The GHS Summer League baseball team closed out tournament play at Jay’s Trolinger-Haggard Field Saturday with a double header against old rivals the Bulldogs and Miami.
It was a double header played in triple figures and it was asking a lot for the Ridgerunners to go seven grueling innings with Jay and then turn around and face a fresh Wardog squad. Still, the Grove crew remained poised through it all, losing a close one to Jay 8-7 before dropping a 12-4 final to Miami.
Jay was trailing 7-3 going into the bottom of the seventh Saturday when Matt Henderson opened the Bulldog offensive side with a single off of Ridgerunner starter T.J. Griffith.
Grove centerfielder Corey Davenport fielded a fly ball from Jay’s Casey Loomis to put one out on the board but John Davenport followed with a single to put two runners on the diamond and set the stage for Bulldog ace Cayle Shambaugh.
Shambaugh delivered a home run and the visitors’ advantage was cut to one, 7-6.
Travis Corporon followed Cayle Shambaugh in the box and posted a double.
A Ridgerunner change on the mound, Tyler Crossley was sent in, couldn’t hold back the Bulldog rally as Kyle Shambaugh sent a shot through the infield that scored Corporon to tie the game.
Seth Hudson then produced a single and Gage Foreman took a walk to load the bases for Bulldog batter Tyler Kauffman.
Kauffman picked out a pitch and sent a hit to the outfield that allowed Kyle Shambaugh to score the go-ahead run and cap the Bulldog come from behind win.
Corporon was the starting pitcher for the Bulldogs Saturday. Corporon completed four innings and faced 20 Ridgerunner bats. He struck out six while giving up four hits.
Kyle Shambaugh took the pitching duties in the fifth inning for Jay. Loomis closed out the game on the mound in the sixth and seventh innings. Shambaugh delivered three strikeouts to five batters, giving up two hits.
Grove took the early lead Saturday in the second inning when three Corporon walks and a Bulldog error led to Trent Phillips walking across home plate.
The first proper hit of the game occurred in the bottom of the second when Jay’s Foreman sent a solo-homer bouncing off the scoreboard.
At the top of the third Grove’s Davenport looked to have connected for a solid base hit but the home plate umpire ruled that the right-handed batter had stepped on home plate with his right foot and was thus ruled out.
The unusual call lit a fire under the Grove team. Phillips and Tyler Spychalski responded with base hits and Phillips stole home to put Grove up 2-1 before the side ended.
The Ridgerunners closed out the third with solid defensive play. A nice double play saw third baseman Crossley field a Corporon grounder and deliver the ball to second baseman Zac Knox, who made the out on Cayle Shambaugh before sending the ball over to first baseman Spychalski who put out Corporon.
At this point the wind seemed to be at the back of the Ridgerunners and they opened the fourth with singles from Crossley and Knox sandwiched between two Corporon strikeouts. But both base runners were left stranded as the Grove side came to a close.
Two walks and a Grove error loaded the bases for Jay in the bottom of the fourth. Griffith began digging the Ridgerunners out with two consecutive strikeouts but a single by Loomis drove in two Jay base runners to put the Bulldogs back in front 3-2.
Defense reigned for both teams in the fifth but the top of the sixth inning saw the Ridgerunners reclaim the lead. Davenport sent a Loomis pitch out of the park and sent Knox and Buck Maples across the plate as well to put Grove back in front, 5-3.
At the bottom of the frame the Bulldogs went on their second consecutive three and out side.
The top of the seventh saw more offensive fireworks from the Ridgerunners. Spychalski opened the dance with another base hit and he was joined in the diamond by Griffith who reached base after being hit with a pitch.
Jake Martin then executed a perfect bunt to reach first base and load the deck for Grove.
Crossley responded with a single that scored Spychalski and kept the bases full for the Ridgerunners.
The Bulldogs posted two consecutive outs but Grove’s Braeden Downs made a base hit that drove in Martin to put Grove up 7-3 heading into the bottom of the final inning where Jay managed their come from behind win.
After an all too short break the Ridgerunners returned to the field to face the Wardogs.
A promising opening offensive side from Grove, Trent Phillips sent a single off of Miami starter Grant Longcrier to drive in Davenport, gave way to a five-hit, six-run Wardog side in the first.
Miami’s James Pickens, Brett Abell, Andrew Allen, Jonathon Brice, and Ethan Wilson all produced first inning hits from Grove pitchers Martin, who started, and Crossley, who came in after seven Wardog batters.
After a scoreless second inning for the Grove bats Phillips came to the mound for the Miami side. The Wardogs didn’t make any hits but still put up four more runs with five walks and two Grove errors being the building blocks. Before the side was finished Davenport took to the mound for the Ridgerunners.
Grove fought back in the thid inning with Phillips, Spychalski, and Griffith all producing hits. Griffith’s single sent Phillips in to claim the second Grove run of the contest.
The Wardogs scored a run in the bottom of the third when Davenport was called on a balk and Allen was allowed to advance from third to home.
Grove opened the fourth with a single from Crossley. Knox then made a base hit to score his teammate.
Maples hit a double to send Knox home and bring the score to 11-4 in favor of Miami.
The Grove defense sent Miami away scoreless in the bottom of the fourth but on their next at bat the Wardogs put two runners on base due to walks and a single by Brice scored Allen to give Miami the run-ruled 12-4 win.