NEW MARKET - The RCBL’s East Division has a new leader going into the final week of the season. New Market hosted Grottoes on Wednesday night, defeating the Cardinals 6-5 to move into first place in the East.
The game was every bit as dramatic as a battle for first place should be, with multi-run innings, late-game comebacks, and an extra-inning walk-off victory by the home team Shockers.
New Market took a one-run lead off an RBI single by Ty Michaud in the second inning, but a five-run fifth inning by the Cardinals gave them a big lead going forward. Adam Dofflemyer, Jacob Merica, Keegan Woolford, Dylan Nicely and Eli Lam all came around to score in the fifth as the Cardinals started to pull away.
New Market slowly chipped away at the lead by sending Trenton Burgreen across the plate in the sixth and Nick Goode in the seventh.
Trailing by two runs going into the bottom of the ninth, the top of the Shockers order came up to the plate. Joseph Rutherford walked with one out before Goode drove him home with an RBI triple. Goode came around to score in the inning to tie it up and send the game to extras.
Grottoes wasn’t able to get anything going in the 10th and 11th innings and the top of the Shockers order came back to the plate to lead off the 11th. After the first two batters got out, Goode singled on a full count to keep the Shockers’ hopes alive late in the evening.
Pat Wingfield stepped up to the plate with Goode on first, hoping to close out the game for New Market. The former UVA infielder drove a fly ball into right field, where it bounced in and out of Ray Tricarico’s glove and allowed Goode to score, winning the game for New Market.
It took him a couple of tries, though. As he was heading home down the third base line, Goode dove too early and ended up a few feet in front of home plate. He got up and made another attempt, this time touching home plate and sending the Shockers home victorious.
“[Coach Rush] said 'You gotta get on your horse' and I caught my feet and tried to barrel roll to the plate,” Goode said about his scoring play. “It was terrible but hey, we won, so who cares?”
Goode’s efforts earned him a Gatorade shower from his teammates, which he enjoyed despite the cool weather in New Market last night.
“It felt pretty good after a W,” Goode said. “It felt like old times. I played in the Valley League last summer and that’s what we used to do. That’s what it feels like now, we’re getting excited, so it’s awesome.”
Goode finished the night 3-for-5 with three runs scored and an RBI. He also came just a home run short of hitting for the cycle. The centerfielder out of Shenandoah University had some key at bats for the Shockers and he said he felt confident in every one.
“I knew we had a great pitcher with Benner on the mound who was going to keep us in the game,” Goode said. “Keeping it at five runs, I knew we could just chip away. Just keep putting in good at bats, that’s all that matters with the team.”
With the win over Grottoes and Elkton’s loss at Montezuma last night, New Market sits alone on top of the East Division at 10-14. The Shockers have four more games to finish out the season, only one of which is against an East Division team.
New Market’s next matchup comes on Saturday night as the Shockers head to Stuarts Draft to take on the Diamondbacks. That game will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Diamond Club.