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May 5, 2016 • Sports
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South Ripley Raiders battle back for 10-7 victory over visiting Austin Eagles
See more sports photos on pages 5 and 6

Gary Franklin

A scheduled South Ripley Raider Varsity Baseball game on Friday evening, April 29, with time for the onset backed up to a 5:30 p.m. first pitch for Austin to have time to make the long trip, ended up beginning closer to 6 p.m., as Austin took extra time to decide to hit the field for warm up. Once in action, the Eagles got their first two batters on base with South Ripley fielding errors before scoring four in their first at bat’s conclusion, with Raider hurler Cory Walker on the mound and teammate Chad Turner catching at the plate. The Raider first attempt at scoring in the bottom of the first inning came up empty, resulting in a 0-4 deficit heading to the top of the second inning for the hosting Raiders.

Raider junior Derek Turner moves from his third base defensive duties to the mound in the top of the fifth inning as the South Ripley pitcher. Here, he and teammates held the visiting Austin Eagles scoreless for two innings pitched, eventually earning the game winner of record.

A much better grip on the game in the Raider second inning defensive action on Austin as South Ripley held them without allowing any additional runs. Raider bats came to life at their second round at the plate, resulting in a 3-4 deficit heading to the top of the third inning. Again, South Ripley stood strong and denied further Eagle scoring in their top of the third inning at bat. The Raiders managed to earn their first game lead off a two run addition in the bottom of the third, for a 5-4 South Ripley advantage, off a well hit home run over the right field fence by senior first baseman Ty Tucker.

In the top of the fourth inning, the Eagles battled Raider pitcher Walker to secure the edge after scoring two more runs for their efforts at 6-5. The South Ripley battery connected for a run in the bottom of the fourth inning to send action to the top of the fifth knotted 6-6. Raider junior Derek Turner gained mound duties for the Raiders in their effort to write a page to victory. Injured South Ripley catcher Chad Turner found replacement in teammate Josh Walston as South Ripley realigned to defend the Eagle offensive efforts in the top of the fifth inning. Working to success, Austin was held scoreless once again, opening the door for an South Ripley explosion in the bottom of the fifth, and erupt they did! The Raiders battery connected for a four run inning and an advantage of four at 10-6.

With the game now in somewhat of a South Ripley to lose situation, the Raiders’ defensive effort behind Turner sent the Eagles back to the dugout and the field for defense scoreless; however, hanging onto the four run advantage, the Raiders were unable to add to their lead as they too were retired without additional scoring in the bottom of the sixth inning. A solid four run edge, the Raiders hit the field in what was anticipated as their last needed trip to the field for a defensive stand against the visiting Eagles. Enter South Ripley’s Luke Welch to close the deal from the mound for the hosting Raiders, and close he did, allowing one Austin run to score , but hanging on for the South Ripley Raiders varsity’s 10-7 final count baseball victory.

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