GROTTOES - After not getting a hit since May 29, Grottoes first baseman David Wood led his team to victory as the Cardinals defeated New Market 4-2 on Saturday night.
“I just had a good game, came up confident in every at bat,” Wood said following the win. “I did my job, had guys on the path and got them around.”
Due to all of the rainouts and postponements, Wood had only played in two games this month prior to Saturday night, going hitless both times. He proved his worth this time though, knocking in all four of the Cardinals’ runs and finishing 2-for-4 from the plate.
His biggest hit of the night came in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the game tied up at 1-1, Wood came up to bat with runners on first and second. He swung at the first pitch he saw, driving the ball into the left field corner and allowing two runs to come across the plate.
“Well they’d been pitching outside all game, so I went up expecting outside,” Wood said about his at bat in the sixth. “I just went right with the pitch and just lined it right down the line.”
Wood drove in another run on a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the score 4-1 in favor of the Cardinals. His performance on Saturday night gave Grottoes the advantage it needed to win the game, but the team came close to losing it.
Ty Bennett led off the top of the ninth inning with a single for New Market, reaching second on a throwing error by the Cardinals’ right fielder. Bennett came around to score on an RBI single by Josh Tayman in the next at bat, cutting the lead to 4-2.
Shockers’ first baseman Zach Stiles reached on a walk before Sterling Jennings and Billy Quinn each struck out for the first two outs of the inning. Right fielder Ty Michaud singled to keep the game alive for New Market, leaving the Shockers’ hope in the hands of Joseph Rutherford.
Rutherford already had three hits on the night and had scored the only New Market run of the game as he stepped up to the plate with a chance to tie it. Grottoes reliever Dustin Garst got him to a 2-2 count before unleashing his breaking ball to get the strikeout and end the game.
Josh Pittman picked up the win for the Cardinals, tossing 7.1 innings and giving up just one run on six hits. Pittman managed to strike out five Shockers in the victory.
With the win, Grottoes improves to 3-3 on the season and remains in first place in the Eastern Division. The Cardinals have the night off on Sunday before hosting Bridgewater on Monday night.
Monday’s matchup will be the first time the two teams face off this season. Grottoes and Bridgewater have met each of the past two years in the playoffs, with Grottoes sweeping Bridgewater in the 2016 quarterfinals before the Reds returned the favor in the 2017 semifinals.
Monday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. at Shifflett Field.