Grottoes staved off elimination in the Rockingham County Baseball League playoffs on Wednesday night with a 5-2 road win in 11 innings over New Market at Rebel Park to force a Game 4 in their semifinal series.
New Market, which leads the best-of-5 series 2-1, got another stellar start from former Sherando High School and Shenandoah University left-hander Darrell Thompson but gave up three runs in the top of the 11th inning to lose its bid for a sweep. Game 4 was scheduled for Thursday night at Grottoes.
Thompson, the Shockers’ ace, didn’t factor into the decision Wednesday night but threw nine innings while limiting the Cardinals to two runs (one earned) on four hits, two walks and 12 strikeouts. It was the fourth straight start for Thompson in which he’s gone at least eight innings, and he now has 96 strikeouts in 58 innings pitched this summer.
New Market closer C.J. Morton came on in relief of Thompson in the 10th and was charged with three runs (two earned) on a hit, four walks and two strikeouts in 1 ⅔ innings.
Grottoes starter Tucker Garrison pitched seven innings and allowed two earned runs on eight hits, a walk and four strikeouts. Cardinals right-hander Eric Watkins got the win after tossing four innings of scoreless relief during which he scattered two hits and struck out seven.
New Market first baseman Nick Goode was one of three Shockers, alongside Pearce Bucher and Ty Bennett, with two hits in the loss. Goode homered and had two RBIs.