RIPLEY - Tyler Pittenger blasted a solo homerun in the first inning to set the table and lead Ripley to a 3-1 victory over visiting Sissonville on Saturday night.
"Pitt" took a fastball offering and deposited it about 50 feet beyond the 310 marker in left field.
"I knew that I hit it well when it left the bat, on the sweet spot," said Pittenger after the game.
Freshman Jared Bumpus took the hill for Ripley in his second varsity start and didn't disappoint. The southpaw threw a complete game and did not give up an earned run in his first performance at Ray Swisher's Vikings Field against a solid Sissonville squad.
"I just tried to pitch to contact and put the game in the hands of our defense," said Bumpus.
Issac Koontz and Alex Hambrick drove in runs for Ripley in the sixth, their most productive inning offensively. Christopher Jordan's legal thievery of second base was crucial for Ripley.
Sissonville's own lefty junior Eli Mooney certainly pitched well enough to win but Bumpus was just a little bit sharper on this night. The Vikings had three deep fly ball outs on Mooney and a couple of line drives were just shy of falling in gaps for Ripley sluggers.
The Vikings (2-3 MSAC 1-2) played solid defensively as they only committed one error. Freshman Cody Pittenger made a fine throw while making a play to his left and fellow frosh Christopher Jordan made a snag on a line drive from his shortstop position that could have been extra bases for the Indians.
"We feel like our pitchers are giving us a chance to win and that is all you can ask of them. If we can play well defensively and stop kicking the ball around, we can win some games. Our bats are beginning to come around. This was a good win for us tonight," said coach Shane Casto.
"I don't care about strikeouts. I want our guys to throw strikes and keep the free passes (walks) to a minimum."
Bumpus hurled seven innings, gave up six hits and recorded three strikeouts. The young lefty didn't issue a single walk, giving validity to coach Casto and pitching coach Frankie Cummings' philosophy.
In the Hitting department, Tyler Pittenger was 2-for-3 with a homerun, two runs and an RBI, Christopher Jordan was 2-for-3 with a double and two stolen bases, Jonny Stepp was 1-for-3 with a run scored and Alex Hambrick was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
This game was scheduled away for Ripley, due to lighting issues at Sissonville's park this weekend, the game had to be played at Ripley.
"Our scheduled April 19 home game with Sissonville will now be played at their place due to the change this weekend," said Ripley athletic director Steve Lough.
Page 2 of 2 - Earlier in the day at noon, Ripley played host to the Spartans of Greenbrier East.
The Vikings honored the 1974 Regional Champion Viking team prior to the game. The coach from that team, Point Pleasant native Dave Rawson, made the trip from Delaware to attend the ceremony. (see a photo of the team in Thursday's Star edition of JN)
Unfortunately, the Spartans left with an 8-2 victory that was a much closer game than the score would indicate.
Ripley made seven fielding errors that ultimately would contribute to their demise.
Freshman Christopher Jordan made the start on the hill. Jordan would give up five early runs over 2.1 innings but only two were earned as the Viking defense proved shaky early on.
Nathan Tucker and Logan McCoy provided relief innings for the Vikings.
Ripley managed only single runs in the second and fifth innings thanks to RBI hits from Jonny Stepp and Cody Pittenger.
Greenbrier East hurler Ryan Windon kept Viking hitters off balance for four innings.
For Ripley, Cody Piitenger led the way going 3-for-4 with a double, Nathan Tucker went 2-for-4, Tyler Pittenger was 1-for-3 with a run, a walk and a double, Stepp and Koontz each had a hit and an RBI while Stepp also walked once. Easton Berry walked twice in the game and scored a Viking run.
Tucker threw 3.2 innings. He gave up two hits and two runs while only walking one and notching a strikeout. McCoy threw an inning and gave up a run while walking two hitters.