ELKTON- It was a hot and humid Sunday evening in Elkton as the Blue Sox played host to the Clover Hill Bucks. As is the norm between the two teams, much of the contest was a pitcher’s duel between Kris Lalk and Waring Garber, before a barrage of late-inning runs resulted in a 7-6 win for Clover Hill.
Clover Hill opened the scoring in the third inning as Cody Warner ripped his second base hit of the night past an outstretched first baseman, scoring All-Star catcher Matt Larson.
Elkton responded quickly in the top of the fourth with Cameron Stanley’s fourth home run of the year. Stanley is now tied for the league-lead in home runs, and is hitting an impressive .459 on the year.
After a Ross French triple led to Clover Hill taking a 2-1 lead, a five-run seventh inning by Elkton appeared to have the Blue Sox well on their way to a much-needed victory. Luke Easter, JJ Loker, Jack Decker, Connor Lilley, and Trent Miller all recorded singles in the frame. Lilley’s hit was his third of the night, pushing his batting average to .310 on the year.
However, the Clover Hill Bucks were not to be denied, scoring three runs in the eighth inning and two in the ninth to secure their 13th win of the year. Back-to-back-to-back singles by Blake Sipe, Cody Warner, and Luke Shifflett brought the Bucks to within one, before Drew Easter decided he wasn’t ready to go home.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Easter climbed into the box and drilled a solo home run to deep left-centerfield, making it a 6-6 ballgame. Blake Sipe followed up the home run by drawing a walk, eventually scoring the winning run on a Luke Shifflett RBI-single into centerfield.
Eric Yankey put in his longest outing of the season, throwing 2.2 innings of shutout baseball. He allowed just one hit while striking out four, allowing his offense to climb back into the game.
VMI Keydet Cody Warner capped off his impressive return to Clover Hill, going 5-5 on the night, driving in two, and scoring a run. He finished his weekend 7-9, reaching base in nine of his 11 total plate appearances.
For Elkton, Kris Lalk struck out five hitters over six innings. His league-leading strikeout total now sits at 49.
The Blue Sox are back in action tonight, hosting the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks. Meanwhile, Clover Hill will enjoy a long Fourth of July holiday. They won’t return to the field until Friday, when they take on the Broadway Bruins at Broadway High School.