The Grove Summer League baseball team fell to Vinita by a score of 8-3 Monday evening at Trolinger-Haggard Field in Jay.
The Jay field will be hosting games all this week before the area teams head to Claremore this weekend for tournament play.
In Monday’s contest the Vinita club built a four run advantage after one inning and never looked back. The Hornets added three more runs in the fourth to insure their lead.
The Ridgerunners opened the scoring on the night with a first inning run. But it wasn’t until the fifth inning before Grove was able to score again, with two runs, bringing the score to the 8-3 final.
Alex Hinman went the seven inning distance on the mound for Grove. The ’08 Ridgerunner graduate faced 30 batters Monday with one strikeout. Hinman made an impressive out in the bottom of the first when he caught a line drive hit that was shot right at him. He also produced a pickoff in the second.
Billy Carter was the winning pitcher for Vinita. Carter faced 30 batters with six strikeouts.
Leadoff Grove batter Corey Davenport took the first pitch of the game Monday and sent a shot to deep center for a double. Brayden Downs then produced a single that sent Davenport across the plate to give the Ridgerunners an early 1-0 lead.
On their side of the first Vinita went through their entire line up. A couple of Grove errors kept the Hornets rally alive and combined with three hits from Billy Carter, Adam Carter, and Scotty Mattison, Vinita was able to post a 5-1 lead at the end of the first.
The Ridgerunners were stymied in the second with two base runners, Tyler Spychalski and Zach Knox, stranded.
Grove rebounded defensively in the bottom of the frame with a nice three and out including a pick off from Hinman to first baseman Spychalski that caught Billy Carter napping.
Grove had their own three and out offensive experience in the third as the final batter of the side hit into a double play.
The Ridgerunners turned Vinita away empty handed in the bottom of the third as two Hornet base runners were left to die.
The fourth inning saw two Ridgerunners reach base before the Hornets claimed a third out. T.J. Griffith reached first on a dropped third strike and Jake Martin earned a walk.
A Ridgerunner over-throw in the bottom of the fourth allowed Vinita’s Eric Brixey to steal home for a run after getting to base on a walk. Later in the side with the Carter brothers on first and third, Michael Prusator knocked a double that sent the twins across home plate to put Vinita up 8-1.
The Ridgerunners started a rally in the fifth. Leadoff batter Davenport reached base on a walk and, as in the first inning, a hit by Downs, this time a double, sent the incoming Grove senior across home plate for his second run of the game. Hinman then produced a sacrifice RBI that scored Downs to put Grove to within five, 8-3.
The bottom of the fifth saw Grove put the Hornets on a three and out diet but Vinita returned the favor in the top of the sixth.
A double play off a Billy Carter hit, from Knox to Downs to Spychalski helped the Ridgerunners produce a three and out side for Vinita in the bottom of the sixth.
At the top of the final inning Knox produced a single to start a late Ridgerunner rally but two Carter strikeouts and a retrieved pop-fly brought the contest to a close.