as Noah Cornwell drove in Derek Shifflett with a single to right. The Bucks put the run back on the board in the bottom half, as José Rocha came home on a passed ball. With two on and one out in the top of the sixth, Patrick O’Niel plated one with an RBI groundout to second, and Derek Shifflett put the Reds up 3-2 with an RBI double to left.
With John Siciliano walking to start the bottom of the sixth, TJ Johnson drove him in with a double to left, and took third on a wild throw to second from the catcher. Alex Knicely walked, and ball four went into the backstop, allowing Johnson to score the go-ahead run. Rocha walked with two outs, prompting Reds head coach Robert Sherfey to pull Campbell for Peake. Kevin Navedo would drive in another with a single, and Shifflett would reach on an error, allowing another run to score. Clark’s single to left would make the score 7-3 Bucks.
With two on in the top of the seventh, Liam Simpson drove in one with a double to right, Josh Tayman added another with an RBI groundout to first, and Simpson would score on a passed ball to make the score 7-6. Kyle Carlson led off the bottom half with a double off the left field wall, and went to third and home on sacrifice flies from Johnson and Knicely to make the final score 8-6.
The Bucks had eight runs on seven hits with two errors and seven base runners stranded. The Reds scored six runs on nine hits with four errors and ten runners left on base.
“We created too many errors and gave them (Clover Hill) too many opportunities,” Sherfey said. “When they have opportunities, they’re going to capitalize on them, and we didn’t capitalize on some of ours.”
For the Reds, Shifflett was 3-4 with an RBI and a walk. Simpson was 2-4 with an RBI and a walk. Cornwell was 1-4 with an RBI and a walk. Tayman was 1-4 with an RBI. Chris Huffman was 1-4 with a walk. O’Neil added an RBI.
Navedo went 2-4 with an RBI and a walk to lead the Bucks. Johnson went 1-2 with an RBI. Clark was 1-4 with an RBI. Shifflett was 1-5 with an RBI. Eberly went 1-3. Carlson was 1-4. Knicely added an RBI.
The Bucks will be back in action on Wednesday, May 31 at 7:30 pm when they travel to the Elkton Blue Sox. Bridgewater will hope to bounce back at the Montezuma Braves on the same date at the same time.
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