Stay up to date with news straight from the rcbl staff
By Dean Barker
The RCBL Shockers overcame a two run deficit in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 4-3 on Tuesday, June 20. With the win, the Shockers improved to 7-3 and moved to second in the RCBL, while the Diamondbacks fell to 5-8.
“Baseball is a crazy game, you see there at the end, we’ll never see a game end like that, but we’ll take the win any way we can get it,” Shockers head coach Nolan Potts said. “That’s a testament to these guys sticking with it all night; as bleak as it looked there in the ninth heading in after they scored two, we were able to come away with the win, and that’s really all that matters.”
Matt House picked up the win for the Shockers, giving up two earned runs in three and ⅔ innings on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts.
“It all comes down to defense,” House said. “All the trust I have in the defense, I just know I can throw right to the glove and just hope for the best and that the hitters miss it, or just hit it right to them.”
Kaden Spaid got the no-decision, pitching five and ⅓ innings and giving up one earned run on two hits with four walks and eleven strikeouts.
“I just tried to throw strikes, throw through the bat, let my defense make the plays,” Spaid said. “I had command of all my pitches, so that felt good, and I was just trying to get it through the bat, let them hit it.”
Chandis Goff took the loss for Stuarts Draft to fall to 1-1, giving up three runs (one earned) on four hits with no walks and a strikeout. Jacob Grabeel took the no-decision, pitching six innings and giving up one earned run on seven hits with one walk and two strikeouts. Josh Matheney pitched a scoreless sixth with one hit, one walk and one strikeout. Job Harrell pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth with no hits, walks or strikeouts.
With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, the Shockers scored first with an RBI double to deep center from Bodie Pullen to make it 1-0.
Cody Bartley would tie it back up with a solo shot to right center in the top of the sixth.
Keegan Costa led off the top of the ninth with a double to right field, and Nate Wayne would single and steal second. With two outs, Calen Owens ripped a two run double to left field to put Stuarts Draft up 3-1.
Pearce Bucher, Connor Houser and Harrison Madagan led off the bottom of the ninth with singles to left, center and right, respectively. Spaid drove in the Shockers’ second run of the game with a sacrifice fly to left. Brody Pickette struck out in a pinch hit appearance. Luke Keister’s soft grounder to the pitcher snuck by to load the bases for Bodie Pullen. Goff balked to bring home Drew Hogue, pinch running for Houser, to tie the game. Harrison Madagan scored the winning run on a wild pitch.
The Shockers had four runs on eleven hits with no errors and seven runners left on base. Madagan went 4-4. Pullen was 3-4 with an RBI. Spaid was 1-3 with an RBI. Houser was 1-3 with a walk. Bucher was 1-4. Keister went 1-5.
“I got into a couple of two strike counts, luckily I was able to shorten up, put something in play, and the balls were falling,” Madagan said.
The Diamondbacks had three runs on eight hits with one error and nine runners stranded. Owens went 3-5 with two RBIs. Nate Wayne was 2-4. Cody Bartley went 1-4 with an RBI. Grabeel was 1-3. Keegan Costa was 1-4.
The Shockers will look for their seventh straight win when they host the defending RCBL Champion and first place Bridgewater Reds on Saturday, June 24 at 7:30 pm. Coach Potts recognizes that this game will not be a cakewalk.
“We’ve got our work cut out for us,” Potts said. “They’re the defending champs, they’re playing well right now, they got their tenth win tonight… so we’ve gotta come out and hit better than we did tonight, that’s number one… Play solid defense behind our pitching, throw strikes, and if we do that, we’ve got a shot.”
The Diamondbacks will hope to bounce back when they host the Elkton Blue Sox on Friday, June 23 at 7:30 pm. Diamondbacks head coach Les Sandridge doesn’t think his team will be too bogged down by this loss to move on to that game.
“(I told my team) that I’m proud of them, we played a good game, it’s just that baseball is baseball,” Sandridge said. “We win as a team, we lose as a team, (it’s) nobody’s fault. We’re a good group of guys, so we take it and move on to the next game.”
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.