The weather is beginning to warm up a tad and the rain has been steady this spring but the Cardinal Ritter Baseball Team has been able to get a few games in with the limited weather windows. After starting the season 3-1, the Raiders continued their winning streak to 6 before getting beat by Indiana Crossroads Conference foe, Lutheran in a pitcher’s duel for the ages. The Raiders took three games in a week against Eastern Hancock, Clinton Prairie and Indianapolis City Alliance opponent Heritage Christian to get ready for ICC play.
Against Eastern Hancock, the Raiders spotted 3 runs in the first before they decided to play some baseball. After that it was lights out for EH as Cardinal Ritter invoked the run run with a 13-3 victory in the 6th inning. The Raiders were patient at the plate and had an on base percentage of .541 for the game. Joey “Gamer” Gruber led the offense going 1 for 2 with an RBI and 4 stolen bases. Connor Williams picked up his first hit of the season as did Nick Salmon and Drew Matter. Matter, picked up the walk-off RBI single to cap off the game.
Jack “Rabbit” Henninger picked up the win for CRHS going 5 innings and striking out 8. He showed early signs of instability walking 5 batters, but eventually got the rust out and find his stride, only allowing 3 hits. Aaron Roberts came in and threw smoke in the last inning striking out a batter.
Next up was Clinton Prairie who had a tall fire baller on the mound. The Raiders worked pitch counts and earned 7 walks getting to the Gopher bullpen. The Raiders picked up 5 hits on the day led by “Go” DJ Boggs who went 2 for 4 with a massive home run in the 4th that put Cardinal Ritter up 2-1 in the 4th. He then came up in the 6th and hit a 2 RBI single to spark the Raiders and put them on top 8-1.
Helping Boggs on offense was Roberts with an RBI single in the first and Damien Horton and Henninger who each picked up singles. Grant “G-Man” Eifert also had an RBI.
The Raiders ace of staff, Damien “Llama” Wallace pitched masterfully picking up the complete game victory whiffing 12 and only allowing 3 hits. The Raiders defense allowed 3 errors in the game to give the Gophers their only run.
After CP it was on to a weekend game against the Eagles of Heritage Christian. Cardinal Ritter gave up 2 runs in the first but hit the ball well early picking up 3 in the first to go up 1. After that complacency and more errors followed as the team amassed 4 errors on the day while leaving 12 runners on base. After giving up 3 runs in the 5th, the Raiders put up 7 in the 6th to come away with the victory.
Boggs picked up the win, coming in and throwing 2 innings only giving up 1 hit and striking 3. Gruber started the game and gave up 5 runs, 2 earned as the defense struggled early.
The bats began to heat up as Gruber led the team going 2 for 3 with a double and 2 RBI. Le’Ron “Mr. Fantastic” Fleming went 2 for 4 with an RBI while Wallace, Boggs, Eifert, Roberts and Wynne all had hits.
After that, ICC play began and the two pitchers from each team toed the rubber and were excellent. The Raiders scattered 5 hits and had opportunities to score, but could not push a run through leaving 5 runners stranded on base. Wallace pitched 8 and 2/3 innings giving up only 1 hit while striking out 19.
In the 9th inning, Wallace had 2 outs and the batter at a 2 and 2 count when he threw a fastball up and in that hit the batter, putting a runner on first while reaching the pitch limit. Roberts came in a pitched walking the first batter and getting the next to roll over a pitch to the left side of the field. After the runner at second stayed in front of the ball, Gruber was unable to field the ball cleanly as it trickled into the outfield allowing the runner to score.
In the bottom of the 9th, Fleming came up and hit a ball off the right center wall, but unfortunately the Raiders could not capitalize picking up their 2nd loss of the season.