Rams claim Consolation Game

Published 1:18 pm Friday, April 13, 2012

LASKER – The Ridgecroft Rams claimed the consolation prize of the inaugural Sgt. Will McLawhorn Scholarship Baseball Tournament.

The event was held at Northeast Academy last week over a two-day period.  It’s named in honor of Sgt. McLawhorn, who was killed in Afghanistan while defending his country serving in the U.S. Army in December of 2010.

Host Northeast took the first-ever championship with an 11-1 win over Bethel Christian Academy.

As for the third-place game: Ridgecroft won 8-5 over Northampton-East in a game that was shortened after a player injury forced cancellation of the final innings.

Landon Larabee went 2-for-2 and scored a run.  Matthew Judge also went 2-for-2 and drove in a pair of runs. Austin Brinkley also has two runs-batted-in while Drey Chrysostomou and Elijah Goldsby drove in a run apiece.

D’Andre Richardson went 2-for-2, scored a pair of runs and also drove in a pair for Northampton-East.

Ridgecroft got six runs in the first inning to take command of the game and were leading by three runs when play was called.

Northampton got on the board first when Richardson sent a one-out single back up the middle to produce the first base runner. He would later steal second base and advanced to third on a wild pitch.

Fisher McInville followed and drew a walk to put two runners aboard. He went to second on the same wild pitch that moved up Richardson, putting two runners in scoring position for the Rams.

James Williams was up next, and his deep fly-out to left field allowed Richardson to score to make it 1-0, but McInville was out trying to take third on the throw, ending the inning.

Ridgecroft opened their barrage in the bottom of the frame with lead-off batter Larabee singling to left field.  The ball was misplayed for an error, and Larabee advanced to second base but was thrown out trying to make it to third.

A pair of walks to James Riddick and John Taylor followed before the first of four straight Ridgecroft base hits, off the bat of Judge produced Ridgecroft’s first run of the game.

The Rams went ahead when Chrysostomou followed and drove in Taylor. Goldsby’s single produced Judge across the plate for the third run and two more came home on Brinkley’s blast to right field.

Blake Outlaw almost made it 5-for-5 with an infield pop-up, but it was dropped for an error, forcing an out of Brinkley under the infield-fly rule. Outlaw then stole second base and advanced all the way home when a pickoff throw sailed into center field.

When it was over, one batter later, Ridgecroft led it, 6-1.

East picked up their second run in the top of the second inning. Jeffrey Cannon was hit by a pitch, stole second, moved to third on Jaron Odom’s base hit and came home on a sacrifice fly by Kelvin Gee.

In their half of the second Ridgecroft pushed across another run when Larabee got his second hit of the game, went to second on a throwing error, was sacrificed to third, and Judge drove him in.  That upped the score to 7-2.

East looked like they might make a game of it after all in the top of the third when they pushed across three more runs on three hits, sending eight men to the plate.

Austin Watkins walked and moved later to third base where Richardson brought him home with his second RBI of the evening. McInville later scored Richardson and Jeffrey Cannon delivered him for the final run of the inning, pulling the Rams within a pair at 7-5.

Ridgecroft got an unearned run in the bottom of the third to make it a three-run bulge again.

The fourth inning began with Watkins drawing a walk. He then stole second and two pitches later attempted a steal of third.  He went in with a hard head-first slide and was called out as the Ridgecroft third baseman applied the tag.

However, Watkins seemed dazed there in the dirt and couldn’t recall the play. He was advised to lay back down on the ground by his coach as a precaution. The game was delayed as tournament officials called for emergency medical personnel.

Watkins was later transported to Halifax Regional Medical Center, was kept overnight for observation, released on Thursday and as of press time was recuperating at his home.

The extended safety delay forced cancellation of the final four innings and the Rams were declared the winner.