The Redlegs turned in their best weekend of the 2022 campaign on Sunday, sweeping a doubleheader from the upstart Darke County Dodgers.
Dodgers started Cameron Gordon turned Camden away in the top of the 1st and it looked like the Dodgers might get on the board in the bottom half. Andrew Hall started the game off with a single for the Dodgers, but Redlegs starter Evan Koogler then induced back-to-back fly outs to center field and third base. The next hitter lined a ball into shallow left field that looked like it might score a run, but Marshall Eippert was able to make a diving catch toward the infield to end the inning.
Koogler was able to end another potential rally for the Dodgers in the 2nd when they had runners on the corners with two outs. Koogler picked off the runner at first, and Camden completed the run down before the runner could score from 3rd base.
Camden finally got on the board in the top of the 3rd when Tyler Eaton and Matt Mattice each singled to start the inning, followed by a walk to Jacob Robinson to load the bases. Jesse Jones then singled in a run before Kyle Arend scored a run on a sacrifice fly to give the Redlegs a 2-0 lead.
After Koogler punched two batters out in the 3rd, the Dodgers finally got on the board in the 4th courtesy of an RBI double by Sawyer Smith.
Now leading 2-1, the Redlegs were able to push the advantage in the top of the 5th. Jacob Robinson and Jesse Jones each singled to start the frame, but two consecutive fly outs looked like it might extinguish the run scoring opportunity. Brad Malott then worked a walk to load the bases, which set up a clutch 2-run single by Marshall Eippert to give Camden the 4-1 lead.
Tyler Eaton then manufactured a run in the top of the 6th when he singled to start the frame. Eaton then advanced to 3rd on a wild pick off attempt and then chugged home after the Dodger throw to third base also got away from the defense.
Meanwhile, Koogler continued to cruise through the Dodger lineup and ended things with an exclamation point by striking out three batters in the 7th to finish things off with a complete game victory. Koogler finished with 8 strikeouts while allowing 7 hits and just one walk to earn his first victory of the season. He now stands at 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA over 12 1/3 innings pitched.
After the tight game 1 affair, game 2 was all Redlegs. When the dust settled, Camden had scored 17 runs on 18 hits on the way to a 6-inning run rule by a final score of 17-2.
The Dodgers drew first blood by scoring once in the top of the 1st, but the Redlegs answered immediately with a couple of runs in the bottom half of the 1st. Jacob Robinson started things off with a single followed by a walk to Jesse Jones. Kyle Arend then put down a sacrifice bunt, but the Dodgers made a good defensive play to eliminate Robinson advancing to third from second. Undeterred, Mike Hartman then singled in Jones followed by Malott driving Arend in with a single.
Jacob Robinson was able to help the cause in the 2nd by tracking down a deep fly ball to dead center and making a diving snag directly toward the center field wall for the 2nd out of the inning. Camden starter Jesse Jones then recorded a strikeout to end the frame.
The Dodgers tied things up in the top of the 4th, scoring a thanks to a two-out single by Sawyer Smith. Redlegs starter Jesse Jones was quickly able to eliminate Smith by picking smith off at first, resulting in another perfectly executed run down by Camden.
The Redlegs then took full control from the bottom of the 4th and beyond. Mike Hartman drove home another run in the 4th, and Brad Malott was able to later reach on a fielders choice and eventually score thanks to a couple of defensive errors.
In the 5th, Tyler Eaton singled to start the inning and later James Robinson worked a walk to put two runners on. Jacob Robinson then doubled in a run followed by a two-run triple off the bat of Jesse Jones. Jones then scored on a fielder’s choice by Kyle Arend.
The Redlegs then sent 12 batters to the plate in the bottom of the 6th to complete the run rule victory. A flyout started the inning, but then Camden went through 10 consecutive batters without recording an out. Evan Koogler doubled, followed by a single from Cody Saraco-Polner. Tyler Eaton and Matt Mattice then delivered back-to-back RBI singles, followed by a walk to James Robinson. Jacob Robinson then reached on an error allowing a run to score, followed b a walk to Jesse Jones to re-load the bases. This set up a towering grand slam off the bat of Mike Hartman, bringing his RBI total up to a whopping 6 in the nightcap. Mike was named the MVABL’s player of the week with the performance. Brad Malott then singled, which set up the walk off RBI double by Evan Koogler as Malott motored around and scored from 1st base.
Jesse Jones would get the abbreviated complete game victory with 6 innings pitched, 7 strikeouts, 2 walked batters and just 3 hits allowed. Jesse has been a workhorse this season, as he stands 2nd in the league in innings pitched with 36 and currently stands in 4th in strikeouts with 36.
The Redlegs (3-6) will next take on the Wright Knights (4-5) at Howell Field at 1:00pm on Sunday 6/12.