POINT PLEASANT - Last Friday evening, first year head baseball coach Victor Boyce had his debut spoiled by a timely flare to right field in the bottom of the seventh inning and the Big Blacks edged Ripley Middle School, 5-4 on a cold and windy night on the diamond.

Ripley Middle returns this season as the defending MVAC baseball champions. The Vikings only mustered three hits but were resourceful with their offense in still plating four runs and solid pitching kept them within striking distance.

Lane Casto hurled three innings and struck out five hitters, walked one and gave up four runs. Only two of those runs were earned.

Remy Boyce pitched three innings and struck out one while surrendering one hit. Anthony Jarvis pitched an inning and gave up one hit and a run. In the hitting department, Boyce led the way while going 2-for-4 while stealing a base and scoring a run. Anthony Jarvis went 1-for-2 with an RBI and Jonathan McNemar had an RBI.

"The kids went out and played hard and we just came up a little short. We just have to refocus and prepare for Ravenswood," said coach Boyce.

Depending on weather conditions, Ripley was to host cross county rival Ravenswood Middle at Ripley High School last night. Read about it in a future edition of JN.