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By Leyton Pullin
The Grottoes Cardinals defeated the Broadway Bruins 16-4 Friday night behind their explosive offensive attack.
Spencer Williams got the start for Grottoes and got behind the eight ball early walking the first two hitters he faced. Trevor Thomas, the starter for the Bruins, came to the dish next and connected with an RBI single to knock in the lead-off man, Tyler Stobbs, to put the Bruins out in front. After that, Williams settled in punching out the next two hitters he faced and retiring the side only allowing a single Broadway run.
The bottom of the first was the true difference-maker in the ballgame. The Cardinals pushed across nine runs and sent 13 hitters to the plate. Cam Irvine, Eli Lam, Witt Scafidi and Dalton Nicely all tallied an RBI single in the frame while David Wood and Dylan Nicely picked up two RBIs a piece to account for the nine runs as every Grottoes hitter reached base in one form during the frame.
Williams began to settle in after gaining massive run support from his offense. He would only allow one run in his next three innings of work and take the win. Williams added six total strikeouts and only two hits in an up and down outing.
Grottoes continued to pad the lead right away in the second frame as Boogie Saunders was hit by a pitch and proceeded to do only as Boogie Saunders does by cleanly stealing second and third base. On his slide into third, the throw from Tillman Butler would hit Saunders in the head and leave the field of play allowing him to walk home on the dead ball to make it 10-1.
The Cardinals would bring all nine hitters to the plate in the third tagging on four more including RBI base knocks from Ty Lam and Saunders to make it a 14-2 game.
In the top of the fifth, the Cardinals would make a move to the bullpen bringing in Andrew Baugher who struck out the first hitter he faced. Second to the dish was Jaden Nixon who battled in a two-strike count before he crushed a ball into the night sky for a solo home run making it 14-3.
The Bruins tagged on another run in the top of the sixth on a Brody Bower single that would score Noah Hertzler to cut the lead to 10.
Tucker Garrison would pinch-hit in the bottom half of the frame for Grottoes and would get in on the scoring with a two-run home run to right field to also bring in Saunders and stretch the lead to 16-4.
Baugher would shut down the Bruins in the seventh retiring the side in order to finish the game.
Broadway drops to 6-12 on the season with the loss with six games left on the regular-season schedule. They will be back in action on Sunday as they host the Stuarts Diamondbacks (10-4) who currently sit atop the league standings.
“We swung it really well from the beginning and guys were not trying to do too much,” said Grottoes manager Tim Nicely.
Irvine led the Cardinals offensively with three RBIs in a 2-for-3 night at the plate. Saunders also added a 2-for-2 game with three stolen bases.
Looking ahead for the Cardinals they sit at an even .500 at 7-7 with 10 games left on the schedule. Nicely talked about some of the struggles the team faced during the opening stages of the season including scheduling conflicts with high school players and a tough stretch of four games in seven days and with that says he feels okay to be where they are.
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