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By Jen Chan
The Bridgewater Reds and the Clover Hill Bucks battled this Friday evening for 1st place in the RCBL.
The Reds would get on the board first as Grey Sherfey would double to Jacob Grabeel in center field. Derek Shifflett would then sacrifice to advance Sherfey. After a walk to Brett Tharp, Corbin Lucas shot one to right center field to move them to 1-0 in the ball game. The top of the inning would end in strikeouts to Blake Sipe and Noah Cornwell stranding 2 runners left on base.
The next run in the 4th inning would come from Liam Simpson of the Reds after he singled in the 5/6 gap. He would then steal 2nd and steal 3rd from a wild pitch to Jordan Yankey. He would then score on a fly out to right field from Sherfey.
No runs would be scored until the bottom of the 6th. Jose Rocha would be walked to start off, the first lead-off batter to be walked the entire game. A bauk would move Rocha to 2nd and later would steal 3rd off of a early lead. A line drive from Drew Easter to left field would score Rocha to decrease the Reds lead to 2-1.
The first 2 batters for the Reds would go down with a groundout and a strikeout. This would leave 2 ours with Lucas up to bat. After fighting off a few pitches Lucas would shoot one to left center field. With everyone thinking that it would hit the ground Eberly would be running to grab it with everything he got as he dives for it to end the top of the 7th.
The bottom half of the 7th would start out the same way for the Bucks. With 2 outs Grabeel would hit a ground ball to 3rd, but the weird hops it takes to get there would leave Grabeel safe at 1st. He would then steal 2nd on a wild pitch to Eberly. Eberly would hit one all the way to the wall in left field, but great tracking from Sipe would get the 3rd out of the inning.
The 8th inning would bring the lead-off batter for the Reds, Sipe to knock a solo home run over the taller fence in left field to increase the Bridgewater lead to 3-1. The top of the inning would end with 3 ground outs and the bottom portion of the inning would end with 1 K, a groundout, and a shot right back towards Tyler Conley on the mound.
The Reds would end up scoring 2 insurance runs in the top of the 9th as Derek Shifflett would launch one in the 3-4 gap to make its way to right field. Shifflett would then steal 2nd after Conley overthrows the ball to Swisher at 1st. With great base running and a slip a few feet away from 1st base Shifflett makes it to 2nd base by a mere second. The next 3 batters would then be walked to score Shifflett on an RBI walk from Sipe. Tharp gains the final run for the Reds when he gets into Conley’s head and causes Conley to throw back to 3rd but overthrows it to advance the runners once again.
With the last chance to battle back against the Reds, the Bucks start off the bottom of the 9th with a groundout to Lucas at 3rd. Kevin Kirk is able to his a speedy grounder to Lucas, but Lucas is unable to make the throw over to Cornwell in time to put 1 runner aboard with 1 out. Lucas Clark puts one in the left side gap to put 2 runners on base. Both runners are able to advance off a wild pitch to Ross French. French is able to get a ball in play and is called safe at first. The Reds did not agree with the call made at first and went to appeal it, but the ball was still live. The runners were able to advance once again and added a run onto the board. With runners at 2nd and 3rd Grabeel comes in clutch with his hit into shallow right field to score the final run of the game.
The Bucks tried to battle back to continue their winning streak but were unable to connect their hits as the 8 and 9 hole hitters, Tanner Montgomery and Grabeel, were the only ones on the Bucks able to have a multi-hit game.
The Valley Care Management Player of the Game: Derek Shifflett – 7 innings pitched, 5 K, 1 walk, and 1 unearned run. Honorable Mention: Blake Sipe – a clutch grab in the 7th & solo home run in the 8th.
The Bucks are back in action tonight at Buck Bowman Park to face the Stuarts Draft Diamondback starting at 7:30. The Reds will host the shockers on June 21 with game time starting at 7:30.
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