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By Leyton Pullin
On Wednesday July 7 the Bridgewater Reds defeated the Grottoes Cardinals 13-7 for their fourth win of the year. The Reds were able to capitalize off of 8 Cardinals errors in route to the win.
The Reds got the scoring started in the top of the first inning as Adam Dofflemeyer got the start for Grottoes. Brett Tharp would hit a ground ball and reach on a fielder’s choice as Derek Shifflett was thrown out on his way to second. Tharp stole second and the next pitch stole third but after Dofflemeyer had gotten the ball back from the catcher. Then Dofflemeyer proceeded to throw it to Dalton Nicely at third to throw Tharp out and the throw was airmailed into left field to allow Tharp to give Bridgewater a 1-0 lead.
Grottoes would strike back in the second and do a number on starting pitcher Nick Griffin putting up 7 runs in the second alone. Jacob Zoller walked to lead off the inning and was driven in the next at bat as Jacob Merica hit a liner to the fence for a RBI triple. The next two hitter for Grottoes walked jamming the bases for Noah Burtner who struck out. Griffin would get ahead to a 1-2 count on the next hitter Dalton Nicely before he tagged Nicely with a pitch allowing Merica to score. The inning took a turn from there as Boogie Saunders and Clayton Michael hit back-to-back 2 RBI base hits before the inning was capped off by a Dylan Nicely RBI single to tally the seventh run for the Cardinals.
Dofflemeyer looked to have found a rhythm after being handed a 6-run lead to work with as he retired 6 of the next 8 hitters he faced before utter chaos ensued.
In the 5th inning Bridgewater put 6 runs across to tie the game. Jonathan Sexton opened the inning with a single to the opposite field. Grey Sherfy came to the plate next and hit a ground ball to third base that squirted between the legs of Nicely at third base allowing him to reach and put runners on the corners. Cayden Clements followed and attempted to lay down a sacrifice bunt attempt but when the ball got to Dofflemeyer he was not able to get it out of his throwing hand almost as if the ball was stuck to his hand. This allowed for everyone to reach safely and allowed Sexton score. Shifflett would then bunt to third base as a sacrifice to mover Sherfey and Clements up to second and third. Tharp walked the next at bat to load the bases for a Hunter Miller base clearing 3 RBI double. Logan Phelps had been moved to the mound for the Reds the inning before and then hit a 2 RBI single to tie the game and create his own run support scoring Miller and Noah Cornwell.
Kevin Saylor came in to relieve Dofflemeyer in the 6th. He surrendered a walk and a base hit to the first hitters he faced Sherfey and Clements. Shifflett came up the next at bat and crushed a two-strike pitch to deep right center all to be caught by Saunders who had to run full sprint and make a spectacular catch on the run. Brett Tharp was up next with one down and attempted to lay down a bunt that would’ve been a sacrifice opportunity. Saylor fielded the bunt and made the throw to first to only hit Tharp in the helmet sending the ball way out in right field. Sherfey and Clements would score on that error. As the first baseman Andrew Baugher got to the ball, he then launched it across the pond to third base where Nicely was not able to field it in an attempt to get Tharp out. The ball then found its way out of play allowing Tharp to score on a dead ball in one of the craziest plays in the 2021 RCBL season. Bridgewater took a 10-7 lead on the play.
Shifflett was then called upon and went to the mound looking to shut down the Grottoes bats and that he did not allowing a run from the bottom of the sixth on in a rare 12 out save. He struck out 7 and walked 2 in his outing. He also got some support from his offense and the Grottoes defense. The Reds scored 3 more runs to extend their lead out to 13-7 off of 3 hits and 2 more Grottoes errors. The Cardinals tallied a season high 8 errors in the game.
For Grottoes they fall to 7-7 on the year and now have lost three straight and find themselves 2.5 games back of first place New Market (9-4). Kevin Saylor (0-1) takes the loss for Grottoes despite only allowing 2 earned runs. As a staff Dofflemeyer, Saylor and Baugher only allowed 3 earned runs and 9 hits while striking out 12. The Cardinals will look to turn things around quickly as they will be back in action at Elkton (2-11) with the hopes of getting back to above .500 on the year on Thursday July 8 at 7:30PM.
Bridgewater picks up their second consecutive win and move to 4-10 on the year. Logan Phelps (1-2) picks up the win and Derek Shifflett (1) picks up a save. Shifflett and Phelps both did not allow a run and only gave up 2 hits each in their relief efforts. The Reds will have nearly a week off as they will not play another game until after the All Star break as they will host the current front runners in the pennant race the New Market Shockers (9-4) on Tuesday July 13 at 7:30PM.
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