MIAMI – Carrying a three-game winning streak and fresh off a third place finish at their own Grand Lake Classic, the Grove Ridgerunners got the final word in their season series with the Miami Wardogs on Monday, coming back from an early four-run deficit for a 9-6 win on the Wardogs’ home field.
They got a lot of help from the home team along the way, as eight Miami errors led to six unearned runs for the Ridgerunners (15-8) in their comeback.
Jake Spychalski led the way for Grove both at the plate and on the mound. The junior hit a two-run double in the top of the first inning to give the Ridgerunners the early lead, then came on in relief with two outs in the bottom of the inning after Miami (12-9) scored four runs to take the lead. Spychalski wound up going the distance, pitching 6.1 innings while allowing two runs on seven hits and striking out seven.
The Wardogs got a run each in the second and third innings to take their biggest lead of the game at 6-2, but the Ridgerunners began to rally with two outs in the top of the fourth. Ty Morrow hit a two-out double, which was followed by an error on Justin Tesreau’s fly ball to right field. Kaden Livermore added an RBI single to cut the deficit to 6-4.
Grove would take advantage of two more Miami errors in the decisive fifth inning. Morrow and Benny Steffenson started the inning with base hits followed by an error on a ground ball by Kody Stephenson to load the bases. Another error on a ball hit by Tesreau scored two runs to tie the game, and Erick Ryan gave Grove the lead for good with a two-run single to make it 8-6.
Gibson Russ later added his fourth home run of the year, a solo shot in the top of the seventh for the final margin.
Spychalski held the Wardogs scoreless for the final four innings, getting out of a bases loaded jam in the sixth with a pickoff and a two-on, no-out situation in the seventh to pick up his fourth win of the season.
The Ridgerunners will travel to Locust Grove on Tuesday for a 4:30 game against the Pirates.