GRAVETTE - The Grove baseball team got into the win column Friday night with their 9-2 victory over Gravette.
The Ridgerunners started their season with two district loses to Oologah, of which the team had two opportunities to win at the end.
Grove 9, Gravette 2
The two teams looked evenly matched with no score through the first three innings. Then, in the top of the fourth inning, senior Colin Craig led off with a deep fly ball to right center field. Craig slide into third with a triple. Cooper Smith walked putting runners on first and third with no outs. Isaac Lopez hit a one hopper to the first baseman who stepped on first. Meanwhile, Craig raced home giving the Ridgerunners a 1-0 lead.
Two walks and a single in the bottom of the fourth inning allowed Gravette to get right back in and tie the game at 1-1.
But that's when the Ridgerunner bats woke up with a fury. Bryce Davis led off the inning with a double followed by a single from Ayden Hunsperger scoring the go ahead run. Hunsperger stole second before Layne Rutherford was walked. With one out, Craig struck again with a line drive double down the right field line. The Ridgerunners scored two more runs on the hit and took a 4-1 lead. The hit parade for the Ridgerunners continued with a Logan Engles double, Wyatt Wall double, Davis single, and Hunspeger single. By the end of the inning, the Ridgerunners had a 9-1 lead.
Smith started the game for the Ridgerunners on the mound but received a no decision after just throwing 3.0 innings. Smith allowed one run on 1 hit, 4 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
Hank Hacker followed Smith into the game to receive his first win of the season throwing 4.0 innings allowing one unearned run on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 4 strikeouts.
Wall led the Ridgerunners with 3 hits. Two of those hits were doubles and Wall drove in two runs while scoring one of his own. Hunsperger, Davis, and Craig all had two-hit games as well. Craig scored two runs while driving in two and Hunspeger scored one run while driving in a pair as well. Rutherford, Engles, and Lopez all had a hit as well. In all, there were 12 Ridgerunner hits in the game.
"They threw a tough lefty at us," said Grove Head Coach Drew Osborne. "We had to really make some adjustments and focus on using the right side of the field. Once we did that, we put together the fifth inning and won ourselves the game. Hacker did a great job coming in for us and keeping the game where it was and giving us a chance to win. We had a lot of guys do good things tonight."
"Grove is always going to hit," said Gravette Head Coach Bryan Beardon. "They always make it tough on you. That's why I like playing them. You know you'll always have a good opponent and be able to judge where your team stands."
The Ridgerunners have a busy week playing three games with their varsity and JV while playing another four with their freshman squad. The Ridgerunners hosted Gentry Monday, March 9, and will be on the road again on Thursday, March 12, taking on the Claremore Sequoyah Eagles.