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By Leyton Pullin
On Sunday July 18 the Bridgewater Reds defeated the Grottoes Cardinals 11-10 on a walk off sacrifice fly by Antonio Sosa. The Reds trailed by as much as 7 runs during the game.
Grottoes got the scoring started right away in the top of the 1st. Clayton Michael doubled and was followed by a Keegan Woolford walk to put two runners on and one out. Dylan Nicely came up next and grounded a ball to Derek Shifflett at short. Shifflett flipped it to second for one and the ball to second for one then the throw to turn two sailed into the Grottoes dugout allowing Michael to score and put the Cardinals on top 1-0.
Bridgewater would strike back in the bottom of the 2nd as Antonio Sosa lead off the inning with a groundball to third base that was in and out of the glove of Dalton Nicely at third base allowing him to reach. Jonathan Sexton delivered later in the inning with a double to center field that allowed Sosa to score and tie the game 1-1.
The 4th inning was where both teams’ offenses took over the game. Grottoes put up 7 runs i-n the top half of the inning highlighted by a Keegan Woolford Grand Slam to put the Cardinals on top 8-1. Bridgewater responded in the bottom half putting up 6 runs of their own including a Noah Cornwell 2 Run homerun. The Reds pulled the game back to within one run at 8-7.
Both relievers Tyler Pullin for Grottoes and Nick Griffin shut down the offenses until the bottom of the 7th when the Bridgewater Reds saw Pullin for the second time through the order. Cornwell led off the inning with a single and then stole second later in the inning. Sexton did his job with a sacrifice fly to move Cornwell to third base with one down. Grey Sherfey delivered next up with a RBI single to score Cornwell and tie the game. Following a Jarrod Meadows walk Derek Shifflett saw one pitch and took it for an RBI single to score Sherfey and put the Reds up by a run. Bridgewater put up one last run in the inning as Corbin Lucas hit into a fielder’s choice to drive in the third run of the inning for Bridgewater and put them ahead 10-7.
Grottoes responded in the top of the 8th taking advantage of wild pitches off of Chris Huffman. Grottoes put two on o start the inning as Woolford walked and then was followed by a Dylan Nicely single. Jacob Zoller came to the plate next and put a ball in play that fell down for a single to score Woolford. During the next at bat Nicely would take third on a wild pitch moving the tying run to 90 feet from scoring. Later in the inning Huffman would throw another wild pitch getting away from sexton allowing for Nicely to score easily to tie the game. Grottoes capitalized on another wild pitch later in the inning as Zoller took off for home and when sexton got to throw ball no one was covering home allowing Zoller to score easily to put Grottoes in front 11-10.
Bridgewater would be forced to go back to work in the bottom half of the 8th trailing. Sosa opened the inning with a fly out to center before Cornwell grounded a ball to first base that went off the shoulder of Witt Scafidi and into right field. This allowed Cornwell to reach second as well on the error. The next hitter up was Sexton who was sat down on strikes with some fireworks as he and Pullin exchanged a few words before Sexton was restrained by Shifflett. Jarrod Meadows came to the plate next with a chance to tie the game with runners at the corners as Grey Sherfey had hit into a fielder choice just before. Meadows hit a RBI single in the gap to score Cornwell and tie the game.
Huffman went back to work for the Reds in the 9th and retired the heart of the Grottoes order in order to give his team a chance in the bottom of the 9th. Bridgewater went to work right away as Brett Tharpe walked to lead off the inning. Corbin Lucas came up next and crushed a ball down the left field line that had the distance but tailed foul at the dismay of the Reds dugout. Lucas delivered a pitch later off of Clayton Michael as he hit a single to move Tharpe to third base. Sosa came to the plate next with the chance to win the game for the Reds. Sosa hit a fly ball to right field that was cleanly caught by Woolford. Tharpe tagged up at third and took off to home standing up to walk it off for the Reds 11-10.
For Grottoes they drop to 9-9 on the season with just three games left on the schedule. Clayton Michael (0-2) takes the loss for Grottoes after coming in for Pullin in the bottom of the 8th. Grottoes put up 10 runs off of 11 hits and 1 Reds error. The Cardinals also committed 4 errors in the game unofficially continuing their struggles defensively. The Cardinals will look to avoid a 3-game losing skid as they travel to Montezuma (10-7) on Tuesday July 20 in the RCBL Game of the Week on WSVA at 7:30PM.
For Bridgewater they pick up their second win over Grottoes on the season to clinch the season series. Chris Huffman (1-1) picks up the win for the Reds. The former El Paso Chihuahua threw 2 innings giving up 0 runs and struck out 5. Manager Sherfey said, “We’re trying to find ourselves and now is the time to do it… I love the way they fight.” The Reds faced deficits throughout the night and trailed by as much as 7 in the 4th inning and fighting is what they had to do as 8 out of the 9 players in the line up had RBis. The Reds (5-12) will travel to take on Stuarts Draft (10-7) on July 20th as they look to play spoiler against the D-backs who still would have a chance at the regular season pennant if they were to win out and New Market were to lose their next three games.
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