OOLOGAH - The Grove Ridgerunners baseball team was looking to bounce back Tuesday, March 3, after taking a loss in their opening game at home the night before.

Layne Rutherford was taking the mound for the Ridgerunners and the team had a feeling of confidence after fighting back the night before. Unfortunately, this didn’t happen for the Ridgerunners as they gave up two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning and were beat 6-4 making them 0-2 on the season.

Oologah 6, Grove 4

After a scoreless first inning and recording the first two outs in the bottom of the second inning, the wheels fell off for the Ridgerunners. A pair of walks bracketed a two out single for the Mustangs loading the bases before they recorded three straight singles to put them up 4-0.

The Ridgerunners fought back immediately scoring four of their own runs tying the game in the very next inning. Rutherford and Coughran had back-to-back singles putting runners on first and third. Colin Craig just missed hitting a ball over the outfield driving it deep into center field and ended up with a sacrifice fly driving in Rutherford. Cooper Smith and Isaac Lopez both worked walks to load the bases to bring up Logan Engles. Engles got a fastball on the first pitch and just missed a grand slam hitting it off the base of the wall in left field driving in all three runners and tying the game.

“That was a great swing from Logan,” head coach Drew Osborne said. “Oologah called a time out to have a conference and I told Logan that the pitcher is struggling and he is going to groove you an early fastball and I want you to hit it as hard as you can. It was great to see us fight right back into the game after having such a disappointing inning right before.”

Rutherford settled in after the rough patch and was strong until the sixth when he walked the leadoff batter. After recording an out, Oologah put a perfect bunt down the third base line to put runners on first and third. After calling a timeout and setting up their defensive strategy, Oologah stole second. The Ridgerunners had the perfect defense called but didn’t execute as the throw went into centerfield. The Mustangs next hitter singled, taking a 6-4 lead.

The Ridgerunners mounted another comeback attempt getting the tying run to the plate before Craig hit a deep fly ball the centerfield ran down in the gap.

Rutherford threw 6.0 innings in the loss giving up a total of 6 runs, 7 hits, 5 walks, and 4 strikeouts. He was also 1 for 4 at the plate with a stolen base, run scored, and 2 strikeouts.

Coughran was 2 for 3 and scored a run. Craig was 0 for 3 with a run batted in. Smith was 0 for 2 with a walk and run scored. Lopez was 0 for 2 with a walk and run scored. Engles was 1 for 2 with a double, walk, and three runs batted in. Wyatt Wall was 1 for 3 with a single and 2 strikeouts. Hayes Pavatt was 0 for 3 with 1 strikeout. Bryce Davis was 0 for 3 with 2 strikeouts.

The Ridgerunners will get back in action when they travel to Gravette on Friday, March 6.