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By Dean Barker
In a rematch of last year’s RCBL Championship, the Bridgewater Reds scored first and never trailed in a 6-3 victory over the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks. With the win, the Reds improve to 3-1 and move into a three-way tie for second, while the D-Backs fall to a 1-3 tie for sixth.
“Well I think pitching had a lot to do with it, and then, a lot of key hits too,” acting Bridgewater head coach Dennis Miller said. “Our pitching is doing well this year.”
Jared Peake picked up the win for the Reds, pitching four innings and giving up two unearned runs on four hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Joe Christopher pitched the first four innings, giving up one earned run on four hits with three walks and four strikeouts. Derek Shifflett pitched a scoreless ninth with no hits, one walk and one strikeout.
Will Coleman took the loss for the Diamondbacks, giving up four runs (three earned) in three innings on four hits with one walk and three strikeouts. Logan Stump pitched the first three innings, giving up one earned run on two hits with four walks and five strikeouts. Austin Craft pitched two innings and gave up one unearned run on two hits with one walk and a strikeout. Trever Mitchell threw a scoreless ninth with no hits, no walks and a strikeout.
With the bases loaded and one out in the top of the second, Chris Huffman grounded into a force play at second, but drove in one to make the score 1-0 Reds. The D-Backs would respond in the bottom of the fourth, as Ryan Farris would double and Grayson Bush would single to tie the score at one.
Noah Cornwell would break the tie in the top of the fifth with a two-out solo homer to left on a 3-0 pitch, making the score 2-1.
“I don’t listen to some of those (unwritten) rules,” Cornwell said on swinging 3-0. “If a fastball was coming, I was going to swing.”
Bridgewater would add some more in the sixth, as Jordan Yankey drove in two with a double to center, took third on a passed ball, and came home when Derek Shifflett’s grounder to shortstop was bobbled.
With two on and two outs in the bottom of the sixth, Will Hass’s fly ball to center was dropped, allowing Calen Owens to score, but Zach Roberts was thrown out at the plate to keep the score 5-2. Caden Swartley would come home on a wild pitch in the seventh to push the deficit back to four. Chaz Harvey would double and score on a wild pitch in the eighth, but that would be all Stuarts Draft could do.
The Reds had six runs on eight hits with three errors and eleven base runners stranded. Stuarts Draft had three runs on eight hits with two errors and eleven runners left on base.
For the Reds, Yankey went 1-2 with two RBIs and two walks. Shifflett went 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. Cornwell was 1-5 with an RBI. Griffin was 2-3 with a walk. Caden Swartley was 1-4 with a walk. Corbin Lucas was 1-5. Sam Garber went 1-3.
For the Diamondbacks, Bush went 1-2 with a walk and an RBI. Hass was 2-4. Ryan Ferris was 1-4. Jack Pausic and Patrick Rakes went 1-5. Chaz Harvey was 1-1. Owens was 1-2 with a walk.
Bridgewater will be back in action tonight, June 3 at 4 pm when they travel to the Elkton Blue Sox for a double header. Stuarts Draft will look to snap a three-game losing streak when they host the Broadway Bruins tonight at 7:30 pm. D-Backs head coach Les Sandridge said that offense will be the key to getting back in the win column.
“We’ve gotta score, three runs is not enough in this league,” Sandridge said. “Our pitching staff has been doing an excellent job, we’ve just gotta score some runs, give them some help.”
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