BRIDGEWATER — The series is even once again.
Jacob Grabeel’s sac fly in the 10th scored Derek Shifflett as Bridgewater walked off with a 5-4 win over Clover Hill in Game 4 of the Rockingham County Baseball League’s best-of-seven championship series on Thursday at Ray Heatwole Field.
With the victory, the Reds evened the series at 2-2.
Both squads saw their bats go stagnant in the final few innings.
But after Shifflett walked to lead off the 10th and Grey Sherfey reached on an error, Corbin Lucas was intentionally walked to set up Grabeel’s late-game heroics.
The two teams exchanged the lead often throughout the contest.
The Reds struck first when former Sherfey — a Turner Ashby product — reached on a single and then eventually came home on a grounder from TA senior Antonio Florentino-Sosa to put Bridgewater up 1-0.
In the third, after a single from Fort Defiance alum Blake Sipe and back-to-back walks to Tyler Bocock and Luke Shifflett, a hard grounder by Josh Eberly was misplayed by Reds second baseman Kyle Weston, allowing Sipe to score and tie the game.
In the ensuing at-bat, Shifflett — who got the start on the mound one night after starting in Game 3 against the Bucks — threw a wild pitch that brought home Bocock and gave the Bucks a 2-1 lead.
Lucas, another Fort product and the RCBL Most Valuable Player, connected on a sac fly to score former Indians teammate Shifflett and knot the score back up at 2-2.
Clover Hill got another run in the fourth when Ross French singled home Alex Knicely and the Bucks went up 4-2 on Bocock’s RBI single in the sixth.
But Bridgewater kept fighting.
In the bottom of that same inning, Lucas and Grabeel connected on back-to-back singles.
Later in the frame, Weston — a Spotswood graduate — connected on an RBI single to cut the Reds’ deficit to 4-3.
Then, in the seventh, after reaching on a hard-hit single, Brett Tharp stole second and third.
Later, when Knicely’s attempted throw from home to third went sailing into the outfield, Tharp came racing home to even the score at 4-4.
Lucas finished 2-for-3 with an RBI for Bridgewater while Grabeel and Weston added an RBI apiece.
As for the Bucks, Sipe was 3-for-5 with a pair of runs scored while Bocock and Eberly had an RBI apiece.
On the mound, the two teams combined to use nine different pitchers with Clover Hill’s Eric Yankey taking the loss while Jared Talley got the win for the Reds throwing three shutout innings which included two strikeouts, in relief.
Game 5 will take place on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Buck Bowman Park.