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Raiders’ hitting, defense falters in 2-0 loss to E-town

Posted 3/25/14


The pitching was great. The hitting was not. And the defense made a couple of crucial errors as the Middletown baseball team dropped its season opener 2-0 to visiting Elizabethtown on Friday, March 21.Photo by Jodi Ocker - Middletown's …

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Raiders’ hitting, defense falters in 2-0 loss to E-town



Ocker was sharp from the outset and registered a pair of strikeouts in each of the first two innings.


Middletown’s Cody Fox led off the home half of the first inning with a walk and went to second on Ryan Popp’s sacrifice bunt, but Elizabethtown pitcher Hunter Thomas got out of the inning unscathed. In the second inning, Thomas escaped unscathed again after Ethan Kell drew a one-out walk.  


In the top of the third, Ocker got three quick strikeouts, but a passed ball on the third one allowed the Elizabethtown batter to reach base. That miscue and a stolen base, plus a fielding error by the Raiders gave the Bears (1-0) their first run of the game.


In the bottom of the third, Popp singled with two outs but was left stranded.


Middletown threatened in the bottom of the fourth after Kell singled with two outs and Ocker drew a base on balls to put two Raider runners on base. But a groundout ended the threat.  


In the top of the fifth, Ocker recorded strikeouts numbered 10 and 11 for two outs. But another fielding error by the Raiders followed by a stolen base and RBI single by Elizabethtown’s Brady Lefever gave the Bears a 2-0 lead.


The Raiders again put two runners on base in the home half of the fifth when Fox was safe on an error and Popp singled with one out. But, again, the runners were stranded, denying the home team a run.  


Sims had back-to-back, 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh and, after leaving another runner stranded in the bottom of the sixth, the Raiders were down to their last at bats in the seventh. With two outs, Popp stroked yet another single to right and Jordan Flowers followed with a base hit to left, giving the Raider side hopes for a rally.


But Nick Drawbaugh went down swinging for the final out to end the threat and preserve the shutout win for the Bears.    


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