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By Dean Barker
On the brink of elimination, Chris Huffman threw a complete game shutout to power the #1 Bridgewater Reds to a 5-0 game five win over the #3 RCBL Shockers on Monday, August 14. With the win, the Reds cut the Shockers’ lead to 3-2 and forced a sixth game of the RCBL Championship.
“(The key was) just making sure I stayed ahead in the count, eliminate the walks,” Huffman said. “Just keeping them off the base, keeping them off balance, my defense played well behind me tonight.”
Huffman picked up the win for the Reds to improve to 8-2, pitching nine innings with six hits, a walk and ten strikeouts.
Cam Comins took the loss for the Shockers to fall to 0-2, pitching five innings and giving up two runs (one earned) on four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. Jaden Click pitched three innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on two hits with a walk and no strikeouts.
With the bases loaded in the bottom of the third, Huffman flew out to deep center to put the Reds up 1-0, but Corbin Lucas and Noah Cornwell struck out to end the inning.
Lucas added a run with a sacrifice fly to right in the bottom of the fifth.
With two on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Derek Shifflett ripped a two run single to left, and advanced to second on a wild throw home to make it 4-0 Reds.
“Anytime you have (Huffman) on the mound, it gives you a lot more confidence at the plate,” Shifflett said. “We know if we get a few runs here and there, we’re gonna get a good game.”
A two out grounder in the eighth from Mason Mantz was bobbled by Nick Arnold, allowing Grey Sherfey to score and make it 5-0.
The Reds had five runs on six hits with three errors and nine runners left on base. Shifflett was 3-4 with two RBIs. Jordan Yankey went 2-4. Mason Mantz was 1-3. Lucas went 0-3 with an RBI. Huffman was 0-4 with an RBI.
The Shockers had no runs on six hits with three errors and eight base runners stranded. Luke Keister went 2-4. Arnold, Matt House and Pearce Bucher all went 1-4. Dawson Russell was 1-2.
The Reds will look to force a game seven when they travel to Spotswood High School to face the Shockers on Tuesday, August 15 at 7:30 pm.
“(We need to) just play our game, expect a dogfight,” Huffman said. “We can’t come out flat, we’ve got to be the aggressor.”
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