Ridgecroft outlasts Oakwood

Published 1:08 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2011

AHOSKIE – Matthew Judge drove in the game-winning run for Ridgecroft in the bottom of the ninth inning here Tuesday.

The RBI-single capped a two-run rally as the Rams defeated visiting Oakwood School 11-10 in a non-conference baseball contest.

The game was tied the better part of the opening few innings of play and stood deadlocked at 1-all after three frames.

Ridgecroft took the lead in the bottom of the fourth stanza.

Nathan Pearce tripled to left-centerfield and scored on a Judge RBI-single to left to make it 2-1 in favor of the home team.

Oakwood, however, tied the game with a run in the top of the fifth.

The Rams came back to plate four more in the bottom of the same inning.

John Thomas Taylor reached on an error and stole second before taking third on a wild pickoff throw. Woody Lowe then walked. Taylor scored on an error and Lowe took second.

Lowe moved to third on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Jones and then scored when Austin Britton laced a double to left-centerfield. Britton scored on a Pearce double to right-centerfield. Pearce then stole third and scored on an error on the play to make it 6-2 in favor of the home-standing Rams.

Oakwood, however, came back to tie the game with four runs in the top of the sixth. They added three more in the top of the seventh to take a 9-6 lead.

Ridgecroft came back to tie the game in the home half of the final inning, however, and forced extra frames.

Lowe reached on an error and then moved to second on a Jones groundout. He moved to third on a Britton infield single. Pearce then ripped a two-run triple to left and scored himself on a wild pitch to deadlock the game at 9-all.

Neither team scored in the eighth, but Oakwood pushed across a mark in the top of the ninth to take a one-run lead into the bottom half of the inning.

Britton tripled to left in the bottom of the ninth to give the Rams life and then Pearce had an RBI-single to tie the game at 10-all. After Pearce stole second, Judge had his key single to provide the winning run.

“The kids showed a lot of fight today,” second-year Ridgecroft Head Coach Brandon Hodges said. “We fell behind twice, but came back and won the game. All three pitchers threw well for us.

“We are a young team that is getting better,” he added.

Pearce pitched the first two innings of the game for the Rams and was then relieved by Britton, who threw four and two-thirds before giving way to Lowe, who secured the win.

The Rams will be back in action today (Thursday) when they welcome Hobgood Academy for a Tarheel Independent Conference outing.