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By Dean Barker
The Elkton Blue Sox took an early lead and stayed competitive with the RCBL Shockers, but were unable to pick up their first win in a 9-6 road loss on Wednesday, June 14. With the win, the Shockers improved to 5-3, while the Blue Sox fell to 0-11.
“They (Elkton) made us earn it, they didn’t give us this game, and you know, a lot of kudos to them,” Shockers head coach Nolan Potts said. “I know they’ve been struggling a little bit their first year back, but it’s a talented team, and they’re going to give some people some problems as the season goes on.”
Caden Sawyers picked up the win to improve to 2-0 for the Shockers, pitching an inning and two thirds and giving up three earned runs on three hits with three walks and a strikeout. Pearce Bucher pitched five innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on seven hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Kirk Messick pitched a scoreless ninth with a strikeout to pick up the save.
Taran Baker took the loss for the Blue Sox to fall to 0-2, giving up five earned runs on seven hits with a walk and no strikeouts in an inning and a third. Landon Bruce pitched the first four innings, giving up two earned runs on five hits with three walks and no strikeouts.
The Blue Sox got on the board first in the second inning with a sacrifice fly from Ryan Wright. The Shockers retaliated in the bottom half with a bases loaded RBI sac fly from Kaden Spaid, followed by Harrison Madagan coming home for the second run during a rundown at first.
Hunter Shifflett would plate two with a two RBI single to center in the top of the fifth, giving Elkton a 3-2 lead. With two on and two out in the bottom half, Bucher hit a ground rule double to tie the game at three apiece.
With runners on the corners in the bottom of the sixth, Frankie Ritter reached on an error at second base and the go-ahead run came home. Nick Arnold followed it up with an RBI double, and Connor Houser’s two run single to right made it 7-6 Shockers.
Tyler Stobbs drove in one with a single to right, and with the bases loaded, Pedro Mendez was hit to cut the lead to two. Stobbs would come home on a wild pitch to make it a 7-6 ballgame. Luke Keister would respond with a two run single in the bottom half to make the score 9-6, which is how the game would end.
“In that situation, I was trying to hit the ball to the right side, hit it hard and hopefully score a guy and get the other guy to third base,” Keister said. “I just got lucky, got a pitch I could drive to right field, and the ball dropped and we scored two runs.”
The Shockers had nine runs on fourteen hits with one error. Houser was 3-4 with two RBIs. Keister went 2-5 with two RBIs. Ritter and Bucher were both 2-5 with an RBI.
The Blue Sox had six runs on nine hits with an error. Shifflett went 1-4 with two RBIs. Mendez was 2-3 with an RBI. Wright was 1-3 with an RBI. Stobbs was 1-4 with an RBI.
The Shockers will be back in action when they host the Grottoes Cardinals on Monday, June 19 at 7:30 pm. The Blue Sox will travel to the Clover Hill Bucks on Friday, June 16 at 7:30 pm.
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