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By Dean Barker
The Bridgewater Reds overcame a 5-3 deficit at home by scoring five in the sixth and three in the seventh to beat the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 11-6 on Thursday, July 20. With the win, the Reds improved to 17-6, while the Diamondbacks fell to 9-15.
Derek Shifflett picked up the win to improve to 7-0, pitching eight innings and giving up five runs (two earned) on nine hits with four walks and ten strikeouts. Shifflet threw 135 pitches after throwing 166 vs. the Montezuma Braves on Tuesday. Landen Campbell pitched the ninth, giving up one earned run on two hits with no walks and two strikeouts.
“They’ve got batters, they’ve got some good hitters,” Shifflett said. “We’ve got good defense behind us, I don’t think we had as many errors, and when we score eleven runs, it’s kind of hard to beat, so I just trust in my offense.”
Will Coleman pitched four innings, giving up three earned runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Job Harrell pitched an inning and a third, giving up four earned runs on two hits with five walks and two strikeouts. Austin Craft pitched an inning and a third, giving up runs on four hits with four walks and no strikeouts. Chandis Goff pitched a scoreless inning and a third, giving up no hits with two walks and a strikeout.
Zach Roberts led off the game with a single to center field, and Chaz Harvey drove him in with a homer over the center field wall to make it 2-0 Stuarts Draft. Nick Griffin and Noah Cornwell responded with back-to-back solo shots to left in the bottom half to tie the game.
“Me and Corbin (Lucas) have been working on staying through the ball, so I’ve been working on (hitting to) left center, left field, and I got a pitch on the outside half, and drilled it,” Cornwell said. “That’s what we’ve been working on before the games, so I’ve got to shout out my guy Corbin.”
Griffin was also looking for a pitch to drive.
“I was only supposed to play until Grey (Sherfey) got here, so I figured I would only have 1-2 AB’s, so I tried to go yard,” Griffin said. “Get a fastball, put a good swing on it.”
Grayson Bush ripped an RBI down the third base line to score Roberts in the top of the third. Cornwell responded with a sacrifice fly in the bottom half to drive in Shifflett.
With the bases loaded, Roberts grounded into a forceout at second, but reached first and brought Ryan Farris home to take the lead back at 4-3.
Zach Roberts added another run with a sacrifice groundout to plate Landon Lightner in the sixth.
Shifflett and Griffin drew bases-loaded walks in the bottom of the sixth to tie the game. A sacrifice groundout to second from Cornwell gave the Reds their first lead of the game, and Corbin Lucas doubled to center to put Bridgewater up 8-5.
With runners on the corners in the seventh, Shifflett roped a liner to center to plate one. Cornwell grounded into a fielder’s choice at second, but Caden Clements came home for the tenth run. Shifflett scored on a wild pitch.
Logan Duff beat out a throw to first on a fielder’s choice at second, and Roberts came home to make it 11-6 in the top of the ninth.
The Reds had eleven runs on eleven hits with two errors and ten runners left on base. Shifflet and Lucas both went 2-3 with two RBIs, Shifflet drawing two walks and Lucas drawing one. Jordan Yankey was 2-5. Cornwell went 1-4 with four RBIs. Huffman and Caden Swartley were both 1-3 with two walks. Griffin was 1-1 with two RBIs and four walks. Cam Herron went 1-5.
The Diamondbacks had six runs on eleven hits with no errors and nine base runners stranded. Roberts was 3-5 with two RBIs. Landon Lightner was 3-4. Bush was 2-5 with an RBI. Harvey went 1-3 with two RBIs and two walks. Nate Wayne was 1-3. Farris went 1-5.
With an 11-1 win from the Clover Hill Bucks over the Montezuma Braves, the Reds and Bucks are still tied for first in the RCBL. To break the tie, the Reds say they just need to play well all around.
“Pitching, defense, timely hitting, that’s the name of the game,” Cornwell said.
The Reds will travel to the Montezuma Braves on Friday, July 21 at 7:30 pm. The Diamondbacks will travel to the Elkton Blue Sox on Friday, July 21 at 7:30 pm.
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