The Shockers gave up five runs in the second inning in an eventual 10-5 loss to Broadway in Game 4 of the Rockingham County Baseball League championship series. The game was delayed by an hour due to rain. The win gave the Bruins a 4-0 sweep and their first RCBL title since 1938.
âThey came out here and got the hot start tonight, and we couldnât catch up,â New Market head coach Nolan Potts said. âIt was too much of a deficit early to get it all back. But Iâm proud of the way they played. It was still a successful summer even though this isnât the end result we wanted.â
New Market held a lead in each of the first three games, but Potts said âone bad inningâ cost them each time.
The Bruins took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first. With one out, Tyler Ault drew a walk from New Market starting pitcher Joel Smith. The Shockers intentionally walked Chase DeLauter and Travis Reifsnider followed with an RBI double. DeLauter later scored on a groundout RBI by John Judy.
Broadwayâs Natty Soloman drew a leadoff walk in the top of the second and Kevin Rush had a one out-single to out runners at first and second. Matt Meiser followed with an RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
After Ault flied out, Potts chose to once again intentionally walk DeLauter to load the bases with two outs. The James Madison University slugger has been the top offensive player in the league all season. Reifsnider once again delivered the big blow with a grand slam for a 7-0 lead for the Bruins.
âI said before the series I didnât want DeLauter to beat us and Reifsnider picked up the slack tonight,â Potts said. âI put (DeLauter) on twice and (Reifsnider made me pay twice.â
Despite the huge deficit, the Shockers battled throughout the rest of the game. Smith and New Market relievers C.J. Morton and Kirk Messick combined to allow only one hit over the next six innings.
The Shockers responded with two runs in the bottom of the second. Central graduate Luke Estep scored on a wild pitch from Broadway starter John Judy after reaching on a single to start the inning. Sherando graduate Frankie Ritter had an RBI single to cut the lead to 7-2.
New Market made the game even closer in the bottom of the seventh. Matt Moon led off the inning with a single and one out later Ritter doubled to put runners on second and third.
Moon scored on a wild pitch by Broadway reliever Liam McDonnell and a two-out RBI single by Sherando graduate Pearce Bucher cut the lead to 7-4. Calvin Pastel singled but was forced out at second base on a grounder by Matt House to end the inning.
âWe couldâve folded after the second inning,â Potts said. âWe could have just mailed it in. Itâs seven-zip in the second. We battled the whole game. We put together good at-bats there. We battled the whole time and Iâm proud of them.â
At the top of the ninth, Ault and DeLauter each singled with one out off of Messick. With two outs, Ault scored on an error and Trent Abernathyâs two-run double gave the Bruins a 10-4 edge.
New Marketâs Henry Delavergne hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth, but the Shockers stranded two runners to end the game and give the Bruins the title.
Stonewall Jackson graduate and Broadway infielder Cole Holsinger said it was a great feeling to win the title. This was Holsingerâs fourth year with the team and he said the Bruins have struggled in previous years.
âWe were last in the league for so long, so to finally be able to win a championship it feels pretty good,â Holsinger said. âWe had really good talent this year with the JMU guys, especially Chase (DeLauter) â he rocked it this year. And especially with pitchers like (Anthony Piccolino), Liam (McDonnell) and all them, they all did their parts just like everybody else. So it feels really good.â
Holsinger said he would have loved to have clinched the title at Broadwayâs home field, which is JMUâs baseball field. However, he said it felt good to be able to do it at Rebel Park, where he played four years for Stonewall Jackson.
âI always love being back here at Rebel, being here for four years at Stonewall,â Holsinger said. âSo to win it here still means something. It still means a lot.â
Ritter led the Shockers with three hits. Potts said despite losing in the finals he was proud of his team and what they accomplished this season.
âIt was a good year,â he said. âHopefully theyâll all want to come back again. Hopefully, weâll keep the team intact and make a run for it next year because I think we turned some heads this year. I think a lot of people didnât expect us to have the year we did and to get to the finals for the first time in almost 50 years. Itâs a big accomplishment for us. Iâm proud of them.â
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