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By Leyton Pullin
On Tuesday the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks defeated the Elkton Blue Sox by a score of 14-4 in 7 innings.
The first inning and a half went scoreless before the Diamondbacks blew the game open in the bottom of the 2nd. Will Hass was retired via the ground out to start the inning before Bob Funk was hit by a pitch the next at bat. Tyler Wilcher followed up by doubling off of the right field wall to put runners on the corners with only one out. Grayson Bush game to the plate next and delivered with a 2 RBI double to score Funk and Wilcher. Stuarts Draft scored 2 more runs later in the inning as Terrell Thompson stayed hot and hit a 2 RBI single to score Bush and Calen Owens who reached on an infield single. Stuarts Draft took a 4-0 lead to the third.
The D-Backs added 4 more runs off the Elkton starter Will Craig but this tie all 4 were unearned as his defense let him down multiple times in the inning. Will Hass was the first hitter to reach on a single in the inning followed by a ground ball by Funk that was mishandled by the third base man Steve Michael to allow everyone to reach safely. Wilcher came up next and slapped another base knock off the wall in right allowing for Funk to try and score. The relay for the Blue Sox from Chase Pullin to Seth Berry to Tristan Gordon at the plate was in time but Gordon did not come up with the ball as it went in and out of his glove to the back stop allowing Hass to score as well. Bush did his job at the plate next with a sacrifice fly that should have been the third out of the inning if it wasn’t for the error at third earlier in the inning. Calen Owens came up next and the lefty from West Virginia Tech crushed a ball over the short porch in right field for a 2-Run home run to stretch the D-Backs lead to 8-0 after 3 innings of play.
Elkton put a run on the board as Michael tried to make up for his error the previous inning as he singled allowing Will Craig to score as he came into the game as a sub for the injured Elliot Erkel. This cut into the Stuarts Draft lead making it an 8-1 game in the top of the 4th.
Stuarts Draft added another run in the bottom of the 4th as Jack Pausic stayed hot at the plate with a ground rule double and then was driven in on a Bob Funk double down the third base line to make it 9-1.
The D-Backs offense continued in the bottom of the 5th putting up 3 more runs to stretch the lead out to 12-1. Lucas Adam delivered a RBI single and Will Hass hit a 2 RBI single to stretch the lead.
Elkton then decided to scratch across another run in the 6th as Berry led off the inning with a single. He was later driven in to score on a Michael ground out to cut it to a 12-2 game.
Stuarts Draft stretched the lead with 2 more runs in the bottom of the 6th to push the game into run rule territory as Bush and Owens scored to make it 14-2.
Elkton tried to keep the game alive knowing they were facing the run rule in the top of the 7th. The Blue Sox drew two straight walks to start the inning. Tillman Butler the grounded out to the pitcher for the first out allowing the base runners to advance to second and third with one out. The next at bat a pitch got away from the catcher which allowed Cam Shields to score from third. The Blue Sox added another run on a Gordon RBI single that scored Jack Marshall to make it 14-4 which would be the final as the next two hitters were retired.
For Elkton they drop to 2-14 on the year with only five games remaining on the schedule. The Blue Sox committed 3 errors on the night which proved to be lethal along with the Stuarts Draft bats. Will Craig takes the loss allowing 9 hits, 4 earned runs and striking out a batter in 3 innings. The Blue Sox will host Montezuma (9-5) on Thursday July 15 at 7:30PM.
For Stuarts Draft they move to 9-7 on the year putting them in a tie with Grottoes for No. 4 in the RCBL standings. For the D-Backs it was a pitch by committee night as Les Sandridge and company employed 5 different arms on the night. “The biggest thing tonight was to try and get guys on the mound that hadn’t been on for a while,” said Sandridge. The entire D-backs staff only allowed 4 runs, 7 hits and struck out 6 on the way to victory. Stuarts Draft will be back in action as they travel to Broadway (8-7) on Saturday July 17 at 7:30 in a matchup that features two teams right in the thick of the RCBL race for the pennant.
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