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By Dean Barker
After blowing a three run lead, the Clover Hill Bucks came storming back to mercy rule the Broadway Bruins 18-8 in eight innings on Tuesday, July 13 at the Clover Dome. The Bucks are the first team to mercy rule the Bruins since their RCBL championship last year. The game concluded a two game series with the Bruins, the Bucks winning 6-4 Monday in Broadway, and taking Tuesday’s game to sweep the series.
The win moved Clover Hill to 9-6 and third place, and the Bucks are just two games out of first. The loss dropped Broadway to 8-7 and a tie for fifth place.
Jackson Sherman got the win to move to 1-0, giving up three runs in the last three and a third innings pitched with three strikeouts. He relieved Sam Imeson, who gave up five runs in four and two thirds innings.
Cole Holsinger took the loss for the Bruins to fall to 0-2, giving up nine runs in three innings of work. He relieved Jacob Petersheim and Jared Rice, who gave up four and five runs, respectively.
The Bucks scored first in the bottom of the second with an RBI double from Cole Jenkins. The Bruins would respond in the third with an RBI single from Trent Abernathy to tie the game at one, but Cody Swisher walked with the bases loaded in the bottom half to make the score 2-1. John Siciliano reached first on an error, and two runs came home to make the score 4-1 Clover Hill.
A Bruins run would come home in the fourth with an infield grounder from Trent Thomas, which was a failed fielder’s choice at second. With the bases loaded, Justin Lohr was hit to make it 4-3, and a sacrifice fly from Abernathy tied the game at four. Jett Shue would rip an RBI single in the top of the fifth to take the 5-4 lead, which would close the books on Imeson.
Josh Eberly said the Bucks didn’t give up when they blew their early lead, simply saying “It’s baseball, things happen.”
The Bucks loaded the bases with one out in the fifth. Jacob Grabeel’s walk would tie the score at 5, and Alex Knicely would drive in two more with an RBI double to center, which would lead to Rice being pulled. Eberly would smoke a three run bomb to put the game out of reach at 10-5.
In the bottom of the sixth, Ross French would double to bring in another run, an error from Holsigner would score one more, and a two run double from Eberly made the score 14-5.
Holsinger would try to help his own cause with a three run homer to left in the top of the eighth to make the score 14-8. However, it would prove to be futile in the bottom half, when two RBIs from Knicely, one from Eberly, and one from Kevin Kirk pushed the Bucks ahead for the “walkoff” mercy rule.
The Bucks had just one error and left seven runners aboard. The Bruins had two errors and left ten runners on.
Eberly was a triple short of the cycle, going 4-4 with six RBIs and two runs scored. Knicely was 3-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored. Jenkins, Grabeel, French, Swisher and Kirk all had one RBI. The Bucks had 19 hits on the evening.
Holsinger went 1-4 with three RBIs and a run scored. Abernathy went 2-3 with two RBIs. Shue and Lohr each had one RBI. The Bruins had a total of ten hits.
Eberly says there was nothing special about his approach that led to his huge evening, only “Just taking it, you know, a day at a time, and just simple approach, and it just happened to be a good night.”
The Bucks will have two nights off before they travel to Bridgewater to take on the rival Reds on Friday, July 16 at 7:30 pm. The Bruins will travel to New Market on Thursday, July 15 at 7:30 pm for a rematch of last year’s RCBL championship finals with the Shockers.
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