RIPLEY — For Ripley, an early surge at the plate led to an early finish.

Class A’s eighth-ranked Warriors used a strong first inning to roll Frontier, 13-2, in four innings during the opening game of the Ripley Maverick Mini-Mart Classic on Thursday. RHS, who started the season 0-3, won its ninth consecutive contest. They added No. 10 in the late game, beating Afton, 10-0.

“I don’t think anybody was in a panic mode or was worried (when we were 0-3),” said Warrior coach Donnie Hoffman. “Everybody realized that when we got into shape, we were going to be capable of playing some great baseball and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

With two outs in the bottom of the first, RHS senior Justin Dale knocked the ball right into the glove of Mustang right fielder Patrick Buntt, but the ball was dropped and the Warriors took full advantage of the miscue.

Hoffman’s club batted around, and with the bases loaded, leadoff hitter Brett Tilley blasted his first grand slam of the season over the left-field wall.

“I knew the bases were loaded and I was just trying to get some runs for my team,” Tilley said. “At times, we get pretty hot. That’s what’s great about our team, anybody is capable is hitting it out.”

Later in the inning, Ethan Robinson hit a three-run home run that put the Warriors on top, 11-0. During the next at-bat, Dale joined the home-run party with a solo shot of his own.

“We always try to keep going with two outs,” Dale said. “We had only scored one run whenever we had two outs, then we started coming alive. We’ve been working a lot in the cages lately trying to get better at our swings.”

Trailing 13-0 in the third, the Mustangs recorded both of their runs when Bill Bible’s single drove in designated hitter Devon Ratliff and freshman shortstop Cale Jackson. Kyle Page, Josh Gum, Jackson and Bible each went 1-for-2. Page and Jackson both recorded doubles.

“(FHS coach Erron) Kauk does a great job with those guys,” Hoffman said. “They’re just young, and it just so happened that one mistake really cost them big. Our guys made them pay for that mistake.”

The Mustangs faced Caney at 10 this morning.

For the Warriors (9-3), senior John Grimes went 2-for-2 with a pair of runs scored, Kaleb Hoffman went 2-for-2 with two stolen bases and Troy Manning went 1-for-2 and made the defensive play of the day — a diving catch in right field in the top of the first.

Dale, who went 1-for-3 at the plate, earned the win on the mound. The senior hurled the first two innings and allowed no runs and one hit while striking out three batters.

“(Dale) threw the baseball really well,” Hoffman said. “He only threw 25 pitches through the first two innings, so he’s still pretty fresh. If I need him again later this weekend, I know he’ll be ready to go.”

RHS (10-3) came back in the late game, getting an eight-strikeout effort from Anthony Workman (1-1), who allowed just three hits. Grimes hit a grand slam in the fourth to make it 8-0.

Ripley faces Vian in the semifinals tonight. Vian blanked Drumright, 12-0, on Thursday.

The other semifinal includes Woodland and Dover. WHS whipped Chattanooga, 9-1, in a surprise.

Bulldogs shut out

Yale failed to produce early runs and dropped a 10-0 decision in four innings to Class B No. 7 Dover. The Bulldogs earned two hits in their first three at-bats — a single by leadoff hitter Chad Campbell and a double by catcher Ronnie Boen — but couldn’t get any runners home.

DHS, who also beat Caney on Day 1, scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the first and jumped out to a comfortable 7-0 advantage in the second following a two-RBI double by Steven Stein and a three-run home run by Juan Tarango.

“We had an opportunity in the first inning, but we just couldn’t get a ground ball up the middle to score a run,” said YHS coach Ed Vaughn. “(The Longhorns) are a good team and they hit the ball well, but we just didn’t make plays when we had the chance.”

Campbell, Boen and Tommy Reece each went 1-for-3. For DHS, Eddie Cervantes went 2-for-3 with a double and a two-run homer in the third. Tarango also went 2-for-3 with a round-tripper and Randy Gregory had a 2-for-2 day with a pair of runs scored.

Longhorn pitcher Lane Gardner hurled all four innings to earn the victory. He allowed no runs, three hits and recorded eight strikeouts.

The Bulldogs will take on Afton today at noon.

Ripley Maverick Mini-Mart Classic

RIPLEY 13, FRONTIER 2 (4 innings)

FHS 002 0 — 2 5 1

RHS (12)10 x — 13 10 0

(F) Bible, Gum (1), Wilkerson (3) and Crenshaw. (R) Dale, Etycheson (3) and Hoffman. W-Dale. L-Bible. HR-(R) Dale, Robinson, Tilley. 2B-(F) Jackson, Page; (R) Workman.

DOVER 10, YALE 0 (4 innings)

YHS 000 0 — 0 3 2

DHS 252 1 — 10 10 0

(Y) Oliver, J. Boen (3) and R. Boen. (D) Gardner and Johnson. W-Gardner. L-Oliver. HR-(D) Cervantes, Tarango. 2B-(Y) R. Boen; (D) Cervantes, Hoover, Stein.

Ripley 10, Afton 0 (4 innings)

AHS 000 0 — 0 3 3

RHS 013 6 — 10 7 0

(A) Cooper, Cords (4) and Giles. (R) Workman and Hoffman. W-Hoffman (1-1). L-Cooper. HR-(R) Grimes.

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