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Mother Nature cooperates

Ripon avoids rain,defeat in league opener vs Escalon

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Mother Nature cooperates

Caleb Rogers pitched 6 1/3 innings and was the winning pitcher for Ripon, which knocked off rival Escalon 7-6 in its Trans-Valley League opener at home Wednesday.


POSTED March 27, 2014 12:31 a.m.

RIPON — The Ripon High enjoyed near-perfect baseball conditions on Wednesday.

Never mind that it rained most of the day. Come game time of the Trans Valley League clash, the Indians made use of their home field while coming away with a big 7-6 win over rival Escalon.

“We were really concerned at first that we might not get the game in,” said Ripon coach Jon Manrique.

The Indians (1-0, 4-4-1) came ready to play despite falling behind 4-1 in the third.

A six-run rally in the fourth proved the difference against the visiting Cougars (2-1, 7-3). Third baseman Nick Price delivered the big blow with a three-run double.

“He hit (deep to center) on a full count,” Manrique said. “Nick showed great composure at the plate, especially for sophomore.”

Ripon collected nine hits, with Trent Murphy and David Goforth getting two each. Goforth, Zach Horwood, Michael Ysit and Caleb Rogers also doubled.

“In my opinion, this field was in as good of a condition as we know it – we took advantage of it,” said Rogers, who not only started the game but earned the victory. He went 6 1/3 innings before yielding to Brandon Scott.

He thought some of the elements such as the winds also favored the Indians, who scored a run in the second inning thanks to consecutive hits by Murphy, Goforth and Luke Robison to take the early lead. Jarrod Andrews plated Murphy with a field’s choice to short.

Escalon struck back in the following frame with a two-out, four-run rally. Brandon Grogan ripped a two-run triple.

Before that, Garrett Denczek doubled and scored on Ben Hood’s two-bagger to right. Hood came home on Kash Satnat’s RBI single.

Horwood led off the fourth with a double and scored on Murphy’s single. Ripon not only survived a double play but strung along a couple of walks including a bases-loaded one by Josh Clark. Price then put the Indians ahead with his bases-clearing double. Rogers’ RBI double made it 7-4.

A throwing error in the fifth resulted in a run for the Cougars, who manufactured another run in the sixth by playing small ball.

Satnat led off the final frame with a walk and moved to second on a fielder’s choice. Representing the tying run, he was left stranded as Scott earned the save by fanning the side.

“He threw the ball hard to the final two hitters,” said Rogers.

Manrique added: “Brandon is not used to being a closer – but he came in there and gave it his best.”

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