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By Olivia Carson
After losing to Broadway the night before, the Montezuma Braves returned last night with a fight to secure the regular season series against the Bruins. This game was big for both teams as Broadway lost their opportunity to tie with New Market for first place and now with an 8 - 5 record, Montezuma is tied with the Bruins for second.
Every time these two teams have played each other this season it has been a closely scoring and competitive game. Similar to their first matchup, last night the Braves overcame the Bruins by just one run (4 - 3).
Team manager for the Braves, Chris Rush, is proud of his team for the way they played against such a competitive team.
“They [Broadway] are a good quality team and we knew coming into tonight that it was going to be tough. So, I was proud of my guys, the way they played tonight, defensively, good pitching and they just played through everything,” says Rush.
Montezuma applied pressure early in the game with a line drive single to left field from Hunter Clever that advanced Michael Robertson home at the top of the 1st inning. Neither team allowed another run for the next 3 innings as Issac VanMeter pitched for Broadway until the middle of the fifth inning, collecting 4 strikeouts, giving up 3 runs and allowing 1 walk.
Lance Tate took home the win for the Braves, striking out 6 in the first 6 innings and giving up only 2 runs. TR Williams retired Tate at the bottom of the 7th to strikeout 1 and not allow any runs, hits or walks in just the 1 inning. Wesley Payne pitched the last 2 innings for the Braves giving up one run and striking out 3.
As the Braves are now tied for second in the league, Tate has confidence that his team has what it takes to win it all.
“We got a lot of good guys...they’re ready to play ball and once everything clicks together like it is right now, I think we’re going to be dangerous,” says Tate.
The Braves were the first to score again in the 5th inning starting with two back-to-back singles from Owen Marshall and Robertson. Marshall got sent home during a putout and Robertson scored once again off a single from Clever. Later in the inning, the Bruins made a pitching substitution as Dalton Benson stepped up to the mound to escape a bases loaded situation, leaving 3 on base for Montezuma entering the bottom of the fifth with a 3 - 0 advantage.
The Bruins started adding runs to the board at the bottom of the fifth as Tate allowed 3 walks and Bryce Turner scored off a sacrifice fly to the left fielder with bases loaded. Trent Abernathy then singled to score Jacob Petersheim who was subbing in for Kevin Rush as a pinch runner. Broadway still remained at a disadvantage moving into the 6th inning down by 1 run (3 - 2).
Montezuma extended their lead by one in the top of the 6th after Trevor Thomas subbed in to pitch for Broadway and Wyatt Campbell scored off a ground rule double from Blanks. Thomas finished the inning striking out Clever for out number 3 and neglected to allow another run from the Braves in the rest of the matchup.
Broadway collected the final run of the game in the bottom of the eighth inning as Abernathy scored off a sacrifice fly to right field after Payne stepped in as a save pitcher for Montezuma. The Bruins still trailed by one run and neither team got a hit in the last inning, ending the matchup with a 4 - 3 win for the Braves.
Montezuma will take on the Elkton Blue Sox on Monday July 12 after the All-Star Break this weekend while the Bruins will return back to home on the 12th to play Clover Hill.
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