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By Leyton Pullin
The New Market Shockers defeated the Grottoes Cardinals on Saturday July 3 by a score of 5-4 at Shifflett Field.
New Market got the scoring started right away as Matt House reached on a lead off single and driven in the very next at bat by a Kaden Spaid RBI double. New Market continued the scoring later in the inning as Luke Estep hit an RBI single to score Spaid and put the Shockers out in front 2-0 before Grottoes even got to the plate.
Starter Calvin Pastel kept the Cardinals hitless for the first two innings before Rhett Moyer doubled to left field in the 3rd inning. Dalton Nicely drove in the first run for the Cardinals the ensuing at bat with a RBI single right back up the middle to score Moyer. The Cardinals would then load the bases after a Clayton Michael singled and Dylan Nicely was intentionally walked. The Cardinals left the bases jammed after a Tucker Garrison strike out ended the inning with the score 2-1 in favor of the Shockers.
New Market would stretch their lead the next half inning in the top of the 4th. Ethan Laird and Joel Smith reached for the Shockers on back-to-back singles and would be advanced into scoring position by a sacrifice bunt by Pastel. Spaid then put a ground ball in play later in the inning with two outs and the throw over to first didn’t make it to the first baseman David Wood. As the ball rolled to the fence behind the bag both Laird and Smith came into score and stretch the lead to 4-1.
Grottoes struck back in the bottom of the 5th as Boogie Saunders and Michael singled back-to-back to lead off the inning before Dylan Nicely delivered a two RBI single to draw the Cardinals back to within a run at 4-3.
Right on cue New Market applied some pressure on the scoreboard in the 6th. Calvin Pastel tripled with one down and was driven in the following at bat as Matt house made solid contact for a RBI single to stretch the Shocker lead back out to 5-3.
Grottoes battled back once more in the bottom half of the 6th. Ben Custer walked to lead off the inning followed by a Moyer single. Both runners would be advanced into scoring position by a Dalton Nicely sacrifice bunt to set the plate for the top of the order. Saunders would go down on strikes the ensuing at bat chasing at three pitches out of the zone. With two gone in the inning Michael deliverdd an RBI single to score Custer and put the game back to one run at 5-4.
Grottoes had another chance in the 8th as they caught a break and Moyer reached first on an error by Josh Tayman at third base. Moyer would end up stranded at third base when the third out was recorded.
New Market had another chance to stretch the lead in the top of the 9th as Tayman lead the inning off with a single. Ty Bennet laid down a bunt following the single and reached on a fielder’s choice as Dylan Nicely tried to make the out at second and the through was airmailed into center field allowing Tayman to reach third base. George Aul was up later in the inning after a Luke Estep strike out and grounded up the middle. Moyer at second would opt for the out at the plate to save the run for the second out. Laird grounded out to Wood at first to end the inning.
Grottoes came to the plate in the 9th with a chance only trailing by a run. Spaid retired the first hitter in the inning during his relief effort before Garrison tried to provide his own run support with a blooper double. Jacob Merica came to the plate next and grounded a ball to Spaid on the mound. Spaid made the heads up play and checked on Garrison and got him hung up between second and third base and getting him out while Merica reached at first with now two gone in the 9th. David Wood came up as the last hope for the Cardinals and got ahead 2-0 in the count before he got under a fastball from Spaid and flew out to Estep in centerfield for the final out.
For Grottoes they fall to 7-5 on the year with the loss. Tucker Garrison (2-2) takes the loss for the Cardinals after he tossed a complete game for Tim Nicely and company. Garrison tossed a pretty good game despite taking the loss only allowing 3 earned runs and striking out 7. The Cardinals will enjoy a day off for Independence Day then will be back at it as they do battle once again with nearby rival Stuarts Draft (7-5) winners of two straight over the last two teams to occupy the top spot in the league standings. That game will be in Grottoes at 7:30PM on Monday July 5.
Calvin Pastel (2-1) picks up the win for the Shockers after tossing 6 innings, striking out 8 and giving up 4 earned runs. Spaid (1) also picks up a rare 9 out save for the Shockers. Nolan Potts and company were rather shorthanded on the night as they only had nine players available. Yes, you read that right only nine players. Nolan Potts described the win as “… an all-around team effort…. We had guys step into the lineup that normally don’t hit and they put good swings on it and were able to squeak out a victory” The Shockers (7-4) will get back in action with another intriguing battle towards the top of the RCBL standings with the Montezuma Braves (7-3). The Shockers will have a chance to take first place in the standings with a win. That will take place on Tuesday July 6 at Rebel Park in New Market at 7:30 PM.
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