By Dylan Reffe
Runs were scored at seemingly at will in the late innings of Tuesday’s battle between the Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and the D.C. Grays, but the T-Bolts had a little too much firepower and edged the Grays by a score of 10-7 at Blair Stadium.
Both teams were locked in a pitching duel through the first six innings of the contest, and the T-Bolts held onto a slim 3-2 lead heading into the seventh inning.
The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the seventh inning after T-Bolt pitcher Nick Leonard (Georgetown) issued two walks and gave up an RBI-single to Colton Shaver (BYU). Shaver was recently selected to participate in the 2015 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby, which will air live on ESPN at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 2.
The T-Bolts battled back with two outs in the bottom half of the seventh inning, scoring three runs on RBI-singles from Matt Rowland (Tulane) and Steven Paredes (Lindsey Wilson) and a bases loaded walk drawn by Nick Spadafino (Delaware).
The Grays cut the lead to 6-4 in the top of the eighth inning, but the T-Bolts broke the game open in the bottom of the inning, scoring four times. The runs were scored in an unconventional way, as the T-Bolts only recorded one hit in the inning, but drew five walks from two different Gray pitchers.
One of the eighth inning walks belonged to Zach Racusin (Marist), who led the T-Bolts on Tuesday with three hits and three runs scored. Racusin has been swinging a hot bat lately, totaling 10 hits in his past seven games.
With the T-Bolts leading 10-4 after eight innings, the game seemed all but over. However, what would a T-Bolts home game be without a little bit of ninth-inning drama?
The Grays managed to score three runs and bring the tying run to the plate before Coach Remer decided to bring in his closer.
With two men on base and the T-Bolts now clinging onto a precarious 10-7 lead, Connor Tagg (Case Western Reserve) needed only two pitches to induce a fielder’s choice groundout to shortstop to end the game.
Tagg rebounded from a tough outing the night before, where he gave up the winning run in the 12th inning to the Baltimore Redbirds, and earned his sixth save of the season on Tuesday night.
The T-Bolts will look for win number 12, and hopefully number 13 as well, when they host the Baltimore Dodgers (7-13) for a double header on Wednesday, July 1, at Blair Stadium. The first game is a resumption of a suspended game between the two teams from June 20, and the Dodgers lead the T-Bolts 3-0 in the second inning. The first game is scheduled to resume at 5 p.m., and the second game is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.