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Walk-off single gives Ripon huge TVL victory

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POSTED April 23, 2009 2:21 a.m.
RIPON — Coming into Wednesday’s contest at Ripon High, both the Indians and Hughson had four Trans Valley League losses, two back of second-place Modesto Christian.

While Ripon has played its last game against the Crusaders, Hughson closes the season with a home-and-home with Modesto Christian.

All of that translated into one simple fact for the Indians: Win or go home.

Culminating with a last-at-bat, walk-off single from Zach Evans that plated Camden Dowhower, the Indians got the win they needed, 13-12, over the 2008 TVL champs.

“Our effort was unbelievable,” Ripon head coach Mark Whelan said. “The kids had to battle back almost every inning. They showed great determination.”

Besides a scoreless fifth for both sides, Hughson took a lead in the top half of six out of seven innings.

But the Indians answered back in every single at-bat, matching the Huskies run for run until making their move in the seventh.

Kyle Wagner, Mike Conway, Mike Mannix and Justin Scott all worked the hill, and Scott picked up the win by forcing a 1-2-3 double play with the bases loaded in the top half of the final frame.

Both sides hit two home runs, and Ripon’s Tyler Bodiker just missed parking three.

Bodiker blasted a three-run shot in the third before missing two more long flies by a matter of feet.

Wagner (2 for 4, 2 R, 3 RBIs) went yard in the sixth, driving in a pair.

Francisco Gustin was 3 for 5 with three runs scored and another driven in, and Evans finished 2 for 5 with the walk-off heroics.

The Huskies (4-5 TVL) and Indians (6-4 TVL, 8-9), who will meet again in Hughson Friday, combined for 25 base hits.

Ripon Christian 6, Riverbank 2
In Riverbank, the Knights (2-8, 6-13) continued their recent tear while taking two out of three against the home team. Ripon Christian has won four of its last five, a stretch that includes last week’s third-place finish in the Orestimba Tournament.

Matt Unruh led the charge with a 3-for-3 effort at the plate to go with two runs and three steals. Unruh and Arie Den Dulk gave RC the early lead with back-to-back doubles.

Clayton Prins was 2 for 3 with a run, Dylan Van Vliet legged out a double on his only at-bat and Robert Hull crushed a two-run homer in the fifth.

Steve Vander Molen earned the win after throwing four innings in relief. Starter Robbie DeVries struck out five in the first three frames, giving up just one hit and an unearned run.

— Bulletin Staff
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