July 13, 2012 — Saturday evening’s final game of the 4th of July Stars and Stripes tournament in Cincinnatti served as an opportunity for the Eastern Kentucky Ridge Runners to vent some past frustrations from the game before.
Trailing 7-5 in the fifth inning, an unfortunate set of circumstances halted a potential comeback for the Ridge Runners, when a fight broke out in the opposing Cincinnati Playground All-Stars dugout.
The head umpire decided to suspend the game before the tournament manager oddly forfeited the game in favor of the Cincinnati squad.
Ridge Runners’ Manager John Maggard commented on the unfortunate scenario.
“They had gotten into an internal conflict in the game prior to our game, and in my personal opinion, they should have been thrown out of the tournament after that,” Maggard said. “It didn’t make a lot of sense how they get the win and move on, when they were the only ones involved in the altercation.”
With the bitter taste of an uncontrollable loss by way of a forfeit, the Runners took out its frustrations on its next opponent out of Yorkville, Ind.
A strong pitching effort from former Rowan County baseball player Dakota Gilkison, in combination with consistency in the batter’s box helped EKY to grab the win.
The first inning kicked off with big hits by Scott Grimm, Tyler Curtis and Tyler Back, enabling the Ridge Runners to end the first inning with a one-run lead.
After scoring another run in the second, the red jerseys went on another hitting streak, this time with Lewis County native Blake Kilgore and Derek Walzer getting in on the action by way of two big doubles to help plate three in the inning.
Curtis would score the Ridge Runner’s final run in the fourth before Brad Cornwell came in to seal the deal in relief on the pitcher’s mound.
Yorkville’s attempt at a comeback was swift but a little too late, scoring its only three runs in the final two innings of play.
Despite offensive struggles, Maggard said he was pleased with his team’s effort last weekend.
“It makes it hard to win games when you struggle hitting the ball the way we did,” Maggard said. “In the big picture we played extremely well defensively, and that enabled us to hang in there. We have a solid team and I am confident in our chances as we head through the second half of the season.”
The Ridge Runners get back to action tonight as it travels to Winchester for a double header, before heading Georgetown this Sunday for more Bluegrass league action.