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Rams knock off PCA

AHOSKIE – Eight runs in the bottom of the fifth frame propelled Ridgecroft School to the semifinals of the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament.

The fourth-seeded Rams knocked off Pungo Christian Academy 13-3 here Thursday afternoon in the league tournament’s opening round. The win sent them to Friday’s TIC semifinal against top-seed Lawrence Academy.

The Raiders got on the board first, scoring a run in the top of the first inning.

They held that lead until the bottom of the third when the Rams plated a pair of marks.

Josh Lane was hit by a pitch and then courtesy runner Jordan Harrell moved all the way to third on a Miles Harrell bunt single. Jordan Harrell scored on an error when Miles Harrell was stealing second. That error sent M. Harrell to third.

Chase Riddick then delivered an RBI-single to give the Rams a 2-1 advantage.

Ridgecroft added to their lead with a run in the bottom of the fourth frame. Braxton Sumner walked and went to second on a wild pitch. He took third when Blake Sumner singled to left.

Thad Perry then delivered an RBI-single to plate Braxton Sumner and give Ridgecroft a 3-2 lead after four complete innings.

PCA added a run in the fifth, but Ridgecroft held on to the lead.

In the bottom of the same inning, the Rams exploded for eight runs.

Riddick walked and went to second on a wild pitch. He came around to score on a Brian Outlaw RBI-single to left. Outlaw went to third on a Braxton Sumner double.

Blake Sumner was then hit by a pitch to load the bases before Perry delivered a three-run double to left. Perry scored himself on a wild pitch to make it 8-2.

Lane drew a walk and then Jordan Harrell, again a courtesy runner, went to third on an error and scored on a Miles Harrell RBI-single. Miles Harrell went to third on a Riddick single and then Nathan Pearce had a two-run single to left to make it 11-2.

The Raiders scored again in the top of the sixth, but the Rams ended the game with two scores in the bottom of the inning.

Scott Lowe and Braxton Sumner each drew walks and advanced on a balk. Austin Britton was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Blake Sumner ended the game with a two-run single to make it 13-3.

Miles Harrell pitched five and one-third innings for the win. He allowed three runs on five hits and struck out eight. Britton tossed the final two-thirds of an inning allowing no runs on one hit.

Perry led the Rams’ 11-hti attack with two hits and four RBIs. Riddick, Miles Harrell and Blake Sumner each had two hits.

“This was a good win to advance in the tournament,” said first-year Rams’ baseball boss Brandon Hodges. “We came out flat, but we are coming together as a team. We took advantage of Pungo mistakes today.”

The Rams’ contest with Lawrence at Hobgood Academy yesterday (Friday) ended too late for press time.