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Ripon’s bats cool off in first TVL loss of the season

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POSTED March 21, 2009 5:53 a.m.
RIPON — What went up went down fast for Ripon.

After running across a season-high 14 runs against rival Ripon Christian, the Indians’ bats went silent in their 4-2 loss to reigning Trans Valley League champion Hughson Friday.

“We weren’t real patient at the plate today,” Ripon coach Mark Whelan said. “Their pitcher (Jason Meyer) just kept us off balance and got us to chase pitches.

“He was pretty erratic in the beginning but we didn’t take advantage of that. Once we got behind the 8-ball we tried to hit three-run homers with nobody on base. We had 13 fly balls to the outfield for outs.”

Meyer allowed just one hit and fanned three but walked four. Caleb Lemmings picked up the save. Lemmings was also 3 for 3 with a run at the dish, and Meyer helped his own cause with two RBIs.

The Indians (2-1, 2-5 overall) scratched across a run in each of the final two innings, with Kyle Wagner racing home on a passed ball in the sixth, and Camden Dowhower driving in Michael Donaldson. Ripon left runners on the corners to end the game.

Donaldson wasn’t nearly as effective as he was in Ripon’s 4-3 regular-season-opening win over Modesto Christian, lasting just three innings. Hughson (3-1, 5-4) scored all of its runs in the third inning and was aided by errors that led to two unearned.

“We just didn’t make good decisions defensively in that inning,” Whelan said. “But we settled down and played well for the rest of the game.”

Mike Conway and Mike Mannix combined for four scoreless innings in relief.

Things don’t get any easier for Ripon with league favorite Escalon, which was 9-0 going into Friday, next on the road.

Riverbank 6, Ripon Christian 3
In Ripon, the Knights (0-4, 2-8) were in position to snap a four-game slide but gave up the tying run in the top of the seventh and four more in the eighth.

Riverbank broke it open with a three-run double in the eighth.

Ripon Christian had a strong pitching performance from starter Darin Castro, who struck out seven and yielded three hits in four innings. Robert Hall logged three innings, and Josh Welch was charged with the loss.

Matt Unruh and Steve Vander Molen accounted for the Knights’ four hits. Unruh batted 2 for 3.

The Knights face Modesto Christian in Salida Wednesday.
— Jonamar Jacinto
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