Camden rebounded nicely from their dreadful opening day showing, but ultimately fell just short of spoiling the 2021 debut of the South Dayton Slammers.
Two perennial Cy Young candidates went toe to toe in this one, and Aaron Carmack and Jeff Beall did not disappoint. Carmack did everything in his power to keep the powerhouse Slammer offense at bay and left with the lead after he turned in 7 innings excellent work. Carmack finished his day with 5 strikeouts, while only surrendering 6 hits and 3 runs (2 earned) and took the no-decision. Beal lasted 6 and 2/3 and punched out 9 Redleg hitters, but also did not factor in the decision.
The Slammers looked like they would get off to a fast start when they loaded the bases in the top of the first, but Carmack was able to induce a groundball to short that Brad Malott quickly turned into two outs as he tapped second base and fired on to first to complete the double play.
Camden drew first blood in the top of the 3rd when James Robinson started the inning with a single and later scored thanks to a sacrifice fly by Cody Saraco-Polner. After the Slammers tied things up in the bottom of the 4th, the Redlegs again took the lead in the top of the 5th. Evan Koogler walked to start the frame and was scored on a double by Jesse Jones. The lead again was short lived as the Slammers scraped a run together in the bottom of the 5th to tie it up at 2-2.
The Slammers pushed another run home in the bottom of the 6th, taking their first lead of the ballgame. But another lead change was imminent as Camden was able to push two more runs across the dish in the top of the 7th. James Robinson and Cameron Svarda each reached on errors early in the inning before setting up a 2-out 2-run single by Jacob Robinson to put Camden back on top by a score of 4-3.
But the Slammers again took the lead, this time rallying to score 3 times in the bottom of the 7th to take a lead they would not relinquish. Leading 6-4 with the bases loaded and two outs, Brad Malott made a fantastic over the shoulder catch as he ranged from short stop to short left field that easily saved at least two runs from scoring, keeping Camden close as they only trailed by 2.
Both sides came away scoreless in the 8th.
A one-out single by Jesse Jones gave some life to the Redlegs in the top of the 9th. After a strikeout, Cody Saraco-Polner lined a single into right field, but a perfect strike from the Slammers right fielder was able to deliver the knockout blow as they cut the runner down at the plate to end the game.
Next week will feature 2021’s first edition of the Backyard Battle between the Redlegs and Rangers at 1:00pm at Gastineau field in New Carlisle.