RAVENSWOOD - After the dust (or in this case, the mud) settled over the weekend, the Class AA Region 1, Section 2 Baseball Tournament is down to a two-horse race in a best-of-three game series with the first two games yesterday (Monday) and today (Tuesday) at 6 p.m. being played at the Red Devil-friendly confines of Wright Field.
Coach Wes Swain’s Red Devils (22-8) took care of business Friday by pounding visiting Roane County, 12-2, in five innings at Wright Field in a makeup of a rained out sectional tournament opener Thursday. On Saturday, the Ritchie County Rebels (14-11) eliminated the Raiders (16-15) with a 10-0 shut-out at Spencer for Roane’s second loss in the double-elimination format tournament.

Now it’s the Red Devils and the Rebels going at it for the sectional crown in a best-of-three-game series with the winner of yesterday’s (Monday) game at Wright Field grabbing control. In last night’s winners win today’s (Tuesday) game (6 p.m.) at Wright Field, they are sectional champions. If the teams split the first two games, a final, deciding championship game will have to be played.

Ravenswood and Ritchie County split a pair of regular season games with the Rebels winning at Ellenboro, 11-7, and the Red Devils returning the favor, 11-6, at Wright Field.

In Friday’s mercy-rule-abbreviated sectional opener, junior Isaac Crow handcuffed the Raiders with a three-hit shut-out to get the pitching win, fanning 11 batters and walking six over the five innings.

Senior Devon Crews led the way at the plate with a 3-for-4 performance including a pair of doubles and drove in one run to break the school RBI record on his last at-bat of the game, Junior Rhys Jelich launched his first high school career home run in a 2-for-3 plate performance and drove in three runs. Crow helped his own cause with a 2-for-4 batting game, including a double and RBI. Trey Hatcher was 1-for-3 with a double and two RBIs.

“I was very pleased with the way the team played since not playing in almost a week. It is a testament of how hard they practice and how they push each other in practice. We needed to do this because we could not find a game,” said Coach Swain. “Against Roane, they beat a good pitcher that had seven wins. Everyone contributed in some way to help in the win. Crow seemed to get stronger as the game went on, and although he walked a few to put himself in some tough situations, he battled to work out of them. Jelich hit his first home run at the high school level, and is becoming a good hitter. Crews broke the school RBI record in his last at-bat.”
“Ritchie will be a good test to see how far we have come this year,” added Swain.