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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Comeback Koontz: Ripley rides grand slam to victory

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  • RIPLEY – Ripley High School’s Isaac Koontz is a very good hitter. In 2013 he was perhaps the most consistent hitter in the lineup. He simply stroked one single after another, and went about his job in a blue collar manner, taking his lunch box (bat) to work every day and doing his part on the diamond.
    Koontz was put in a position to save the day and complete a ferocious Viking comeback at Greenbrier East on Saturday. He did not disappoint.
    Ripley was down 5-3 in the fifth when Christopher Jordan grounded out to short to score Luke Layhew. Cody Pittenger then drove in Jonny Stepp with a single to left. The score was knotted at five going into the seventh inning.
    With the bases loaded with Easton Berry, Jordan and Stepp – Koontz received a fastball right down the middle on a 1-1 count and launched a line drive to the left field gap towards the 350 foot marker.
    “I knew that I hit it hard,” said Koontz. “I thought it was a liner in the gap until I saw (pitching) Coach Cummings jumping up and down at first base. It was at that point that I knew it was gone. I will never forget that moment.” The Vikings were victors, 11-5.
    RBIs from Trevor Tucker and Christopher Jordan later in the inning put the Vikings in the catbird’s seat.
    “Koontz really came through in the clutch for us. He seized the moment for our team,” said Coach Shane Casto.
    Perhaps the long ride back to Jackson County wasn’t so boring after all. The Vikings moved to (2-0) on the season in dramatic fashion, further proving that taking each game one at-bat at a time can produce positive results.
    It wasn’t all peaches and cream. Ripley committed a disturbing six errors one day after notching four at Ravenswood. Ripley must shore up their defensive effort as grand slams in the seventh happen about as often as the Atlanta Braves win a World Series.
    Koontz was the star on the mound as well. He hurled 3.1 innings of one hit baseball while fanning five hitters and only walking two. Easton Berry threw an inning while giving up two earned runs, walking three and fanning one. Luke Layhew pitched two innings and gave up three runs (one earned) and struck out one batter. Christopher Jordan came in and slammed the door shut while earning his first save of the year.
    VIKING HITTING – Jordan went 3-for-5 with three RBIs, a run and a double, Anthony Jarvis went 2-for-3, two runs and an RBI, Jonny Stepp was 2-for-3 with Cody Pittenger was 1-for-3 with a SB, one run and an RBI, Dalton Wentz went 1-for-3 with a run scored and Trevor Tucker was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI. Luke Layhew had one stolen base. Ripley traveled to Oak Hill on Monday.
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