By Sam Pierce
OF THE COMMERCIAL STAFF
Columbia Christian scored six runs in the bottom of the third inning as it defeated Ridgway Christian 15-0 on Monday in the semifinal round of the Arkansas Association of Christian Schools at Seabrook Family Christian Center’s Eddie Bryan Field.
“I’m proud of them,” Ridgway (11-8) head coach Trent Young said. “This group has come a long way and they have made a lot of improvements throughout the year.”
Leading 9-0 in the bottom of the third, Columbia’s Ryan Downs hit a one-out triple and later scored on a single by Brandon Watson.
After a single and a stolen base by Kent Grimmett, Columbia had runners on second and third. Cord McMahon reached on an error and both runners scored to give Columbia a 12-0 lead.
Jake Minter was hit-by-a-pitch and with two outs Jordan Drake reached on an error. A single by Colton Lindsey plated two more runs and Columbia had a 14-0 lead.
The final run scored when Ridgway’s catcher attempted to pick off the runner at third and the ball sailed into the outfield.
For Ridgway, Blake Pennington was tagged with the loss after just one inning of work. He allowed nine runs (eight earned) on six hits with four walks and no strikeouts. He was pulled in the second inning after facing nine batters and not recording an out.
“Blake had a good game against them last week,” Young said. “He went five innings and was solid before his arm gave out.”
In the bottom of the second, Columbia sent 14 batters to the plate as they tallied for eight runs on five hits including a two-run double from Matt Goodheart.
Downs had an RBI double, Grimmett had an RBI single and Drake had an RBI single in the inning.
“You got to make your adjustments to the umpires,” Young said. “He had a tight zone. Give Columbia credit, they hit the ball.
“We had to give in and we gave up too much of the plate and they started hitting the ball.
“It was just one of those things that happen, unfortunately.”
Columbia also scored a run in the bottom of the first.
Ridgway had just one hit in the game – an infield hit by Jacob Andersen in the top of the third.
Cody Andersen reached on an error in the first inning and Jacob Dedman led off the third with a walk. They were the only two Eagles to reach base.
Jacob Andersen pitched two innings for Ridgway. He allowed six runs on four hits with three walks and one strikeout.
For Columbia, Downs earns the victory after pitching all three innings. He allowed just one hit with six strikeouts and one walk.
Lindsey was 2 for 3 with a run scored and two RBIs and Goodheart was 2 for 3 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs.
Gospel Light 1
In Monday’s earlier game, Ridgway defeated Gospel Light 16-1 in three innings.
Cody Andersen was the winning pitcher after allowing just two hits with five strikeouts in three innings of work. He also had two doubles, two RBIs and two runs scored.
Cody Cheatwood had a hit, two RBIs and two runs scored. Jacob Andersen also had a hit. Hayden Knight had two RBIs as well.