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By Dean Barker
Two days after a 19-9 loss to the Elkton Blue Sox, the Bridgewater Reds dominated the rematch two days later, winning 12-1 in seven innings at home on Monday, July 5. With the victory, the Reds won the regular season series with the Blue Sox 2-1. It was also the first home win for Bridgewater this season, who is 1-5 at Ray Heatwole Field.
The win moved the Reds to 3-10 and helped them leapfrog Elkton to move into 7th place in the RCBL. The Blue Sox fell to 2-10, and are now in 8th/last place.
Derek Shifflet picked up the win to move to 2-1, pitching seven innings and giving up just one run on five hits with eight strikeouts. Jacob Leveall took the loss in his first pitching performance of the year, giving up eight runs (seven earned) on five hits in one third of an inning. Will Craig would give up four runs in 4 ⅔ innings on six hits.
The Reds wasted no time getting to work, bringing thirteen batters to the plate in the first inning. Shifflet and Brett Tharpe would reach on infield singles, and Corbin Lucas’s grounder to the pitcher was bobbled. Hunter Miller’s walk would bring in Shifflet, and Tharpe would steal home while nobody was looking. Antonio Sosa singled to right field to reload the bases. After Patrick O’Neil’s flyout to first base, Jonathan Sexton was hit to bring home a run, and Grey Sherfey would be walked for another run. Logan Phelps would hit a single to shortstop that would bring home another run. Shifflet would help his own cause with a two RBI single, at which point Leveall was pulled for Craig. Tharpe looped a single past the second baseman to bring home an eighth run. The inning would end on a flyout to center field, when Tharpe was thrown out trying to take home.
The Blue Sox would score one run in the top of the fourth, thanks to a throwing error from Sexton to third as Jeremy Kwolek tried to steal. Kwolek reached on a double to left field.
The Reds would get the insurance they needed in the fifth. Sexton led off with a double to center field, and reached third on a passed ball. Sherfey’s flyout to center would bring him home. Walks to Phelps and Tharpe, along with a single from Lucas, would load the bases for Miller. Miller ripped a three RBI double to left field to make the score 12-1, which is how the game would end.
Kwolek led the Blue Sox in defeat, going 1-3 with a run scored. Mack Rexrode was 1-2. Elliot Erkel, Robert Carbello, and Cameron Shields all went 1-3. The Blue Sox left five runners on base.
Miller led the Reds, going 3-4 with four RBIs and a run scored. Sherfey was 1-2 with two RBIs and a run scored. Sexton was 3-3 with an RBI and two runs scored. Lucas was 3-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Shifflet was 2-5 with two RBIs and a run scored.
Reds head coach Robert Sherfey was very pleased with his team’s hitting.
“Little bit more patience at the plate, being more conservative, swinging at strikes paid off,” Sherfey said. “They hit the ball, and it was a good game. Good win for us.”
After starting the season 1-8, the Reds have won two of their last four games with one game left in the first half. Sherfey is hopeful that his team will continue to trend in the right direction after the All-Star Break.
“You’ve just got to take it game by game at a time, stay focused, and just have fun,” Sherfey said. “Once we start doing that… and now they’re starting to gel a little bit together, things should come together. And the way I see it, that’s where I want to be come playoff time.”
The Reds will play their last first half game on Wednesday, July 7 at the Grottoes Cardinals at 7:30 pm. The Blue Sox will host the Clover Hill Bucks on Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 pm, and finish the first half on Thursday against the Cardinals at the same time.
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