By Dylan Reffe
The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts are headed to the postseason! With a 7-5 win over the Baltimore Dodgers at Blair Stadium on Wednesday evening, the T-Bolts clinched their first postseason appearance since 2009. The T-Bolts still have two more regular season games to play, and the games remain very important with regard to playoff seeding. With some help, the T-Bolts can still earn the No. 3 seed in the league.
Wednesday’s win over the Dodgers was completed in dramatic comeback fashion, as the T-Bolts had to overcome multiple deficits to earn the thrilling victory.
The Dodgers jumped out to an early 4-0 lead, tallying runs in the second, third, and fourth innings, but T-Bolts starter Michael Austin (Bethune-Cookman) did well to limit the damage and kept his team in the game.
The T-Bolts cut the lead in half in the bottom of the fourth inning when Tyler Coleman (Montgomery) stole home, and Zach Racusin (Marist) knocked in AJ Lee (Maryland) with a 2-out RBI single.
The T-Bolts took advantage of Dodger miscues in the fifth and sixth innings, scoring one unearned run in each inning to tie the game at 4-4.
The Dodgers briefly retook the lead on a sacrifice fly in the top of the seventh inning, but the T-Bolts weren’t going down without a fight. Tom Ruddy (Yale) and Nick Dunn (Maryland) both had RBI-doubles in the bottom of the eighth inning, and put the T-Bolts on the right side of a 7-5 lead headed into the ninth inning.
As T-Bolt fans well know at this point of the season, the ninth inning of a close game is widely referred all throughout the greater Four Corners area as Tagg Time (patent pending). The T-Bolt’s all-star closer didn’t disappoint, shutting down the Dodgers on just seven pitches to earn his league leading 11th save, and sending the T-Bolts to the playoffs!
The T-Bolts will travel to Baltimore on Thursday, July 23, for a date with the Redbirds in a potential playoff semifinal preview. The T-Bolts will then close out the regular season when they host the Rockville Express at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, July 24, at Blair Stadium.
The T-Bolts first round playoff game is scheduled for Sunday evening at 6:00 p.m. at Blair Stadium, with their opponent yet to be determined. The T-Bolts will be publishing a playoff preview after the final regular season game, with all you need to know about the Cal Ripken Collegiate Baseball League Playoff format and reactions from the team and staff.