RAVENSWOOD – It was a great evening for season opening baseball at Wright Field as the Red Devils of Coach Wes Swain played host to the Vikings of Coach Shane Casto.
Lefty Logan McCoy took the hill for the road team and fellow southpaw Jesse Brown got the start for the Devils. It was a battle of hefty lefties, a gunfight with shoulders and elbows flying. Only one could stand after the dust on the diamond dissipated. The Vikings struck first in the second frame when Easton Berry stroked an RBI single and Cody Pittenger pushed in a run on a groundout. Ravenswood plated a run in the home half of the second to cut the lead to one on an error by the Vikings.
With a duck on the pond at first base and one out, Devon Crews blasted a liner to Christopher Jordan at shortstop who instinctively flipped the ball to first for a perfectly executed double play that killed the Devils’ scoring threat.
In the fifth inning, Ripley plated three runs. In his first varsity game, against the cross county rival, frosh Anthony Jarvis unloaded a mammoth line drive homerun to left field that had room to spare getting out of the park and Ripley led 3-1. After a double by Jordan, catcher Jonny Stepp got into the long ball festivities and laced a high moon scraper over the fence in right field to give Ripley a 5-1 advantage.
The Devils weren’t going down without a fight. In the bottom of the sixth, with Heath Burgess perched at third base, Crews blasted a deep fly ball to right field that plated the Red Devil second baseman on a tag and run.
In the sixth, Ripley plated two runs. Centerfielder Trevor Tucker instinctively stole third and scored when Jordan reached on a fielder’s choice. In what was arguably the finest pure baseball play of the night, the athletic Jordan stole home in the inning, with no hesitation to put the Vikings up, 7-2. Jarvis crossed home plate on a passed ball to give Ripley an insurance run. Logan Jarrett scored an unearned run in the seventh to make the score 8-3.
“Brown is a good pitcher and he threw the ball real well for three or four innings,” said Coach Casto. “He put us down 1-2-3 early and we only sent four batters to the plate in the fourth.”
Coach Swain was pleased with the effort his team put forward to plate a couple of runs late in the game and show no signs of giving up on the contest.
“I think we are getting better every day and that is what I am looking for.” Ripley knocked 10 hits and had four errors in the game. The Red Devils had six hits and no miscues.
Page 2 of 2 - Logan McCoy hurled a complete game for Ripley in surrendering six hits and one earned run. He walked two batters and struck out five while earning the win. Jesse Brown went five innings while giving up nine hits and six earned runs while walking one and fanning six Viking batters. Isaac Crow hurled an inning while giving up two earned runs on two hits. He walked three and struck out two. Thomas Sturm struck out two in an inning of work for the Devils.
VIKING HITTING – Jordan went 2-for-4 with three runs and an RBI with a double and two stolen bases, Jarvis went 1-for-2 with a HR, two runs scored and an RBI, Tucker was 1-for-3 with a run scored, a double and a walk, Koontz went 2-for-4, Pittenger was 1-for-3 with an RBI, Stepp went 2-fo-3 with a run, HR and two RBIs, Berry was 1-for-4 with a run and an RBI.
RED DEVIL HITTING – Crews went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double, Jarrett went 1-for-4, Hatcher was 1-for-3 with a run, Sturm was 1-for-2 with a run and Jelich was 1-for-3 with a double.