The Grove Ridgerunners fell 0-2 to the Verdigris Cardinals on April 16 and 17 which dropped them to 10th place in the state Class 4A according to

Their first game of the two-game series was on Monday, April 16 at Verdigris with a 3-6 loss.

The Ridgerunners put Chat Hayes on the mound for the first game against the Cardinals.

Hayes threw for over five innings and was relieved by Kaleb Keener who closed the game.

Hayes put out a high 117 pitches for which 70 were strikes averaging 20 pitches per inning, 14 first pitch strikes and eight strikeouts for the game.

Neither team was able to gain ground in the first inning with Grove grounding out all three batters and Verdigris going out on strikes.

It was in the bottom of the second that the Cardinals were able to score after a bunt and error by Hayes allowed the runner to score putting the Ridgerunners behind 0-1 by the close of the inning.

Grove took the lead in the top of the fourth when a single by Jack Gentry brought Tyler Davis into score tying the game up.

Seth Willis then hit a follow up single with a two RBIs on the play giving the Ridgerunners a 3-1 lead over the Cardinals.

Verdigris was able to bring one run into home during the bottom of the fourth closing the gap with Grove still leading 3-2.

The Ridgerunners maintained their one run lead until the bottom of the sixth inning when the Cardinals hit a two run homer to centerfield, followed by a two run triple.

This put the Ridgerunners behind 3-6 going into the seventh inning and subsequently unable to score.

Grove turned around and played the Cardinals at home the next day losing 1-2 after going into extra innings.

The Ridgerunners put Cade Coble on the mound who threw an incredible pitching game against Verdigris with 98 pitches, 74 strikes, averaging 12 pitches an inning.

Coble threw 24 first pitch strikes and sent six cardinals home swinging.

The Ridgerunners drew first blood scoring in the bottom of the first when Braxton Pennington singled on a line drive to center allowing Zane Knox to score on the play giving Grove the lead 1-0.

It wasn’t until the top of the fourth that Verdigris was able to score when a ground ball hit to third was errored on allowing for the score to be tied 1-1.

The pitching duel continued with Coble and the team keeping the Cardinals at bay.

The seventh inning came and went, and the score was still tied 1-1.

The Cardinals stepped up to bat in the eight hitting a double to put a man on second in scoring position.

They then made a sacrifice bunt advancing the runner to third.

It was the following single on a line drive that allowed the Cardinals to score the winning run.

Grove was unable to score in the bottom of the eight giving them their second lose of the two game series 1-2.

The Ridgerunners will be heading into playoff season starting 1 p.m. Thursday, April 26 to face Cleveland 7-16 in District Tournaments at home for a double header.

Districts are best of three and if needed the Ridgerunners will play another game on Friday, April 27.