In a three-game series last week, it was the Riddle baseball team securing a pair of wins against North Douglas. In a series that saw the visiting team win each contest, it was Riddle (3-7, 2-1 Skyline) starting things out with a double-header win on the road last Wednesday against the Warriors (5-3, 1-2 Skyline).
“It was kind of an interesting double-header in the fact that we made a lot of great plays,” said North Douglas head coach Jeff Davis. “There were a couple routine ones that we botched that cost us some runs. And right now we’re not hitting ball as well as I think we will.”
In the first game of the series, the Warriors fell 5-4 in extra-innings. With two out and two on in the bottom of the seventh inning, it looked like Tanner Parks’ shot to center was going to be a walk-off winner but instead was caught by the center fielder for the final out of the inning.
“I think everybody thought when it left his bat that it was either going to get through to the fence or get down a little quicker,” said Davis. “I don’t know if the air was heavy or what it was, but it stayed up a long time. And you know, you get into extra innings and almost sudden death.”
In the top of the eighth, Riddle capitalized on miscues – and an intentional walk – to load the bases with one out and score what turned into the game-winning run. Leading the way for Riddle throughout the first game was pitcher Drake Borschowa who gave up two hits and struck out 11 batters. While the Warriors finished with four hits on the day, the team was able to manufacture runs by getting on base and being smart on the base paths.
Brian Erickson got the start for North Douglas and was followed by appearances on the mound from Waylon Beckham, Wyatt Beckham and Colter Anderson. The pitching unit struck out five batters and gave up four hits.
In the second game of the day Riddle won 4-1 as pitcher Cameron McMichael pitched six innings and gave up four hits to the Warriors.
With Riddle’s top pitchers both throwing over 100 pitches on Wednesday, it meant they were unavailable to pitch on Saturday due to the pitch count rule. This helped the Warriors score a 13-6 victory and avoid being swept.
“When you get to your three, four, five (pitchers) – and both of us pitched them – there are more pitches in the middle of the plate. There are more hit batsmen, a few more walks and more base running opportunities,” said Davis. “Just more breaks went our way. We had more opportunities for breaks, pitched a little bit better than they did.”
North Douglas collected 16 walks on the game in addition to Cal Parks and Waylon Beckham each recording a pair of hits.
Now North Douglas’ focus switches to this week’s series against Oakland. The team, like teams all around the region, will be stuck practicing indoors this week as weather looks to keep the team of the field.
“We’ve just got to make the most in a baseball sense out of the limited practice opportunities we have. We could really benefit from being on the field and doing some situations and working our cut relay, communication and doing things at a little more live pace,” said Davis. “But we’ll be in the gym, more than likely so you’ve got to maximize what you’re doing there more than the other guy, I think is what we ask our kids to do.”