The Staunton Braves (8-10) lost to the New Market Rebels (11-8) in a hard fought contest 7-6 Sunday night in Staunton. Jake Washer of East Carolina University had a big night for the Rebels hitting two home runs in the game, one of which came in the top of the ninth inning helping the Rebels to victory.
The game started off well for Braves starting pitcher Brandon Rivero who struck out the first three batters that he faced. In the second however, the Rebels began to find their bats scoring two runs. A home run from Washer started off the scoring and a Nick Barber sacrifice fly gave the Rebels the 2-0 advantage.
After a scoreless third the Rebels would once again add a run in the top of the fourth on an RBI from Chase Sudduth. On that very same play Braves center fielder Deacon Medders threw out the Rebels Pablo Cabrera at the plate ending the inning and saving a run for the Braves and providing a spark for the team.
The Braves would finally get on the board in the fifth when Jay Charleston drove in Brendan Cutting on an RBI double. The Braves would end the fifth with a runner stranded on third. In the bottom of the 6th Antwaun Tucker led the Braves off and hit a home run on the first pitch thrown by Carson Gregory who had just come into the game in place of starting pitcher Joe Bobiak. The sixth would end with the Braves trailing 3-2.
The seventh inning would turn out to be a successful one for both teams at the plate. The Rebels were able to take back the momentum of the game in the top of the seventh with Hunter Lipscomb driving in an RBI on a single. Later in the top of the inning an error by the Braves cost them another run and gave the Rebels a 5-2 lead. In the bottom of the seventh with the bases loaded for the Braves, Richard Miller drove in a run cutting the lead to 5-3, but then a wild throw would lead to another run for the braves making it a 5-4 contest. Then Charleston would also score off a Rebels error to tie the game at 5-5.
In the top of the eighth Sudduth would grab his second RBI on a single that drove in Cabrera. In the bottom of the eighth Rebel relief pitcher Nate Pawelczyk found himself in trouble with two on and no outs. Pawelczyk was able to turn it around however and strike out three straight batters ending the inning with the Rebels hanging on to a slim 6-5 lead.
In the top of the ninth Washer would hit his second home run of the night increasing the Rebel lead to 7-5. The Braves would make the ending of the game interesting with Garrett Marchand getting a RBI single driving Tucker home. Marchand would appear to have hurt himself on the play and a pinch runner Brandon Gochenour was put in for him. Gochenour would get caught trying to steal second base for the third out of the inning giving the Rebels the 7-6 victory.
Rebels pitcher Pawelczyk (2-0) would get the win, with five strikeouts and allowing just one run. Braves pitcher Jordan Silverman (0-1) came up with the loss allowing three runs. Braves shortstop Tucker lead the way for the team in hitting with 2 hits and 2 RBI’s while second baseman Charleston also had two hits and a RBI. The Braves will host Purcellville (11-7) Monday night in a makeup game from there scheduled June 16th matchup.
Story by Seth Megginson