The Dayton Rangers met up with the Mad River Machine in a tightly contested doubleheader at Howell Field. The Machine broke a tie in the final inning to win game one 8-5, and the Rangers held on to win game two 7-5.
Two completely different offensive mindsets presented themselves as the Rangers strategy was to score early and score often; whereas the Machine countered with the notion of getting the leadoff batter on each inning and knocking him in.
In game one, Nick McGill of the Machine led off with a single for one of his 4 hits in the game and came around to score on a Jake Wilson single. The Rangers responded by scoring four times in the bottom of the first. Brandon Riley singled to start the inning and Kody Barth followed with his fourth HR of the season. Robert Riley and Todd Peck added singles. Steve Marshall doubled home Riley and Nick Gilmore's sac fly made it 4-1.
Matt Clark doubled to lead off the Machine's second inning and scored on Joe Cronin's sac fly. After Machine starter Matt Sullivan induced three straight groundouts to shortstop, Mad River rolled out three straight hits to start the third inning, and Pat Beyerle's two-run single put the Machine tied the game at 4-4.
Todd Peck hit a sac fly in the bottom of the third to give the Rangers the lead back at 5-4. Meanwhile, the Machine continued to put pressure on Rangers starter Ryan Meinert and capitalized on a fielding miscue in the fifth to tie the game at 5-5.
After a rough start, Sullivan settled down to blank the Rangers over the final four innings. The Machine completed their comeback in the top of the seventh as George Lesher became the sixth leadoff batter to reach base in the game, and the fifth of which to score a run. With one out in the 7th, Nick McGill smacked a two-run HR to left field to give the Machine a 7-5 advantage. An RBI single from Sullivan later in the frame rounded out the scoring.
Game two started out in a similar fashion as the Rangers jumped on Machine starter Paul Wilson for three runs in the top of the first inning. Robert Riley drove in the first run, and Kody Barth stole third and scored on an errant throw. Riley came around to score on Peck's double.
McGill once again led off with a single and scored on a Beyerle base hit to make it 3-1. But the Rangers added on with a 4-spot in the third on RBIs from Ben Schubert, Peck, and Jonmarc Lippincott. However, Brennan Sokowoski started the bottom of the third for the Machine with a single, and after Michael Taylor's line shot to right, Beyerle stepped up again and plated them both with a single to cut into the Rangers lead at 7-3.
Tyler Bundy walked to lead off the bottom of the fifth and scored the fourth run for the Machine. Matt Clark doubled to start the bottom of the sixth (are you sensing a theme yet) and scored on a Taylor double. The Machine's final hope came in the seventh, when their leadoff batter reached base for 11th time on the day. But Joe Becker induced a double-play ball to kill the rally and preserve the 7-5 victory for the Rangers and pick up his third win of the season.
So in summary, the Rangers scored all 12 of their runs in the first and third innings. And the Machine led off 11 of the 14 innings with a baserunner, and 9 of those times, the runner scored.
Offensive highlights: Kody Barth 3-6, 3R, 2RBI, HR, 2SB; Robert Riley 2-7, 4R, RBI; Todd Peck 3-5, 2R, 3RBI, 2b, Sac; Steve Marshall 2-3, RBI, 2b, SB.
Historical Notes: Jonmarc is 1 RBI away from 400 MVABL RBIs. Joe Becker moved into sole possesion of 2nd place on the Rangers' all-time wins list.