RAVENSWOOD - Coach Wes Swain’s Ravenswood Red Devils (21-8) are set to open Class AA Region 1, Section 2 Tournament play today (Thursday) at the friendly confines of Wright Field. The opponent in today’s sectional opener is a familiar one for the Red Devils; so is the third team in the three-team tournament field for that matter.
Ravenswood takes on the Roane County Raiders (16-12) in today’s tournament opener. The Red Devils have defeated Roane County three times this season, so the “third time’s the charm” jinx is off the table. The Devils beat the Raiders, 15-5 at Wright Field; 9-5 at Spencer; and shut them out 10-0 in the LKC playoff opening game, also at Wright Field.
Waiting in the wings to take on the Devils in a Saturday game are the Ritchie County Rebels (13-10). The Rebels handed Ravenswood a 11-7 loss at Ellenboro, before Ravenswood returned the favor with the 11-6 win at Wright Field.
The sectional tournament follows a double-elimination format, and will stretch into next week before the champion is determined. That champion will then square off in the regional semifinals versus the champion of Section 1--either Weir (4-12-1) or Oak Glen (12-11).
The Red Devils are led by a host of potent hitters topped by senior shortstop Devin Crews, who is batting at a .510 clip with a .920 slugging percentage. Crews has 51 hits, 54 RBIs and nine home runs (including a pair of grand slams in one inning) on the season to date.
Senior second baseman Heath Burgess is hitting at a .449 clip with 44 hit,s 28 RBIs and 42 runs scored. First baseman Logan Jarrett is hitting .411 with 39 hits, 27 RBIs and 30 runs scored. Speedster junior Thomas Sturm is hitting at a .383 clip with 31 hits and 30 runs scored. Junior catcher Trey Hatcher is hitting .359 with 28 including a home run and 19 RBIs. Junior outfielder Rhys Jelich is hitting .333 with 28 hits and 33 runs scored. Junior Isaac Crow is hitting .329 with 25 hits including five runs, 26 RBIs and 26 runs scored. Junior third baseman Matt Peery is also hitting .329 with 26 RBIs and 32 runs scored.
The Devils have a potent arsenal pitchers to choose from with senior Jesse Brown (7-6) seeing the most time on the hill so far. Brown has whiffed 75 batterers on the season to date and boasts a 2.744 ERA. Heath Burgess (8-0) has a 2.7888 ERA with 28 strikeouts to his credit so far. Isaac Crow (4-1) has 61 strikeouts to date and a 3.831 ERA.