The Grove Ridgerunners won their two game series against the Jay Bulldogs March 19 and 20 bringing their season to 10-2.
Their first game against the Bulldogs took place on the road at Jay and was called after five innings with a 17-1 victory due to the run rule taking effect.
Pitcher Braxton Pennington put up a commanding performance allowing only one run and three hits during the game.
Pennington threw a total of 61 pitches over the five inning game of which 49 were in the strike zone.
He put nine batters down on strike and had an impressive WHIP (walk hits per inning pitched) of 0.60.
To put it in comparison the MLB average WHIP is 1.32 (2011 MLB wide average) and considers anything at or below at 1.0 to be elite.
Keep in mind that players and skill at the high school level will vary much more then at the professional level.
Pennington’s season average WHIP is currently sitting at 1.0 and is currently striking out 1/3 of the batters he faces.
Pennington who is signed with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff is currently throwing a fast ball upwards of 87 MPH.
Grove had a big game when it came to swinging the bat against Jay and started strong with three runs in the first inning.
Grove allowed Jay one run at the bottom of the first before retiring the inning with a score of 3-1.
The second inning was huge for the Ridgerunners scoring a total of nine runs and not allowing Jay to score before the end of the innings bringing the board to 12-1.
The third inning was not much different with an additional five runs put on the board by the crew and keeping the Bulldogs wanting again to end 17-1.
The fourth and fifth innings resulted in no scores by either team and gave the Ridgerunners the win after the fifth due to the run rule taking effect.
Toby Cearley had a total of 3 RBIs leading the crew in runs batted in against the Bulldogs.
The Ridgerunners won over the Bulldogs 1-0 at home on Tuesday, March 20 giving them their second win over Jay.
Chat Hayes threw a shutout game against the Bulldogs give him his first varsity shutout and marking the teams third shutout of the season.
Hayes threw 18 first pitch strikes and put down eight batters on strikeouts.
His WHIP for the game was 0.43 and he is averaging a season WHIP of 1.053 after pitching in 4 games for a total of 17 innings.
The game quickly turned into a pitching batter between Hayes and Bulldogs pitcher Gabe Simpson with neither wanting to give up a run.
It wasn’t until the bottom of the seventh inning that Simpson walked Tyler Davis putting him on first.
Pennington grounded out to third base but was able to advance Davis into scoring position on second.
Hayes then stepped into the batter’s box to smash a hard ground ball to right field allowing Davis to reach home scoring the winning run for the Ridgerunners.
The crew will return to play Saturday, March 24 at McDonald County High School before returning home to face Vinita on Monday, March 26 to play their two game series against the Hornets.