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Ripon Christian falters in final inning

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Ripon Christian falters in final inning

Ripon Christian’s Connor McGovern gets down hit by a pitch against visiting Mariposa in a 9-6 win for the Grizzlies

DAVE CAMPBELL /The Bulletin/

POSTED May 8, 2014 12:03 a.m.

RIPON — Ripon Christian was three outs away from a victory to close out the 2014 Southern League campaign before the wheels came off the Knights wagon Wednesday.

League champion Mariposa plated seven runs behind a pair of seeing-eye singles and three costly errors to give the Grizzlies a 9-6 come-from-behind win. 

Mariposa (13-1 SL, 17-6 overall) came into the seventh inning trailing 4-2. The first two Grizzlies reached on singles that snuck through the infield and then a walk loaded the bases. Five runs followed on three errors and two more on an RBI single to propel the Grizzlies to a 9-2 lead.

“We have to start competing the right way,” Ripon Christian coach John De Visser said. “We didn’t execute properly so here we are.”

Trailing 9-4 going into the bottom of the seventh, the Knights (10-4, 12-9) did not roll over. Dave Henderson started off the frame with a double followed by a hit batter and a walk to load the bases. Henderson scored when Connor McGovern was hit by a pitch and Travis Vander Molen scored on an error at the plate for the final score of 9-6.

“We just stopped competing,” Henderson said. “We kind of lost sight of the game altogether.

“I wanted to try to get us back into it and I came out with a little bit of aggression – I was pretty upset – and went out and got my ball.”

 Lost in the final result was a fine outing by Vander Molen as the starting pitcher. The Ripon Christian sophomore went six innings, and although Mariposa managed to load the bases twice Vander Molen gave up just two runs while allowing seven hits and striking out four.

“I was just trying to focus on the batters,” Vander Molen said. “I just wanted to bear down, throw strikes and get it by them.”

Cole Brouwer was 2 for 4 with two RBI for Ripon Christian.

The Knights entered the game tied with Le Grand for second place. A Le Grand victory Wednesday against Gustine will knock Ripon Christian into the third seed from the Southern League and a Gustine victory will mean a tie for second place.

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