Rangers 7, Slammers 5,
Rangers 8, Slammers 5, 8 inn., gm 2
The Dayton Rangers won a pair of tightly contested ballgames, knocking off the South Dayton Slammers 7-5 and 8-5 in 8 innings on Sunday, April 23 at Frosty Brown Field.
In Game 1, Brandon Riley kicked off the fireworks with his second career leadoff home run, accounting for his 100th career RBI. Joe Becker started on the mound and held the Slammers' offense off the scoreboard over the first three innings. In the top of the 4th, Rick Anderson bolted home from third on a groundout from Mike Barhorst to score the Slammers' first run and tie the ballgame.
The Rangers took the lead back in the bottom half of the fourth as Rob Armour and Riley each drove in a run. The Rangers added some cushion with an RBI single from Robert Riley in the fifth, and a second run came across on a fielding miscue to give the Rangers 5-1 advantage.
In the bottom of the sixth, Brandon smacked a one-out double, his fourth hit of the game. Ryan Meinert pinch-ran for Riley and scored on Ryan Kemp's triple. Kemp scampered home on a wild pitch for a 7-1 score.
Becker got into a little trouble in the top of the seventh after the first three batters reached base. Kemp took over on the mound and quickly got a pair of outs. After a wild pitch and a 2-run double from Todd Barhorst, the Slammers cut the lead to 7-4. A throwing error kept the inning alive as the Slammers cut the deficit to two runs. After loading the bases, Kemp settled in a struck the final batter out to preserve the game 1 victory.
Joe Becker struck out 7 over 6 innings of work to move to 2-0 on the season.
Rookie Alex Schulke got his first stint on the mound to start game 2. Schulke looked great for two innings allowing just a pair of walks and striking out a pair. The Rangers' offense found life in the top of third off Slammers' ace Dan Comes. Brandon Riley started the frame with a double. Ben Schooler found his home-run stroke with a two-run blast to left-center, his first Rangers' longball since 2012. Jonmarc Lippincott then walked and came around to score on Brandon Marshall's home-run to center, his first career HR as a Ranger.
Schulke ran into some trouble in the third as the second time through the Slammers' order proved to be his downfall. The Barhorst brothers each had doubles that highlighted a four-run inning to tie the game at 4-4.
Ryan Meinert relieved Schulke and tossed three scoreless innings to keep the Rangers in the game. In the top of the 7th, Lippincott singled for the third time in the game, recording his 800th career hit. Marshall followed with a single, and after the ball trickled away from the outfielder, both runners were in scoring position. Nick Gilmore was intentionally walked to load the bases. Eric Becker then smoked an RBI single through a drawn-in infield to give the Rangers a 1-run lead.
The Rangers brought in rookie Rob Nesteroff in his debut to try and save the game. After inducing a groundout, Nesteroff was rudely greeted with a Dan Barhorst game-tying home run to right field. Nesteroff settled down to get another groundout and a strikeout to force extra innings.
Joe Becker started the extra inning by scorching a shot between the shortstop's legs. Rob Armour followed up with a two-run blast off the centerfield scoreboard. Brandon Riley's third double of the day, piggybacked by Schooler's second double of the afternoon, increased the Rangers lead to 8-5. Nesteroff went through the heart of the Slammers' order going 1-2-3 to record his first win in his first outing.
Offensive highlights: Brandon Riley 6-for-9, HR, 3 doubles, 2RBI; Ben Schooler 4-for-9, 2 doubles, HR, 3RBI; Jonmarc Lippincott 3-for-4, 2 runs; Brandon Marshall 2-for-8, 2 runs, 2RBI, HR; Eric Becker 3-for-6, RBI; Rob Armour 2-for-6, 2 runs, 3RBI, HR.
Historical Notes: Brandon Riley got his 100th career RBI with a leadoff HR in game 1. Jonmarc Lippincott had 3 hits to reach the 800-hit plateau for his career. The Rangers are 41 at-bats away from 20,000 career at-bats.