Swamp Foxes triumph over Patriots in eight
A pair of freshmen combined for the game-winning play Friday as the Ashley Ridge baseball team defeated cross-town rival Fort Dorchester 4-3.
Rusty Grayson hit a sacrifice fly in the top of the eighth inning to plate Hunter Grover for the go-ahead run in an exciting game in North Charleston.
Ashley Ridge (4-7, 1-2 in Region 8-AAAA) tallied eight hits and stranded 13 base runners while Fort Dorchester (6-5, 0-2) tallied seven hits and stranded seven runners.
Junior Jason Miller was scheduled to start on the mound for the Swamp Foxes but he was injured during the Bluffton game Wednesday so Ashley Ridge turned to senior James Govan, who threw five plus innings and surrendered two runs on five hits and three walks.
Carson Walls relieved him and surrendered only two hits, one run and no walks in a little more than an inning on the hill. He received the pitching win to improve his record to 2-2.
John Sanchez closed the game out, picking up the save by retiring three out of four batters he faced in the bottom of the eighth.
“I’m proud of what those guys did on the mound tonight,” Ashley Ridge coach BJ Bellush said. “They kept a pretty good Fort Dorchester lineup at bay most of the night.”
Fort Dorchester hurler Corey Rawlings suffered the loss after going the distance on the mound.
Grover and Ashley Ridge senior Kyle Hongsermeier were both 3 for 4 at the plate and both Josh Litchfield and Wesley Aschenbrenner reached base in three out of their five turns at bat. Rawlings went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored to lead the Fort batters.
Grover led off the first inning with a single. He moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Litchfield and then scored on a single by Hongsermeier. Courtesy runner Chandler Conlee then came home on a wild pitch for a 2-0 Swamp Fox lead.
In the bottom of the third, Joshua Murray doubled and moved to third on a fielder’s choice. The Patriots then attempted a double steal. Murray got a good jump on the throw from second, but the home-plate umpire ruled he was tagged out before reaching the plate.
The Fort managed to get on the scoreboard the next inning. Rawlings doubled and moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Eurndraus Bryant. Ryan Boyle then singled to drive him in and cut the Swamp Foxes’ lead in half.
But Ashley Ridge answered in the top of the fifth. Aschenbrenner reached on a single and Conlee came in to run for him. The courtesy runner moved around the horn on a bunt by Grayson and a single from Hongsermeier and then scored on a groundout by Austin Garland.
The Patriots rallied in the sixth to tie the game. Rawlings got things going with a single and the Fort loaded the bases when Bryant received a base on balls and Boyle was hit by a pitch. First baseman Malik Grant then singled to plate Rawlings and pinch runner Austin McClung.
Boyle moved to third on a single by Hongsermeier and the Patriots tried to squeeze him in but the batter was unable to lay down a clean bunt and Boyle was caught in a pickle. Walls struck out the next batter to end the threat.
After a hitless seventh, Grover singled in the top of the eighth. He moved to third on an error and a wild pitch and then scored on Grayson’s sac fly for the 4-3 Ashley Ridge advantage.
“I liked the way we competed,” Bellush said. “The last few games we have kind of beat ourselves by giving up a lot of unearned runs. We were making too many errors but we made the plays tonight and the guys seemed to be more into the game mentally. We start several freshmen and an eighth-grader as it is so having Jason out is tough. A lot of guys stepped up and played different positions tonight. It was good to see them handle it the way they did. Maybe we will be able to use this as a spring board.”
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or email@example.com