GROVE- A dominating performance in game one and a come-from-behind effort in game two earned the Ridgerunners a sweep over the visiting Joplin Miners on Thursday evening.
In game one it was the first four hitters in the Grove batting order, along with starting pitcher Ty Morrow, who combined to overwhelm the Miners in a 12-2 win.
The quartet of Buck Maples, Zach Knox, Trent Phillips and Adam Steffenson combined to go six-for-eight with four walks, five RBIs and nine runs scored in the game.
Knox got the Ridgerunners going early with a one out single, then moved to third when Phillips followed with another base hit. Steffenson then followed with a looping double to centerfield to score Knox for the first run of the game.
Grove would go on to score four runs in the inning. Following a Joplin score in the top of the second the Ridgerunners would come back to get three more in the bottom of the frame.
Maples would get things started with the first of his two walks and Knox would follow with his second single of the contest. After a double steal by Maples and Knox, Phillips would follow with a line drive to left field to score Maples and make it 5-1 in favor of the Ridgerunners. Steffenson would then follow with a drive to right centerfield for his second double of the night that scored Phillips and Knox and made it 7-1.
Grove would continue to pour it on in the third inning. Three consecutive walks by Morrow, Maples and Knox loaded the bases and another walk to Phillips would score Morrow. A two-out single by Gibson Russ would score another run before a two-run double by Kaden Livermore to the left field wall made the score 11-1. The Ridgerunners would add another run on a wild pitch.
That would be more than enough for Morrow, who held the Miners to just two runs on five hits and no walks. With the score 12-2, the game was ended after five innings due to the run rule.
The second game of the night would be a back and forth affair. After falling behind 2-0 early in the contest, the Ridgerunners rallied with a five-run fourth inning to take a 6-2 lead.
But the Miners would come back with a four run inning of their own in the top of the fifth to tie the score.
The game, originally scheduled for five innings, would move into the sixth with the score still tied. But the Ridgerunners would quickly put an end to things when Morrow worked a walked and eventually moved to third with two outs. Russ would then hit a towering pop fly to short centerfield that managed to fall between three Miner defenders, scoring Morrow and giving Grove a 7-6 win.