Ridgway baseball scored a victory on Senior Day with a 3-2 win over Curwensville Thursday afternoon.
Senior Ben Jaques had a 2-run single in the bottom of the sixth to snap a 1-all tie. Fellow senior Kevin Kilhoffer opened the inning by being hit by a pitch. Josh Mitchell then walked to put two on with none out. Both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch and scored as Jaques looped a single into right center field.
Ridgway coach Mark Morelli said Jaques was effective both on the offensive and defensive end as he was pleased with the Elker defense. Jaques had four putouts in center field.
"Our outfield, outstanding," Morelli said. "Bennie Jaques, couldn't ask for a better night for probably his best game of the year tracking down all those flyballs in center field and coming up with the clutch hit in the sixth inning. All in all, we won two in a row and we got things going the way we were hoping for most of the year. It's a credit to the kids."
Neither team committed an error as Ridgway won its second straight and avenged an 8-2 loss to Curwensville last week to move to 4-12 on the season.
"Don't overlook the defense, our defense played well," Morelli said. "Bennie in center, Alex Dickant (right field), Kevin Kilhoffer (left field), Josh Mitchell when he was in the game in left field. The last two games, we've pretty much played errorless ball and we've allowed the leather to help us win the games because we're really not hitting the ball the way we should. Defense and pitching are winning the games for us like it did earlier in the year. It's a credit to these kids. When you're sitting there with a 2-12 record, you still got to come to practice and play six games. That says a lot about the desire of the kids to play baseball and to continue to play."
The Elkers took a 3-1 lead into the seventh but Curwensville halved the margin as Kyle Bloom hit a solo home run to right field, making the margin 3-2 with no one out. Hunter McCracken singled with two outs but a groundout to Gardner ended the game and sealed the Ridgway win.
Ridgway opened the scoring with a solo home run from Mitchell to left center field in the first inning for a 1-0 lead.
"Josh has been carrying them with two home runs in two nights in a row," Morelli said. "Two nights in a row where he's pitched outstanding. It's not one player, it's not one play, it's the whole team contributing and right now we're playing well and we got to keep going for the next four games because we're probably not going to the playoffs. We can make someone else's season more difficult."
Curwensville had tied the game in the fourth inning as Bloom hit a sacrifice fly to score Tanner Elensky.
Gardner started the game for Ridgway and threw four innings. He allowed only one run on four hits with three walks and a strikeout. Mitchell came on in relief and threw three innings. He allowed one run on two hits with a walk and three strikeouts.
"We got good starting pitching from Jesse Gardner, we wanted him to go three or four innings and we wanted to come back with Josh, that was the plan coming into the game and gave us the best chance to win," Morelli said.
Jesse Reynolds, Mitchell and Jaques each had singles for Ridgway. Reynolds, Kilhoffer and Jaques all had stolen bases and Mitchell reached base three times with a home run and two walks. Reynolds and Kilhoffer were both hit by a pitch to reach base. Jesse Zorger was 2-for-4 with a stolen base to lead Curwensville.
Boone McGary threw a complete game for Curwensville and allowed three runs on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts.
Ridgway is at St. Marys today for a 4 p.m. game.
The Ridgway seniors honored are Alex Dickant, Jesse Gardner, Ben Jaques, Ricky Jay Javier, Kevin Kilhoffer, Derek Mattiuz, D.J. Skraba and Lou Stilwell.
"Our seniors got to experience a lot playing baseball," Morelli said. "They got to play at State College. This year they got to play at the Altoona Curve Tournament so there's a lot of memories for the seniors. Unfortunately, we couldn't have a better year for them than we did. Our coaching staff thanks them for the leadership they've given us over the years, they'll be missed."
Curwensville AB R H BI
Jesse Zorger 4 0 2 0
Hunter McCracken 4 0 1 0
Shane Hoover 4 0 0 0
Boone McGary 2 0 0 0
Shae Best 1 0 0 0
Tanner Elensky 3 1 1 0
Jordan Russell 3 0 1 0
Kyle Bloom 1 1 1 2
Kyle Coudriet 3 0 0 0
Kyle Johns 0 0 0 0
Alec Starr 0 0 0 0
Totals 25 2 6 2
HR: Bloom. SB: Zorger, McCracken, Best. SAC FLY: Bloom.
Ridgway AB R H BI
Jesse Reynolds 2 0 1 0
Kevin Kilhoffer 2 1 0 0
Josh Mitchell 1 2 1 1
Jesse Gardner 3 0 0 0
Ben Jaques 3 0 1 2
Slade Horner 2 0 0 0
Lou Stilwell 3 0 0 0
Derek Mattiuz 2 0 0 0
Alex Dickant 2 0 0 0
Aaron Sorge 0 0 0 0
Totals 20 3 3 3
HR: Mitchell. HBP: Kilhoffer, Reynolds. SB: Reynolds, Kilhoffer, Jaques.
R H E
Curwensville 000 100 1 - 2 6 0
Ridgway 100 002 x - 3 3 0
Curwensville IP H R BB K
McGary 6 3 3 2 4
Ridgway IP H R BB K
Gardner 4 4 1 3 1
Mitchell 3 2 1 1 3