By Andrew Glover
RIPLEY, Okla. —
It’s been said that patience is a virtue. Tuesday at the plate, the Ripley Warriors had plenty of patience as they downed the Mulhall-Orlando Panthers 8-3 at home.
The Warriors (9-4) drew 12 walks — two with the bases loaded. Ripley’s approach at the plate, paid off in the bottom of the third, when it sent 11 batters to the plate and scored five runs to change the momentum of the game. Earlier in the game, Ripley was making quick outs as three of their six outs in the first and second were on three pitches or less. Ripley coach Donnie Hoffman said sometimes his players can get over eager.
“We want to do so good that we press a little bit,” Hoffman said. “These guys are hungry to be successful and they want to be successful for their teammates. ... Sometimes, I have to go ‘easy just let it happen. When they do that and trust in their abilities they’ve done a nice job.”
Senior Garret Gosney led off the third with a double and reached third on a throwing error by the Panthers’ shortstop Trenton Day. The senior would come home moments later on a wild pitch. With the bases loaded, Mulhall had a potential inning-ending double-play but Day’s flip to second baseman Hunter Wiss was too hard and Wiss dropped it allowing Ripley to tie the game at 2. Ripley junior Trevor Ballard squeezed and drove in Houston Twoguns to give the Warriors a lead. With two outs, A single by Justin Ford and a walk drawn by Gosney increased the Ripley’s lead. Hoffman said Gosney is the spark in Ripley’s offense.
“He’s lighting the baseball up,” Hoffman said. “He’s hitting it well. When he gets on base, he’s savvy on the base paths and can steal bases. He reads the game well.”
The Warriors only recorded three hits but their aggressive baserunning helped them make the most of those hits as they stole 10 bases. Twoguns and sophomores Chandler Salinas and Griffin Gosney each stole two.
“Getting people in scoring position early in the game can help because then your pitcher doesn’t feel pressured to always throw strike,” Salinas said. “He has room if they score.”
Sam Schwartz started for the Panthers and lasted until the fifth inning, when walks started catching up to him. Schwartz walked nine and hit one batter in 4 1/3 innings. Mulhall-Orlando coach Kirk Kinzie said he was pleased with how Schwartz threw despite the high number of walks.
“(Schwartz) stayed in the game and battled it out,” Kinzie said. “He did a really good job.”
The Panthers (3-2) took advantage of three Ripley errors in the first inning, to grab a 2-0 lead. All three errors came with two outs. After the first inning, Warriors’ pitcher Twoguns settled in and scattered three hits and struck out 10 over the next five innings. Twoguns said the offense helped him relax.
“The team kept me going,” Twoguns said. “I was struggling the first three innings and Garret (Gosney) and the rest of the team got me going. I got into a rhythm and was throwing better.”
The Panthers travel to Olive for a three-way with Olive and Oilton on Thursday with the first game at 4:30 p.m. The Warriors will travel to Missouri for the Festival at College of Ozarks Friday.
Glencoe routs Mustangs
GLENCOE — The Panthers scored early and often and easily disposed of the Frontier Mustangs 12-0 Tuesday.
“It was crazy,” Glencoe coach Tony Cazzelle said. “We got 10 runs in the first inning. Everyone in the lineup ended up with a hit.”
J.K. Hadlock hit his first home run this season and Hunter Hall hit his second. Hall also earned the win, only giving up two hits and struck out four.
Glencoe travels to Woodward for the Woodward Classic and plays the winner of Fargo and Vici at 3 p.m. Thursday.