Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

GROVE- In a routine thatís beginning to resemble the movie Groundhog Day, the Grove Ridgerunners lost their first game of a doubleheader against the Ketchum Warriors before rallying to take the nightcap.

A sluggish Ridgerunner performance in game one at Beauchamp Field resulted in the visiting Warriors jumping out to an early lead and never looking back in a 5-1 win.

Things got off on the wrong foot for Grove when slugging infielder Trent Phillips was ejected for arguing balls and strikes in the bottom of the first inning. The Ridgerunners, who had runners on second and third with no outs thanks to a pair of walks and an errant pickoff throw, then proceeded to waste the opportunity to score the gameís first runs.

Unfortunately for Grove, the Warriors would not miss their opportunity in the top of the second. After a throwing error on an infield grounder followed by a bunt single put runners on the corners with no outs, a single to leftfield would score the gameís first run, and another run would score on a groundout to put Ketchum up 2-0.

The Warriors would add their other three runs in the top of the fourth inning.

A leadoff triple plus a throwing error on the throw home put Ketchum up 3-0. Grove starting pitcher Gibson Russ then proceeded to strike out the next batter, but the pitch landed in the dirt and skipped away from catcher Adam Steffenson, resulting in the batter reaching first.

After another bunt single, another Grove throwing error, this time after a pickoff attempt resulted in a rundown, put runners on second and third. A third Grove throwing error would score one run, and an RBI groundout would make the score 5-0 in favor of the Warriors.

The Ridgerunners would score their only run in the bottom of the inning when Benny Steffenson reached on an infield single with one out. Two batters later Ty Morrow hit a double to the left centerfield wall to score Steffenson.

Grove would fail to score again despite getting two hits each in the fifth and seventh innings, with the Warriors turning double plays in both frames. In all Grove went 3-for-13 with runners in scoring position.

The lone bright spot for Grove in game one was Morrow, who, in addition to batting in the gameís lone run, came on in relief in the fifth inning and pitched three perfect innings to end the game.

After falling behind early in game two, the Ridgerunners would finally come alive in a 7-2 win.

After a walk and a pair of Ketchum errors, Adam Steffensonís sacrifice fly would tie the score at one in the bottom of the first inning.

Grove would then take the lead for good with a decisive third inning. Morrow would lead off the inning with an infield single, and an error, a wild pitch and a walk would give the Ridgerunners a 3-1 lead. Another wild pitch later in the inning would add a fourth run. Adam Steffenson would then reach base on a single before moving up on another wild pitch. Two batters later, brother Benny would score Adam with a single to right centerfield.

That would be plenty of runs for Grove starter Kyle Summerfield, who scattered four hits and four walks in holding Ketchum to two runs over the five-inning game.

The Ridgerunners will finish their baseball season next week with a tournament at jay. The Ridgerunners will play on Tuesday at 7:30 pm.