RIPON — Mistakes proved costly for Ripon High during a big Trans-Valley League showdown against first-place Hughson on Tuesday.
No surprise, the visiting Huskies cashed in often enough to claim a 10-5 win in the opener of the three-game set.
“You just can’t give extra chances with walks, hit batsmen and errors to a team as good as them,” Indians coach Jon Manrique, who is looking to have his team ready in time for Thursday’s rematch in Hughson (8-1 in TVL, 11-2 overall).
Ripon (6-3 in TVL, 11-6 overall) outhit the Huskies, 10-9, with second baseman Luke Robison going 3 for 3 including a two-run double in the fifth.
That was the Indians’ big inning. They scored five runs to cut deficit, 6-5,
“Even though we led 6-0, we knew that wasn’t going to hold up against team like Ripon,” said Hughson coach Mike Bava.
The Huskies scored two in the third – a leadoff double by Dakota Draper was followed by a bunt single by Kyle Cockrell, a throwing error and a pair of walks accounted for those runs – and strung together four more in the fourth.
Dylan Horner delivered the big hit in that frame with a two-run double. Ripon committed a pair of errors following Cooper Gipp’s leadoff single and subsequent stolen base.
For both teams, strong wind gusts on this afternoon turned many fly balls into an adventure.
Sammy Souza legged out an infield hit to get the Indians going in the fifth. A pair of throwing errors by the Huskies put runners aboard, scoring one run and setting up Anthony Baciocco’s two-run double. After Trent Murphy reached base on an infield hit, Robison plated both runners with a double.
Hughson added a run in the sixth, padding the lead with three more in the seventh. On top of that, Grant Williams, the Huskies’ pitching ace, went the distance to claim the win, striking out three and walking two.
Offensively, Matt Dedonatis, Baciocco and Souza had two hits each for Ripon. Draper, Horner, and Gipp had two hits for Hughson.
Brandon Scott was the starting pitcher for the Indians, going 3.1 innings. He yielded to C.J. Little, who also went 3.1 innings. Murphy got the final out.
Ripon had its share of moments on the field.
Murphy tracked down a wind-swept fly ball hit deep to the right field corner for an out late in the game.
Scott, who got out of a bases-loaded situation unscathed in second inning – shortstop Jarrod Andrews registered the inning-ending force out to third baseman Nick Price – picked off a runner at first in the following frame.
Ripon Christian 6, Waterford 5
The Knights improved to 6-1 in league with a narrow victory over visiting Waterford (1-6, 4-11 overall).
The difference in the game was a clutch base hit by Ripon Christian (12-2 overall), which scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom of the seventh. Danny Vander Molen led the way with three knocks, and starting pitcher Connor McGovern struck out six in 4 2/3 innings.
RC will travel to Waterford for the rubber match on Thursday.