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By Leyton Pullin
The Grottoes Cardinals picked up an 11-7 victory over the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks thanks to some timely hits and great defensive plays.
Stuarts Draft squandered an opportunity in the bottom of the 1st as Zach Roberts led off with a hit and then was put out on a fielder’s choice that allowed Terrell Thompson to reach. Thompson the stole second and third base straight up before being stranded.
Stuarts Draft got the scoring started in the 2nd inning as Jack Pausic crushed a solo home run to left and make it 1-0 D-Backs.
Stuarts Draft added another run as Thompson singled and then stole second again. The next batter Will Hass hit a ground ball to third base that Jacob Dansey fielded and then airmailed to first that allowed Thompson to round third base and come home to score and put the D-Backs on top 2-0 in the 3rd. Later in the inning Bob Funk crushed a ball to deep left center field and it looked to have the distance required but Kevin Saylor made a leaping catch at the wall for the robbery and the final out of the inning.
The Cardinals bounced back the very next half inning as they pushed 4 runs across in the top of the 4th. Keegan Wollford led the inning off with a double to right field. Later in the inning Tucker Garrison hit a ground ball to second that went off of Roberts and into the outfield. That allowed Woolford to score. The next at bat Jacob Dansey fell into a 2-2 count but put a charge into a ball to left center field for a 2-run line drive home run. Kevin Saylor then reached on a dropped third strike as the catcher Jack Pausic airmailed the throw into right field. The Next at bat David Wood hit a sacrifice fly to score Saylor and cap off the inning 4-2 Grottoes.
Grottoes added another run in the top of the 5th inning as Jacob Merica reached on an error by Roberts at second and then scored also on an error later in the inning as Dylan Nicely hit a ball to third base that was miss handled to put Grottoes on top 5-2.
Stuarts Draft struck back in the bottom half of the 5th as Terrell Thompson walked and then Will Hass singled to left field but the ball got away from Merica in left allowing Thompson to score and Hass to get to second base safely. The D-backs had cut the lead to 5-3.
Grottoes extended their lead with solo home runs in the 6th and 7th. The two left-handed power threats for the Cardinals Wood and Woolford each put one out of the park to stretch the lead to 7-3.
Grottoes opened the game up in the 8th as they put 4 more runs across to push the lead out to 11-4. The inning was capped off by a Dylan Nicely 3 RBI double with the bases loaded.
Ty Lam came in for the Cardinals in the 6th in relief for Adam Dofflemeyer who went 5 innings. Lam tossed 3.1 scoreless before he began to struggle in the top of the 9th. Stuarts Draft Put Hass aboard with a lead off single he was followed by another Pausic homer this time a 2-run missile to left to make it 11-5. Bob Funk drew a walk the next at bat before Lucas Adam delivered a RBI single that would be the final blow Lam would take on the night. Tim Nicely called upon Tyler Pullin to come in and finish the game for the Cardinals with one down. The first hitter the right hander from Point Park University faced was Tyler Wilcher who singled to put runners at the corners. Trevor Mitchell came in to pinch hit in the nine spot in the order following Wilcher. Mitchel grounded out to the second baseman Moyer for the second out but a run did score to make it 11-7 with now two outs in the bottom of the 9th. The switch hitter Roberts came to the plate next looking to keep the rally alive. The first pitch of the at bat Roberts drilled a pitch down the right field line but the ball went well foul to the dismay of some of the D-Back faithful. The next pitch Roberts drilled again this time to center field. Saylor retreated to the fence and made another nice defensive play to seal the victory for Grottoes.
For Stuarts Draft they fall to 8-7 on the season. William Mullins takes the loss for the D-Backs after going 5.0 innings, giving up 5 hits, 5 runs, 2 of those earned and striking out 4. Jack Pausic and Terrell Thompson both had outstanding nights at the plate. Pausic went 2 for 5 and those two hits were home runs. Pausic also added 4 RBIs. Thompson went 1 for 4 at the plate but his success was on the base paths as he had 3 stolen bases and 2 runs scored. The D-Backs get back in action with little turn around as Elkton (2-13) comes to the Diamond Club for a 7:30PM date on Tuesday July 13.
The Grottoes Cardinals pick up the victory and move to 9-7 on the year. Adam Dofflemeyer (2-1) gets the win for the Cardinals. The south paw went 5.0, gave up 6 hits, 1 earned run and struck out 4. Kevin Saylor made his presence felt as the former Bridgewater College Basketball star made some spectatular catches including a catch where he ran through the fence out in center field and somehow managed to hang on to the ball.
“Took us a while to convince [Saylor] to come back and play baseball. We’ve been working on him for two years,” said Grottoes manager Tim Nicely.
Saylor had not been the Cardinals everyday center fielder but was called upon as Boogie Saunders is sidelined with an injury. Nicley also credited him with the spark the offense needed after his spectacular home run robbery in the 3rd inning.
Grottoes will be back in action after a few days off as the will host Montezuma (9-5) on Friday July 16 in their final home game of the regular season.
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