Summer baseball scheduling for the Jac-Cen-Del Eagles and South Ripley Raiders made way for a meeting between the two greatly altered teams since the end of the HS season at SRHS on Friday evening, June 23.
JCD led by coach David Bradshaw and SR led by Steven Franklin gave each other a solid run for thier efforts, ending in a 7-5 advantage to the Eagles after seven complete innings.
Summer games are met with a far less pressured atmosphere, allowing the coaches to work on different positions with their players and help to keen the senses of their players.
With the loss of recently graduated seniors from their squads, the short summer season allows underclassmen to work on their games in getting ready to step up to possibly bigger roles in the coming year.
For this particular contest, the Raider roster included nine players. They were: Bryan Forwalt, Cody Jackson, Austin Halcomb, Ryan Lengerich, Jason Bodenberg, Joe Dicken, Logan Linkmeyer, Gus Berry and Derek Lewis.
The fourteen Eagles included: Brytton Rogers,Trent Smith, Riley Thomas, Joe Harlemert, Trey Brown, Allen Hooton, Tyler Straub, Ethan Adams, Tanner Volz, Blake Straub, Cameron Horan, Tyler French, John Muckerheide, and Trey Bradshaw. JV pitcher Bryan Forwalt opened from the Raider mound, with teammate Cody Jackson behind the plate.
The Eagles managed to put the first score of the game on the board off a single by Tyler Straub, a single by Riley Thomas and an RBI producing double off the bat of Ethan Adams.
Working his way out of the threatening situation in the top of the inning, Forwalt retired the Eagles, stranding two runners on base.
With the next Raider at bat, Cody Jackson delivered a single, followed by an RBI earning triple by Forwalt that knotted the game at one.
With the Eagle at bat, Harlemert singled, Brown doubled and Smith came to the plate with no outs. A pitching change brought Logan Linkmeyer to the mound in relief. Off Linkmeyer's first pitch, Smith delivered a 2 RBI single.
Eagle Hooton followed with a single, advancing Smith, who stole home on a wild pitch. Straub was thrown out before Thomas delivered a sacrifice to score Hooton. With the bases empty, the Eagles were retired, but had gained four runs for a 5-1 edge over the Raiders.
Eagle varsity pitcher Brytton Rogers continued to work from the mound for JCD, with his varsity teammate catcher Trent Smith fulfilling the duties behind the plate.
Following a fly out by Raider Jackson, Lengerich reached on an error by Tyler Straub in left field on a routine fly ball. Bodenberg delivered an RBI producing double up the middle to score Lengerich. An RBI single by Derek Lewis added Bodenberg's score to the Raider's side, closing the deficit to just two at 3-5.
The Eagles were held scoreless in their at bat in the top of the fifth inning. The Raiders added a run in the bottom of the fifth off a Linkmeyer single followed by an RBI producing double by Jackson. Jackson too scored to knot the game at five off the RBI delivered double. However, Lengerich's attempt to turn his hit into a triple found him cut down by Eagle third baseman Trey Brown for the third out.
In the top of the sixth, Rogers and Harlemert both reached base prompting another Raider pitching change. Raider Dicken was called on in relief of Linkmeyer.
Continuing,Brown grounded out to first, Smith singled to drive in Rogers. Hooton drew a walk to load the bases. Tyler Straub singled to drive Harlemert home for a two run, 7-5 lead. Remaining Eagle runners were left on base.
Bottom of the sixth batting by SR found Forwalt singling, Bodenberg striking out, Lewis singling, Berry flying out to center field and Dicken flying out to left.
Neither team was able to add to their scores in the seventh, resulting in a 7-5 Eagle advantage at the end of the game.