STUARTS DRAFT — New Market made the most of its opportunities Monday night to edge the Stuarts Draft Diamondbacks 8-6 in Rockingham County Baseball League action Monday evening at The Diamond Club.
The Shockers had just six base hits, but took advantage of 16 free passes from the Draft pitching staff — 12 walks and four hit batters — to manufacture their runs. New Market also ran at will on the base paths, finishing the game with nine stolen bases. The first seven runners to score for New Market reached base via a walk or by being hit by a pitch.
While the Shockers were manufacturing runs with their speed, the Dbacks used the long ball to keep things interesting.
New Market jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first, but Draft got a run back in the second inning on a solo homer by Jack Pausic, the first of three Diamondback homers on the evening.
The Shockers added a run in the top of the third without the benefit of a base hit, and two more runs in the fourth, one on a run-scoring double by Chandler Ballenger, pushed the margin to 5-1.
The Dbacks went deep again in the bottom of the fourth when Will Haas led off the inning with a homer to pull the home team to within 5-2.
Kent Rooklin doubled with one out in the sixth inning and Haas followed with a run-scoring single as the Dbacks chipped away at the deficit, trailing 5-3.
The Shockers then took advantage of two Draft errors in the seventh to score two runs to increase their lead to 7-3. Three straight hits in the bottom of the seventh inning, singles by Calen Owens and Terrell Thompson and a run-scoring single by Rooklin got the Dbacks to within 7-4.
A run-scoring double by Haden Madigan in the top of the eighth provided the Shockers with an insurance run, making the score 8-4.
Draft wasn’t finished as Pausic led off the bottom of the eighth with a single and Cody Bartley followed with a two-run dinger, keeping the Dbacks’ hopes alive as they trimmed the margin to 8-6.
Draft got the tying run to the plate in their last at bat as Thompson was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the ninth, but New Market reliever CJ Morton retired the next three batters to preserve the victory for the Shockers.
With the loss, Draft drops to 2-12 on the season. New Market improves to 10-5 and moved to within one game of first-place Broadway in the standings.
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