Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

A disastrous fourth inning proved to be too much for the Ridgerunners to overcome as they dropped an 11-9 decision to the Tulsa Edison Eagles in the final day of pool play at the Grand Lake Baseball Classic Friday. Despite the loss, the Ridgerunners advanced to Saturday’s championship final thanks to their pair of wins on Thursday. Grove will face Catoosa, who won Pool B with wins over Jay, Pawhuska and Drumright. The Eagles scored five runs in the fourth inning, breaking a one-all tie thanks to timely hitting and defensive gaffes by the Ridgerunners. The Eagles got three consecutive infield hits during the inning, one in which they sent 10 batters to the plate. Wade Williams led off the inning for the Eagles with a single before advancing to second on a wild pitch. Ryan Sparks then followed by drawing a walk. After a strikeout for the first out of the inning, Nathan Clagg laid down an apparent sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. But Grove pitcher Kyle Summerfield hesitated after fielding the ball, allowing Williams to score. Summerfield then threw to second to try and get Clagg advancing, allowing Sparks to score. Quinn Fields and R.J. Parr followed with consecutive infield singles before Connor Ketchum blasted a two-run double to left centerfield to make the score 6-1. The Ridgerunners responded with three runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. T.J. Stephens hit a two-run triple to right field to score Bryce Davenport and Trent Phillips. Gibson Russ then followed with a single to score Stephens and cut the Eagles’ lead to 6-4. Edison would get three more runs in the fifth as Ketchum picked up two more RBIs with a double to right field to make the score 9-4. Buck Maples would lead off the Grove fifth with the first of his two solo home runs to cut the lead to 9-5. Davenport would add an RBI single to make it 9-6. Edison would add two more in the top of the seventh before the Ridgerunners made one last grasp at their third consecutive win. After Maples went deep over the left field wall to lead off the inning, Davenport and Phillips followed with back-to-back one-out singles. After a strikeout, Russ followed with an RBI single and Adam Steffenson followed with a two-run ground rule double to left field to make the score 11-9. But with the tying runs in scoring position, Edison pitcher Matt Rolph got one final strikeout for the complete game victory. The Ridgerunners will play for the championship tonight against the Eagles at 6 p.m. in Grove.