By Mark Robinson
In a game against the Ripley Vikings Tuesday, Mar. 29, Greenbrier East’s baseball team refused to surrender after some early setbacks, surging ahead in the second half of the game to win 14-10. It was a contest loaded with hits and action, with just about all of the starters making major contributions to the win.
Ripley jumped on the first pitch of the game, with a deep ball to right field to get on base. In quick order runners reached base and advanced, and at the end of the first half of the first inning the score was already 4-0a. Ripley’s batters seemed confident. In East’s half of the inning, they were victims of a double play to end the inning.
East scored two runs in the second half of the first inning to make the score 4-2. In the second inning Ripley advanced a runner around the bases with two outs. He scored to make it 5-2.
Blake Collie hit a nice stand up triple in the second inning, driving the ball to the fence at mid-field. Joey Powell hit a ball to exactly the same spot to bring him home. Tanner McAllister made Powell an RBI to make the score 5-4. Colby Johnson’s line drive hit the pitcher in the chest, McAllister made it to third base, and came home on a fielding error that involved a dispute about whether or not Jonathan Carr, the on-deck batter, was in the batter’s circle. Ripley’s catcher had trouble getting to the ball. Carr was out of the batter’s circle, but the umpire called no interference, the run stayed on the board, and the score was tied with five runs apiece.
Ripley’s bats responded in the third inning with three runs, the first run scoring after a close call at third base and then another at home plate. The second run came in on a hard line drive up the middle of the field. Jonathan Carr retired the side with a nice over the shoulder catch of a long fly ball in mid-field.
It was the fourth inning when East took the lead, 9-8, on a triple by Jonathan Carr, #15, that scored Colby Johnson, #14. From that point, the lead increased to 14-8. The 14th run was an in-the-park home run by #26, Joey Powell, that drove in a couple of other batters who were on base.
The game began at 6 p.m., in broad daylight, but after more than three hours of action, the sky was dark, and the temperature had dropped significantly.
The comeback was the result of a number of good hits, of batters battling to full counts, with plenty of foul balls; Ripley made a number of bad throws in the second half of the game, which helped East catch up.
Ripley came into the game with a 4-2 record, which is now 4-3. East was 3-1, and improved to 4-1. The scoreboard at East’s field had a mind of its own at times, frequently reflecting incorrect scores, and at times had to be reset, running all of the numbers back to zero and then up to the true score. But at the end of the game, it said 14-8, East, and it was right.