It came down to the last play of the game, but the Grove Ridgerunners were on the wrong side of the a 6-5 score at Gravette.
The Ridgerunners drew first blood in the top of the first. Zane Knox walked to start the game. Knox stole second and scored when Jack Gentry lined a single to left field giving the Ridgerunners a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Gravette struck back quickly. Starter Cade Coble gave up two infield singles and a double down the left field line.
Gentry then threw out a runner trying to steal before Coble gave up another infield single putting Gravette ahead 2-1. Coble induced a fifth ground ball in the inning that turned into a double play to end the threat.
The Ridgerunners came back and threatened to score immediately in the top of the second inning.
Toby Cearly took a walk before a Lane Rutherford double to put two runners into scoring position with one out. Cearly scored on a wild pitch but a strikeout and ground out ended the threat. The game was now tied 2-2.
Coble settled in and allowed just one base runner over the next three innings on a walk in the fourth. Coble hit the soft limit the Grove coaching staff had set for him after the fourth inning and left the game with 4.0 innings pitched, 2 runs allowed, 4 hits, 1 walk, and 5 strikeouts.
“We are happy with how Cade rebounded,” pitching coach Drew Osborne said. “He had a rough first inning but got locked in and put hitters away. The difference was the first pitch strike. Cade controlled at bats from the second inning on.”
The Ridgerunners again were on the attack to start the top of the fifth inning. Knox doubled to start the inning and then stole third. Gentry hit a deep fly ball to center field to drive in the run via sacrifice fly.
Chat Hayes reached on an error and then on a hit and run, scored from first on a single from Chase Coughran. The Gravette outfield who fielded the ball threw the ball softly into the cut.
Hayes never stopped and was able to score on a close play at the plate. The Ridgerunners now held a 4-2 lead.
Colin Craig relieved Coble to start the bottom of the fifth. With two outs, Craig walked the hitter and then hit the next batter giving away another free base.
With two outs, two runners on, and a two run deficit, the batter for Gravette hit a line drive into right field which was misplayed. The ball went all the way to the wall allowing three runs to score. The Ridgerunner lead was gone, just like that.
Cearley lead off the top of the sixth inning with a bunt single down the third base line.
Even though the third baseman had no play, he still tried to make a throw which went into right field allowing Cearley to go to second. Cearley stole third and scored the tying run on a Rutherford sacrifice fly.
Craig and the Ridgerunners held Gravette scoreless in the bottom of the sixth. The Ridgerunners threatened in the top of the seventh, but were unable to score.
Craig walked the first batter he faced in the bottom of the seventh before getting a ground ball to Knox.
Knox went for the double play but was unable to field the ball cleanly for an error allowing runners on first and second.
After a bunt attempt, the Gravette hitter hit a deep fly ball to center field over the head of Cearley for a game-winning double. The runner on second scored and gave the Ridgerunners their first defeat of the season by a score of 6-5.
Colin Craig took the loss pitching 2.0+ innings, allowing 4 runs, none of them earned, 1 hit, 3 walks, 1 hit by pitch, and had 3 strikeouts. Coble got a no decision in the game.
Coughran was 3-4 with 3 singles, 1 run batted in, and 1 stolen base.
Cearley was 2-3 with 2 runs scored, 1 walk, and 1 stolen base.
Knox was 1-2 with 2 runs scored, a double, 2 walks, and 3 stolen bases.
Rutherford was 1-2 with a double and 1 run batted in.
Gentry was 1-3 with 2 runs batted in.
Craig was 1-4 with a single.
Hayes was 0-3 but scored a run and walked.
Gunner Jensen stole a base as a courtesy runner for Gentry.