Posted Online: April 05, 2012, 9:30 pm
Two days after 16-run loss, Spartans turn it around against MC
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By Terry Duckett, firstname.lastname@example.org
ALEDO -- What a difference a couple of days make.
Two days after losing to Lincoln Trail Conference baseball rival Mercer County by 16 runs on their home diamond, the Ridgewood Spartans trekked to Northside Park Thursday and stunned the Golden Eagles 5-2 as pitcher Noah Shannon went the distance, scattering five hits.
"I think our guys thought we were at their diamond (in Woodhull) with the 270-foot left-field fence and the wind blowing out,'' said Mercer County coach Nick Basala. "Our guys were trying to do too much at the plate, and (Shannon) kept getting ahead of them.''
The 9-3 Spartans improve to 3-1 in the LTC and share first-place with Annawan-Wethersfield. Mercer County drops to 8-6, 4-2 in the league.
"Noah was in complete control today,'' said Ridgewood coach Seth Spivey. "He threw strikes and got ahead in the count, and I couldn't ask for more. We know Mercer County has good hitters, but the difference between 17-1 (Tuesday's final) and 5-2 is getting that first pitch over for a strike.''
Ridgewood struck in the first inning, going up 2-0 on Blayne Street's two-run single. The lead grew to 3-0 in the top of the third on Blaine Greenman's RBI base knock. The Golden Eagles rallied, cutting the deficit to one run on RBI singles by Joe Elliott and Jesse Snyder (two hits).
However, the hosts got no closer and the Spartans tacked on two more insurance runs in the sixth, with a Street sacrifice fly capping his two-hit, three-RBI day.
"He's a guy that started off a bit slow,'' Spivey said of Street, "but he's been swinging it a lot better lately.''
- Titans, ROWVA split: Wrapping up Tuesday's LTC game that was suspended due to darkness, ROWVA pushed across a ninth-inning run to top Annawan-Wethersfield 8-7, but the Titans (11-2, 3-1 LTC) rallied for a 7-3 win in the regularly-scheduled contest behind Zach VanWassenhove's two hits and three RBIs and Trey Hannam's three-hit, two-RBI outing. ROWVA (6-7, 2-2) went up 3-0 early, but Cody Phillips was able to blank the Tigers the rest of the way as his teammates scored three runs in the fifth and sixth to take control.