Ripley twice victim of WUHS right hander’s gems –
Story and photo by Mark Carpenter –
Once was not enough for West Union senior hurler Janson Kramer as the right hander put bookends on the week for the Dragons’ baseball squad. On Monday, April 17 Kramer blanked the Ripley Blue Jays 13-0 and then came back on Friday, April 21 to repeat the performance, again firing a shutout to defeat the Blue Jays, this time by a final count of 10-0 on the home field at West Union.
The wins were Kramer’s first two of the 2017 season and lowered his earned run average to 2.00 in 21 innings of work. Not only did he handle the Jays from the mound in the five inning run-rule win, but for good measure Kramer went 2 for 4 from the plate and drove in three runs, pushing his season average to .400, as the Dragons picked up their fifth win of the spring.
The West Union offense gave their starter all the runs he needed when they picked up a pair of runs in the bottom of the first on a two-run single by Dylan Grooms. The Dragons added one in their half of the second when Cody Thornberry singled, stole second, and scored on a Kramer base hit.
After going scoreless in the third, the Dragons sealed the run-rule deal with big innings in the fourth and fifth. In the bottom of the fourth, the home team tallied three runs, all coming with two outs. A Kramer single brought home Gabe Grooms and the West Union pitcher came home on a base hit by Brandan Cornell that made it 5-0. A base hit to right by Jared Fenton scored Cornell to give the Dragons a six-run cushion.
In the bottom of the fifth, West Union scored four times to enforce the OHSAA run rule, with a Kramer ground out bringing home Gabe Grooms with the 10th and final run of the game.
Seven different Dragons hit safely in the win, with both Dylan Grooms and Casey Mullenix garnering two-base hits. Grooms and Thornberry each drove home a pair of runs, while Kramer stifled the Ripley offense on just three hits, after one-hitting the Jays earlier in the week.
The Dragons improved to 5-8 on the season with the win with seven games scheduled for the week that began April 24.
“The Ripley game was our fifth in five days,” said West Union head coach Joe Kramer. “We had a solid win over Lynchburg the previous day and continued that momentum into Friday’s game with Ripley.”
“Janson has pitched well this season in a limited role. With all of the early rain problems, Brandan Cornell and Jared Fenton have been our main starting pitchers. Janson has not had the chance to start any games until this week and he has not give up any earned runs in conference play, also pitching against Manchester and Fayetteville. We have seven games this week, so we will certainly need him to pitch well again.”
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W. Union Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Carson 4-1-1-1, Kramer 4-1-2-3, Cornell 2-2-1-1, Fenton 2-0-1-1, D. Grooms 3-0-2-2, Mullenix 3-1-1-0, Weeks 2-1-0-0, Thornberry 3-2-1-2, G. Grooms 2-2-0-0, Team 25-10-9-10.
Extra-Base Hits: D. Grooms 2B, Mullenix 2B
W. Union Pitching: Kramer (W) 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 7 K, 50 pitches