Still searching for win number one on the season, the Manchester Greyhounds baseball squad played host to a talented group of Ripley Blue Jays last Thursday afternoon in a battle of the two river teams in the Southern Hills Athletic Conference. This day belonged to the Jays as a disastrous first inning spelled doom for the Hounds, who would up losing a 12-1 run rule decision to their visitors.
Ripley would score eight times in the top of the first off tough-luck Manchester starter and freshman Hunter Conley, then cruise to the 12-1 win in five innings.
When Ripley lead off hitter Ryan Poole reached on an error in the top of the first, it should have been an omen of things to come for the Greyhounds. The Jays followed with a string of base hits and took advantage of another Manchester miscue to send 13 batters to the plate and score 8 times in their first at-bat, putting the Hounds in an immediate hole.
When the Hounds didn’t score in the bottom of the first, the Blue Jays added another run to their lead in the top of the second when Kevin Kirk singled to right, went to second on a wild pitch, and came home when Jared Cluxton’s fly ball to right was misplayed by the Hounds’ Rickey DeAtley.
The Greyhounds got their first hit of the game in the bottom of the second, a two-out line shot to center by Colton Thornburg which drove home Mason Applegate, but Thornburg was left stranded when DeAtley went down swinging.
After the rocky start, Conley settled down on the mound for the Hounds and retired the side in order in the third, but the Hounds went down 1-2-3 in their half as well.
Manchester head coach Kyle Brewer went to his bullpen and brought on another freshman, Bryan Young, to pitch with no outs and two on in the top of the fourth and the Jays were able to pick up two more runs on RBI’s by Daniel Campbell and Landon Claypool. Manchester got two runners on base in the bottom of the fourth when Nick Hoskins was hit by a pitch and Mason Applegate drew a walk but a nice play by Ripley catcher Jamie Skinner on a foul pop fly bailed the Jays out of the inning with no more damage.
The Blue Jays added one more in the top of the fifth bringing the Greyhounds to bat with one last chance to keep the game alive, needing two runs to continue and avoid the run-rule. The home team got those runs on base when Sean Frost walked and Conley singled to left but Cole Hensley and Hoskins both grounded out to third baseman Kirk and the Jays were headed back down Route 52 with a 12-1 SHAC victory.
The Greyhound offense was dormant in the contest, getting just two hits, both from freshmen, Conley and Thornburg. The Jays touched up Conley for 11 runs, but only 5 were earned and he was saddled with the loss.
Kyler Johnson went the distance for Ripley, allowing just two hits to pick up the win.
Though they didn’t get that first win on Thursday, the Greyhounds got their first two on Saturday, getting a doubleheader sweep with wins over Georgetown(6-3) and West Union (6-2). At press time, the Greyhounds stand at 2-5 for the spring and were slated to host the Peebles Indians in SHAC action on Tuesday then welcome the Felicity Cardinals to town this afternoon in non-league play. There is no rest for the weary as the Hounds will travel to Fayetteville tomorrow, jumping back into SHAC play.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
810 21 —12
010 00 —1
Ripley Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Poole 3-2-0-0, Skinner 3-1-1-2, Planck 3-2-2-2, Johnson 4-2-3-2, Kirk 3-3-2-2,
Cluxton 1-1-0-0, Oberschlake 1-0-0-0, Campbell 2-1-0-1, Carpenter 0-0-0-0, Claypool 2-0-0-1, McDaniel 3-0-0-0,
Extra-Base Hits: Johnson 2B
Manchester Hitting (AB-R-H-RBI): Frost 2-0-0-0, Conley 3-0-1-0, Hensley 2-0-0-0, Hoskins 2-0-0-0, Applegate 1-1-0-0,
Young 2-0-0-0, Francis 2-0-0-0, Thornburg 2-0-1-1, DeAtley 2-0-0-0, Shelton 0-0-0-0, Team 18-1-2-1.
Ripley Pitching: Johnson (W) 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 75 pitches
Manchester Pitching: Conley (L) 3 IP, 6 H, 11 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 2 K, 80 pitches
Young 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R. 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 35 pitches