Whenever the Ripley Vikings and Ravenswood Red Devils play each other, no matter the sport, records go out the window. Heading into Thursday night’s game, Ripley had won five straight  and nine of ten, while Ravenswood had won three in a row.  

Not to mention, both offenses were clicking, so some were anticipating a shootout.  However, Ripley starting pitcher Isaac Koontz had other ideas, going the distance for the Vikings with a shutout of the Red Devils.  Koontz threw a complete game, while scattering six hits, no walks, and struck out seven batters.  

The Red Devils could not string together timely hits to push runs across, and unforced errors and walks sealed their fate.
On the other hand, the Vikings took advantage of the Red Devils’ mistakes, and made the most of their three hits.
“Isaac Koontz pitched a great game for us,” said Viking head coach Shane Casto, “We didn’t hit real well, but we ran the bases well and put pressure on them.”

Ravenswood starter Jesse Brown pitched well, but took the loss for the Red Devils.  Brown pitched six innings and allowed only one hit, three walks, two earned runs, and struck out one.

“I believe our kids did not stay on the ball and have the same approach to hitting the baseball as we have had in previous games,” Ravenswood head coach Wes Swain said, “I give Koontz a lot of credit, he hit his spots and threw all his pitches for strikes tonight.  We just couldn’t seem to put timely hits together through our lineup like we have all year.”

The Vikings opened the scoring in the bottom of the first, getting two runs.  Easton Berry scored first on a passed ball, and then Jonny Stepp scored on Anthony Jarvis’ sacrifice fly to make it 2-0 Vikings.

 The Vikings scored again in the bottom of the third, when Stepp hit a sacrifice fly that scored Christopher Jordan.
The Red Devils threatened several times, putting runners in scoring position in the third and sixth, but could not push any runs across.  

The Vikings added their last run in the fourth inning after another sacrifice fly, this time by Lane Casto that scored Trevor Tucker.  It was all the run support that Koontz needed, as he closed the door in the seventh inning for a 4-0 victory for Ripley.

Tucker, Jordan, and Koontz collected the Vikings’ three hits, each going one for three.

Senior Devon Crews led the Red Devils on offense, going two for three.  Heath Burgess and Isaac Crow each went one for three, and sophomores Patrick Click and Logan Jarrett also went one for three for the Red Devils.

The Vikings victory was their sixth straight; their tenth win in their last eleven games, and moved their record to 16-10.  The loss dropped the Red Devils to 16-7.

After the game, Swain hoped his team could learn from the loss.

“Ripley is playing good baseball right now and they play hard, but at the same time, I feel like our kids are a very balanced team,” Swain said,  “The physical side is there and if we can just get them to buy into how important the mental side of the game is, then I feel like we can make some noise at the end of the year.”

On the other side, Casto was obviously happy with the win for his team.

“Anytime Ripley beats Ravenswood, it’s a great game,” Casto said, “Esepcially when Ravenswood is having a good season.”

Against Capital, the previously hot Ripley bats went a bit cold, as the Vikings fell 4-2 to the Cougars.  

Jared Bumpus took the loss for the Vikes, as he pitched the first four innings, while Trevor Tucker came in relief and finished the game.

The Vikings rallied for two runs in the bottom of the seventh, but could get no closer.  

Luke Layhew went 2-3, while Cody Pittenger went 1-3 with both RBIs for the Vikings.

The loss snapped a six game winning streak for Ripley, bringing their record to 16-11.  They return to action tonight at home against Logan at 7:00 p.m.