Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

JAY – On a cold, rainy day it was the pitchers who dominated in Jay’s 2-1 win over Grove on Tuesday. Jay starting pitcher Kyle Shambaugh pitched four innings, striking out seven Ridgerunners while giving up one unearned run in the fourth inning. Shambaugh also had the game’s biggest hit, a two-run double to right field in the bottom of the third inning, one of only two hits on the day for the Bulldogs. “It was a tough day to hit,” Grove head coach Bret Bouher said. “They had their ace going and we had probably our best pitcher going as well. It was a good baseball game. We just made a couple of errors at the wrong time.” One of those errors came in the bottom of the third when Jay’s Matt Henderson reached on a throwing error on an infield grounder with one out. Chucky Larrabee and Cory Stiefel then followed with two-out walks to load the bases before Shambaugh’s big hit scored the Bulldogs’ only two runs of the game. The Ridgerunners got their only run in the top of the fourth. Gibson Russ hit a towering double to left centerfield with one out, then later stole third. Kaden Livermore later walked with two outs. Livermore was later caught in an apparent rundown while trying to steal second. But Shambaugh threw the ball past second base, allowing Russ to score Grove’s only run of the game. As dominant as Shambaugh was, he was only one of a quartet of pitchers who ruled Tuesday’s contest. Tyler Buss came on in relief of Shambaugh to start the fifth inning. Buss allowed just one base runner over the final three innings – an infield single by Kyle Summerfield after Buss slipped while fielding the dribbling grounder – striking out four batters along the way. “They’re both capable of that,” Jay head coach Mike Moore said of his pitchers. “We’re real excited about them. That’s the strength of our team.” Grove starter Bryce Davenport also had a strong day, going five innings with five strikeouts while giving up just two hits and two walks. “Bryce is a pretty good kid,” Moore said. “When you’ve got a kid on the mound that can throw a little bit you have to scratch out every run you can. With him on the mound they’ve a pretty good team. [Hitting] is something we’re going to have to work on. That’s our biggest worry coming into this season.” Having only been with the baseball team for about 10 days following the end of basketball season, Davenport was limited to 82 pitches, turning the ball over to Tyler Crossley to start the sixth inning. Crossley pitched a perfect sixth with one strikeout. Grove shortstop Zac Knox was the only batter for either team with more than one hit, going two-for-three on the day. The Bulldogs, who also beat Commerce 24-2 on Monday, are now 3-0 on the season. Jay is scheduled to play at Ketchum on Thursday at 4 p.m. The Ridgerunners fell to 1-5 on the season with the loss, will host the Grove Baseball Festival beginning on Thursday. Grove will play Tulsa Memorial on Thursday at 4 p.m., then will play Commerce and Lincoln, Ark. on Friday at 1:30 and 6:30.