Redlegs Falter Against Champs


On a cloudy Sunday at Oak Grove Park in Centerville, the Redlegs took on the defending MVABL champion Kettering Royals. Brad Clark made his first start on the 2011 season and pitched well, going 7 innings and striking out 6 while giving up 4 earned runs. After the 1st inning, Clark only allowed 1 earned run and 6 hits through his next 6 innings of work. Despite the good outing, Clark would take the hard luck loss as the Redleg offense couldn’t seem to capitalize with runners in scoring position, leaving 12 men on base for the day.

The game saw most of the action happen in the first inning, as the Royals pushed 3 runs across in their first at bat. Brian Duffy singled for the Royals, and later Chris Jergens walked to put two runners on. Jason Holmberg then sent Clark’s first offering over the fence in left center field for his second homerun of the season. But the Redlegs fought back in the bottom half scoring 2 runs of their own. Robinson and Mattice singled to start the inning and each eventually moved up a base on a Royals throwing error. Robinson was then gunned down at the plate trying to score on a groundball off the bat of Brandon Howard. Justin McCurdy then brought Mattice and Howard in with a single to left field. McCurdy is now responsible for 42% of the Redlegs runs, as he’s knocked in 5 of the teams 12 runs scored this season.

While the hits seemed to keep coming for both squads, runs were hard to come by. In the end, the Redlegs left 12 runners on base while the Royals left 9. This was due in part to some timely pitching and nifty defensive work on both sides. The Royals got an insurance run in the top of the 3rd on an RBI double from Kevin Reynolds. The Royals then had runners on 2nd and 3rd with two outs putting them in prime position to play add on. But Clark was able to end the inning, inducing a swinging bunt and making a spectacular sliding grab, throwing the runner out from his knees to record the 3rd out. The Royals scored their final run in the 5th when Frank Burgos snuck a single down the third base line, bringing in Jergens who had singled earlier. The Redlegs had perhaps their best chance to make a comeback in the bottom of the 7th off of Royal’s reliever Frank Burgos. After two quick outs, Jared Bradley, Kyle Slone, and Jacob Robinson were able to work 3 consecutive walks to load the bases which brought up Matt Mattice who already had collected 3 hits in the ballgame. Burgos was able to get out of the jam however getting a flyout to end the inning. Eric Williams relieved Clark in the 8th and pitched the final two frames picking up 4 strikeouts and allowing only 1 hit in his 2011 debut. Chris Jergens then came on to close out the game, and quickly slammed the door on the Redlegs striking out the side in the bottom of the 9th.

Highlights: Jacob Robinson 1-3, SB (Hit streak increased to 16 games), Matt Mattice 3-4, 2B, 2SB, R. Justin McCurdy 2-4, 2RBI, Kevin Campbell 2-4.