HUNTINGTON – Easton Berry scattered five hits over six innings and Ripley squandered a 5-2 lead in the seventh to fall 6-5 to No. 5 AAA ranked Huntington High.
The Highlanders, loaded with left-handed hitters (5), were overmatched by the Viking's super sophomore southpaw.
"We felt good about the lefty on lefty match-up with their hitters. In hindsight, I should have let Easton finish what he started," said coach Shane Casto.
Berry (0-1) worked his magic on the boys from Cabell County and only had a slight hiccup where the Highlanders plated two runs in the fourth. Berry gave up only one earned run and fanned six batters. He only issued one free pass in the contest. He notched eight groundouts and five fly outs in the game.
"I felt really good and my curve was working for me all night," said Berry.
The Vikings (4-12) jumped out to an early lead after Christopher Jordan singled. He advanced to second on a sharp liner to left from Trevor Tucker and with keen base running the frosh advanced to third on the same play.
After Jordan scored via a fielding error on the Highlanders, Tucker crossed the plate thanks to a sharp daisy cutter from Jonny Stepp.
The Vikes struck again in the third when Isaac Koontz singled home Trevor Tucker and Tyler Pittenger with a liner to left center field.
Koontz struck again in the fifth when he drove home Pittenger from third base with another single to center.
The Vikes led 5-2 going into the bottom of the seventh and with one out and Berry relieved of his pitching duties, Ripley walked three batters, gave up an RBI single and a bases clearing triple off of the bat of Huntington's Joey Mundy. The game was over and the Vikings' trek back to Jackson County was a long one.
Isaac Koontz was the hitting star on this night with a stellar 2-for-3 performance with three RBIs. Trevor Tucker was 2-for-2 and scored two runs. Jonny Stepp was 1-for-2 with an RBI and a walk, Christopher Jordan was 1-for-4 with a run, Tyler Pittenger went 1-for-3 with a double and two runs scored, Cody Pittenger went 1-for-3 with a triple.
Ripley fell to Logan 14-3 on Friday. They travel to Roane County tomorrow.