The Redlegs (1-1) and Royals (2-0) met up for their first affair of the 2019 season on Sunday and while the Redlegs walked away with two victories, the Royals produced some hefty offensive innings that kept both games interesting.
Camden sent Michael Cookson to the mound in game one to square off against his former club, and he turned in quite the effort in his first start for the Redlegs. Cookson turned in 6 solid innings of work, allowing only 1 earned run while striking out 11. The Royals wouldn’t let Cookson finish them off, and provided quite the fight in the 7th as they put 5 quick runs on the board before the Redlegs turned to the bullpen.
While Cookson was cruising early on, the Redlegs offense provided plenty of support. Matt Morrison tripled to start the game, followed by a double by Jacob Robinson. Mike Hartman would later drive in a run with a single before Saige Micomonaco belted his first home run of the season, his first of 7 hits on the day. Back-to-back doubles by Nick Davis and birthday boy James Robinson netted another run, and when the dust settled the Redlegs were up 5-0 after the first half inning of the game.
Davis and Robinson did some more damage in the 3rd. Davis smacked an RBI double and James would later bring one home with a sacrifice fly. The Redlegs then continued to pile on in the top of the 4th when Matt Mattice started the inning with a solo home run over the right field fence. Matt Morrison then singled and stole second base before being driven in by Kyle Arend. After four innings, the Redlegs held a 9-0 lead.
The Royals chipped away in the 4th and 5th, finally breaking through on Cookson to get 2 runs on the board. Cookson got a bit of help from the defense in the 5th when Chris Flaherty ripped a line drive into the right center gap, but Matt Mattice tracked it down with an amazing full extension diving catch that ended the inning.
Heading into the bottom of the 7th, the Royals finally figured out their former pitcher as their first 5 batters reached base which ended up yielding 5 runs (4 earned). Kevin Campbell came in and tossed the final 3 outs, and despite plunking two hitters, was able to end the game without further damage.
Despite the late scare, the Redlegs held on for the 11-7 victory and looked to carry that momentum over into game 2.
After a quiet beginning, Camden exploded in the bottom of the 3rd by putting 9 runs on the board. Matt Mattice reached on an error to start things off and that was followed by back-to-back doubles by Matt Morrison and Jacob Robinson. Kyle Arend then knocked two runs in with a single. That’s when the rain began to fall but thanks to some quick field work from the Redlegs ground crew, the field held up and play was resumed roughly 30 minutes later. The Redlegs picked up right where they left off. Micomonaco and James Robinson each notched RBI singles to round out the innings scoring, leaving Camden on top at a score of 9-0.
Before the rain delay, Redlegs ace Aaron Carmack was rolling through the Royals lineup. He allowed only one baserunner in the first 3 frames and that was due to a fielding error. However, the long break did Carmack no favors, and the Royals came out swinging in the 4th. Luke Campbell was called on to finish out the 4th inning, and he promptly struck out the first batter he faced to end any remaining threat. When it was all said and done, the Royals produced 10 runs, taking a one run lead after 3 ½ innings.
The lead was short lived. The Redlegs scored 4 more times in the bottom of the 4th thanks to RBI singles from Jacob Robinson, Nick Davis, and James Robinson. Mike Hartman added a sacrifice fly RBI.
The Boys and Blue just wouldn’t go away. They chipped away at the lead in the top of the 5th, scoring twice more to bring the game to a 13-12 score. But the Redlegs finally put things away in the bottom of the 5th. Adam Parks worked a one out walk, stole 2nd, and scored on a single by Brad Malott. Malott would later score on a wild pitch. Jacob Robinson would later single, steal 2nd, and come around to score thanks to a Royals defensive miscue. Nick Davis added a sacrifice fly RBI in the 6th to give the Redlegs a 17-10 lead.
Kevin Campbell was called upon once again to close out the game for Camden and he didn’t disappoint. KC tossed two scoreless frames to finish off the game without any drama.
The double header sweep places the Redlegs at 3-1 and they will look to continue the streak going into a Saturday double header tilt with the Dayton Cardinals.