Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

GROVE – Scoring four runs in each of the first two innings, the Grove Ridgerunners cruised to an 8-0 win over the Miami Wardogs on Monday. The Ridgerunners got things going early on when leadoff hitter Buck Maples walked and then stole second. Zac Knox followed with a bouncing single through the middle of the infield for the first run of the game. After a walk and a pair of outs it appeared that Miami starting pitcher Spencer Neal would get out of the inning without any further damage. But Grove sophomore Erick Neal had other plans, ripping a line drive single to centerfield that scored two runs and increased the Ridgerunner lead to 3-0. After an infield single by T.J. Stephens, Neal would later score on a double steal for the final run of the opening frame. The Ridgerunners (8-8) would add to their lead in the second inning. Adam Steffenson led off the inning by reaching on an error on a grounder to shortstop. Maples followed with a single. Zac Knox then laid down a sacrifice bunt, but a second error by the Wardogs, this time on the throw to first, scored Steffenson and Maples. Two batters later, Trent Phillips hit an RBI single to make the score 7-0. Ryan would later add an RBI groundout for what would turn out to be Grove’s final run of the day. That would be more than enough for starting pitcher Bryce Davenport. Continuing his excellent spring on the mound, Davenport held Miami to three hits over five innings, striking out seven along the way. Miami reliever Matt Walker held the Ridgerunners in check after coming on in relief in the second inning, allowing four hits over three innings. But with Davenport holding the Wardogs scoreless, the game ended after five innings by run rule. The Ridgerunners will be in action again beginning on Thursday when they travel to Pryor for the Zebra/Tiger Classic. Grove will play Joplin at 10 a.m. and Skiatook at 3 p.m.