RIPLEY — Class A No. 8 Ripley brought a 10-game winning streak into Friday’s action at the Ripley Maverick Mini-Mart Classic.

The Warriors actually lost a pair of games on Saturday, as their semifinal contest didn’t start until past 9 p.m. and ended after midnight and they fell in the third-place game.

First, Vian run-ruled RHS, 17-7, in six innings during the Friday-Saturday semifinal contest.

Then Woodland edged the Warriors, 8-7, in the third-place contest Saturday evening.

“We wanted to win (the semifinal) and get in the championship game,” an exhausted Donnie Hoffman said after his team fell to 10-5. “We wanted to play the last game of the night, but this (loss) is also important for later on down the road when it comes to rankings, Regionals, things like that.

“(Woodland is) a strong Class A ballclub and not too far from home.”

The Cougars (11-1) have beaten Ripley in two meetings this year, claiming an extra-innings decision in Fairfax early in the year when RHS made two errors in the bottom of the eighth.

“Those errors cost us that ballgame and this time we led the whole ballgame and then made a couple of mistakes to let them back in the ballgame,” Hoffman said. “We had to get five outs for (pitcher) Casey (Sadler after two errors in the fifth). Obviously he made a mistake and left a pitch up after he didn’t have a bad pitching day. He made one mistake at the wrong time.”

Sadler’s mistake, on a night when he struck out nine batters and threw the complete game, led to a three-run home run by WHS’s T.J. Hutchinson in the top of the sixth. It gave the Cougars the 8-7 advantage for their only lead of the game.

With two innings at-bat to try to regain the lead, Ripley managed just one hit — a single by freshman catcher and nine-hole batter Kaleb Hoffman.

He finished the game 2-for-2 with a pair of walks.

Three players hit a double and a single each — Justin Dale, Caleb Eytcheson and Casey Sadler. Clayton Howard and Anthony Workman added doubles.

That all contributed to the Warriors outhitting WHS, 13-10.

“They are really good athletes who really swing the sticks well,” Hoffman said. “I was really proud of the way (Sadler) gathered himself (after the home run). (Kaleb Hoffman) talked to him and he regained his composure, threw three straight strikes and got us back in the dugout to keep us in the ballgame. That gave us a chance.”

Home runs gave the Warriors a chance in the semifinal.

Vian (11-1) took an 8-2 lead in the top of the third inning, but RHS responded with homers by John Grimes, Howard and Ethan Robinson over the next two innings.

That helped Ripley cut the deficit to 10-6 heading into the fifth.

But the Warriors couldn’t stop VHS’s bats, as the visitors scored seven runs over the next two innings to invoke the run rule.

Along with the home runs, Ripley also picked up doubles by Brett Tilley and Howard. Robinson was 3-for-3 in that game along with being the losing pitcher.

RHS will look to end its losing streak on Monday when it visits Garber in the last game before the Cimarron Valley Conference Tournament.



Ripley Maverick Mini-Mart Classic

Semifinal • Friday

Vian 17, Ripley 7 (6 innings)

VHS 008 225—17 11 2

RHS 203 101—7 10 3

(V) Truett and Tyler. (R) Robinson, Dale (3) and Hoffman. HR-(V) Londell. (R) Grimes, Howard, Robinson. 2B-(V) Drew, McEver. (R) Howard, Tilley.



Third-place game • Saturday

Woodland 8, Ripley 7

WHS 002 123 0—8 10 2

RHS 033 100 0—7 13 2

(W) Hutchinson, Goad (5, W) and Feathers. (R) Sadler (L, 2-1) and Hoffman. HR-(W) Hutchinson. 2B-(W) Harrison, Hillsberg. (R) Dale, Eytcheson, Howard, Sadler, Workman.



"We wanted to win (the semifinal) and get in the championship game. We wanted to play the last game of the night, but this (loss) is also important for later on down the road when it comes to rankings, Regionals, things like that. (Woodland is) a strong Class A ballclub and not too far from home."



— Donnie Hoffman

Ripley coach

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