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By Dean Barker
The #1 Bridgewater Reds (28-8) led the whole way in a 9-7 game two win over the #3 RCBL Shockers (25-12) on Wednesday, August 9. With the win, the Reds even the RCBL Championship at one game apiece.
Derek Shifflett got the win, pitching nine innings and giving up seven runs on hits with walks and thirteen strikeouts.
“This team’s fun to play for,” Shifflett said. “I think yesterday was not Reds baseball; we brought the energy tonight, we scored early.”
Pearce Bucher took the loss, pitching three and a third innings and giving up eight runs (six earned) on nine hits with no walks and two strikeouts. Kaden Spaid pitched five and two thirds innings, giving up an unearned run on four hits with five walks and three strikeouts.
“It’s not the end of the world, but obviously it’s disappointing,” Shockers head coach Nolan Potts said. “We’ve got to play clean baseball in order to beat a team like that, and they showed offensively what they’re capable of all night long.”
The Reds got on the board first with an RBI single apiece from Corbin Lucas and Derek Shifflett, giving Bridgewater a 2-0 lead.
Grey Sherfey led off the second with what looked to be a triple, but Harrison Madagan tagged first base to record the out, as Sherfey missed the base.
With two on in the third, Lucas singled to bring in the third run. Shifflett helped his cause with a two out, two run single to extend the lead to 5-0.
A two out blooper to right from Luke Keister brought home Jaden Click to get the Shockers on the board. Bucher helped his cause with a two run double to center field to cut the Reds lead to 5-3.
After Brett Tharp’s fourth inning fly to right was lost in the lights, Noah Cornwell drove a two run shot to center field.
“It just felt good to hit something hard and help my team win,” Cornwell said. “I was just looking for a fastball over the plate, and I did my job.”
Chris Huffman followed it up with a bomb to left field to push the Reds lead to 8-3.
“I was just trying to stay within myself,” Huffman said. “I was just trying to stay short to the ball, you know, not being too big for this situation, and like Noah said, just trying to help my team put together a win tonight.”
Frankie Ritter ripped a two out single to center to bring two runs home in the bottom half. After a stolen base and wild pitch, Ritter scored on a single from Keister. Madagan’s RBI single to right would cut the lead to 8-7.
With two outs in the top of the fifth, Chris Huffman singled to right and brought home Jordan Yankey, but Brett Tharp was thrown out at third to end the inning.
The Reds had nine runs on thirteen hits with two errors and twelve base runners stranded. Shifflett was 2-3 with a walk and three RBIs. Cornwell was 2-4 with two walks and two RBIs. Lucas was 3-5 with an RBI. Huffman was 3-6 with an RBI. Sherfey was 1-4 with a walk. Caden Swartley went 1-5. Brett Tharp was 1-5 with a walk.
The Shockers had seven runs on ten hits with four errors and seven runners left on base. Keister went 3-5 with two RBIs. Ritter was 2-5 with two RBIs. Bucher was 1-4 with a walk and two RBIs. Madagan was 1-5 with an RBI. Dawson Russell was 1-3 with a walk. Jaden Click went 2-3.
Game three will be Friday, August 11 at 7:30 pm at Ray Heatwole Field in Bridgewater.
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