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Rams defeat Northeast

AHOSKIE – This time the game went Ridgecroft’s way.

In their earlier meeting this season, the Rams were handed a loss at the hands of Northeast Academy. This time Ridgecroft came out on top, winning the Ridgecroft One-Day Tournament.

“What won it for us is the fact that we didn’t sit and look at strike three,” said Rams Head Coach Nathan Dilday. “Last time we let the pitcher take us out. This time we swung the bat, put the ball in play and made them play defense.”

Ridgecroft also took advantage of some Northeast miscues, which Eagles Head Coach Billy Bridgers acknowledged cost his team the game.

“Errors beat us this time. We beat ourselves,” said Bridgers, whose team committed 10 errors.

Southpaw Josh Morris pitched the win for the Rams with Neal Howard and Patrick Dilday coming in as relief.

“He (Morris) was the first left hander they’ve seen all year and that’s something the coaches have to work on,” added Bridgers.

Ridgecroft scored two runs in the first and added four in the second inning to take a 6-0 lead.

In the top of the fourth, Northeast’s Arch Harrell took first base after being hit by the pitch then stole second, third and finally home plate to give the Eagles their first run.

Dilday led off the fourth with a single to centerfield. Morris was hit by a pitch and Howard was walked to load the bases.

A Northeast error allowed Dilday and Morris to score, put Howard and third and Brian Outlaw on first. Outlaw was picked off at second when Jay Baugham connected with John Pope.

Two more batters were walked before the Eagles brought Jud Smith to the mound. Smith fielded the hit and connected with Josh Jenkins at first base to retire the inning with the bases loaded.

The momentum shifted as Northeast came to life in the fifth, on the field and in the dugout.

Jeremy Parker led off with a single to right field. He stole second and advanced to third on an error that put Hunter Deloatch on first. Pope was walked to load the bases. Russ Flythe drove in Parker and advanced the other runners, but couldn’t beat the throw to first from Matthew Jones.

Harrell singled to bring home Deloatch and Pope stole home after Howard was called for the balk. The Eagles final out came with runners on second and third but they had cut the Ridgecroft lead to four, 8-4.

The Rams added a run by Jones and unearned run from Dilday in the fifth, extending their lead to six.

Jenkins took advantage of a Ridgecroft error to cross home plate in the sixth for the Eagles final run of the game.

Ridgecroft added a run by Josh Lane before the game was called due to darkness (the Rams field does not have lights) to take the 11-5 victory.