Bucks Beat Luray
Clover Hill Avoids Elimination
CLOVER HILL — Clover Hill lived to play at least one more game.
The Bucks pounded out 20 hits – all singles – in a 14-7 win over Luray in Game 3 of the Rockingham County Baseball League semifinals Thursday night at Buck Bowman Park.
Game 4 of the best-of-five series is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today in Luray. Clover Hill will start Kevin Chandler; Luray manager Larry Weaver said his starter is to be determined.
In a game that featured nine pitchers and took almost 3½ hours to complete, Clover Hill’s veteran presence was able to stave off elimination.
The Bucks were led at the plate by second baseman Christian Simmers, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs, catcher Addison Bowman’s two RBIs and Turner Ashby High School junior shortstop Brenan Hanifee, who was a 4-for-5 with three RBIs.
After falling behind 8-2 early, Luray climbed back into the game with a five-run fifth inning, chasing Clover Hill starting pitcher Andrew Armstrong after four-plus innings.
“Things start snowballing and they got five runs before we got it under control,” Bowman said.
With the score 8-7, Clover Hill stranded the bases loaded in the bottom of the fifth. Luray had the makings of another big inning in the sixth, putting runners on first and second with one out. But Clover Hill reliever Ian Ostlund escaped the jam, getting cleanup hitter Luke Shiflett to fly out and center fielder Kyle Wilson to ground out.
Luray starting pitcher Tommy Weaver lasted just three innings, allowing seven runs on eight hits.
The Cavemen were led by Shiflett at the plate. The third baseman went 2-for-5 with an RBI.
When Luray pulled within one run, Bowman’s message to the Bucks was simple.
“It’s a nine-inning ball game, whether we’re up or we’re down, it’s a nine-inning game and that’s what it took tonight,” he said. “We got a comfortable lead and we didn’t really slack, we just started playing a little sloppy.”
Clover Hill manager Mike Martin said he was encouraged by the way his team managed to hold the lead when Luray rallied.
“When the momentum had shifted and they were knocking on the door we didn’t fold,” Martin said. “We’ve got some good players and guys that have been around the block a few times and that to me is where veteran presence comes in handy.”
Luray 002 050 000 — 7 9 3
Clover Hill 223 106 00x — 14 20 3
Weaver, Schuler (4), Campbell (7), Bell (8) and Whitelow; Armstrong, Liskey (5), Ostlund (6), Yankey (8), Corbin (9) and Bowman. W—Liskey. L—Weaver.