HANOVER, Md. – The Dodgers come into Monday’s game riding a three-game losing streak.
However, the slump has not yet knocked them out of a playoff spot.
Coming into play Monday, the Dodgers are tied with the Loudon Riverdogs and the Herndon Braves for the second wild card spot in the Cal Ripken League playoffs. Baltimore’s next opponent, the Sliver Spring-Tacoma Thunderbolts, sit a half-game ahead of those three clubs for the first wild card spot.
The T-Bolts will send RHP Cole Benjamin to the mound to try to shut down the Dodgers lineup. Benjamin has made three starts this season, posting a 2.70 ERA and striking out 14 batters in 16 2/3 innings. The righty from the University of Delaware has gotten no help from his defense on this mound this season, as 15 runs have come around score with him on the mound with only five of them being earned to Benjamin.
Dueling against Benjamin will be Dodgers RHP Mark Michael, who has been Baltimore’ go-to No. 2 starter this season. Michael has made three starts and three appearances out of the bullpen this season, posting a 2.25 ERA and allowing opposing batters to hit only .255 against him. The righty has been filthy all summer, striking out 25 batters and walking only 11 over 28 innings.
Michael will have to deal with a powerful T-Bolts lineup that includes infielder Carl Colbert, who is hitting .356 this summer. Colbert ranks sixth in the league in batting average and has homered three times while driving in 19 runs.
Colbert’s partner in crime in the lineup is infielder Garrett Stonehouse, who is hitting .345 on the year. Stonehouse has driven in 18 runs and has almost as many walks as strikeouts in 84 at-bats.
While the base-hits have come from Colbert and Stonehouse, the power for the T-Bolts this summer has come off the bat of outfielder Brodie Leftridge, who leads the team with four home runs. Leftridge has also hit .293 and has two triples on the season.
The Dodgers offense will try to keep up with SS-Tacoma and hope Joey Ortiz (.329 batting average) will stay red-hot at the plate.
The game between the Thunderbolts and Dodgers will take place Monday at Joe Cannon Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 7:00 p.m.