Sunday, May 27, 2012

Ricky Brooks, Errors, And A Tale Of Two Double Plays.

In the top of the first inning at TD Bank Park, 'Sharks starter Ricky Brooks had the bases full of Patriots with only one out.

If you've followed the Riversharks at all this year, you've heard this song before: starting pitcher gets into early trouble, gets tagged for a bunch of runs, and the 'Sharks try to play catch up for the rest of the game. Today's matinee in Somerset looked like more of the same. But...

Brooks got third baseman Jeff Nettles to ground to second. Patty Matera scooped up the ball and flipped it to shortstop Jake Eigsti. Eigsti fired a strike over to first baseman Brian Burgamy, and suddenly the 'Sharks were out of the inning, without giving up a run. No one was more excited about this than Brooks, who slapped his glove and let out an exultant yell on his way back to the dugout.

That one play seemed to set the tone for the entire game. The 'Sharks batted around in the second inning, scoring four runs in the process thanks to a combination of walks, errors by the Patriots infield, and a 2 run double for outfielder Drew Macias.

Brooks retired the next six batters he faced. In the top of the third, Paddy Matera hit what looked like a sure double play ball to Pats second baseman Freddie Bynum. But Bynum couldn't come up with it, and what at first looked like two outs turned into another 'Sharks run as Macias scored from third on the play.

Brooks never let Somerset get into scoring position. In his five innings of work, no Patriot made it to second base. The only extra-base hit the Pats could muster was surrendered by reliever Zach Hammes in the seventh.

The 'Sharks tacked on one more in the sixth when Lloyd Turner singled and scored Chris Walker to make it 6-0.

The Patriots spoiled the shutout in the bottom of the seventh when Rex Rundgren singled in Aaron Mathews. Rundren's groudout RBI in the ninth made it 6-2, but that was as close as the Pats would get. John Lujan struck out Jonny Tucker to end the game and give the 'Sharks the victory.

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