In the end of the season tournament, the Bulldogs and the Ridgerunners took two divergent paths to come away from Jay’s Trolinger-Haggard Field with victories Friday.
While the Bulldogs made it look easy with a run shortened 9-1 win over Miami, the Ridgerunners struggled to eke out a 6-5 win against the Pirates of Locust Grove.
Freshman Ty Moore took the hill for the ’Dogs and with a pair of runners on base, he got Miami’s fourth and fifth spot batters to fly out to center and right field, respectively.
In the bottom of the first Casey Loomis worked the pitcher for a leadoff walk and moved to third on John Davenport’s single. Davenport stole second behind him, wherein Travis Corporon was subsequently struck by a pitch to load the bases full. Kyle Shambaugh picked up the game’s first RBI with a sacrifice on the infield. But the big blow of the frame came on Seth Hudson’s two RBI double that scored Davenport and Corporon. Moore helped his own cause with a 2-out single that plated Hudson, hanging a four-spot on the visitors.
Miami picked up their only run in the top of the second as the result of a hit batsman, a walk and an infield error.
In the bottom of the third Corporon picked up a 1-out single that was followed by Kyle Shambaugh’s double. Corporon made it 5-1 on Hudson’s third RBI of the game.
Moore yielded the mound to Kyle Shambaugh as a result of being struck on the ankle by a come backer up the middle. And Shambaugh kept the Wardogs in check for the remainder of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth Jesse Scott, Loomis, Davenport and Cayle Shambaugh put 4 more runs on the board to run rule their guests, 9-1.
In the second game the Pirate starter, Adrian Barnes, held the Ridgerunners scoreless, allowing only a Jordan Wilhelm double, through three frames.
Locust Grove picked up a solo tally when Jackson Barnes led off the bottom of the first with a single, stole second base and came home on a dropped third strike.
The Pirates struck for another pair of runs in their half of the third, when Barnes and Chase Knott scored on the heels of a pair of base hits and an infield error.
But in the top of the fourth the Grove offense came to life. Base hits by Brayden Downs, Tyler Spychalski and Corey Davenport, to go with RBIs by T.J. Griffith, Buck Maples and Zac Knox led to a quintet of runs and a 5-3 lead.
Following the Ridgerunner outbreak, the Pirates went to their bullpen and called on Jarod Haag for the remainder of the contest. Haag and his dropping knuckleball proved to be problematic for the Grove batters, at least for a couple of innings.
In the bottom of the sixth the Pirates used a pair of singles, a walk, and a sacrifice to plate two more, knotting things at five.
Following a scoreless sixth the Ridgerunners’ Davenport picked up a two out single and stole second base. Trent Phillips sent him home with a base rap to take the 6-5 lead.
Despite allowing a base hit, Grove’s relief pitcher, Tyler Crossley struck out 3 Pirates in the bottom of the stanza, to seal the win.