Rangers 21, Redlegs 6,
The Rangers kicked off their 20th season in defense of their 2015 championship by knocking off the Camden Redlegs 21-6 in five innings at Monroe.
An uncharacteristic run-rule highlighted the 20th edition of the Backyard Battle. The previous high in runs scored in this 6-year series was a 19-11 win by the Rangers in April 2012. This game also broke the series record in run differential (previous high was 11 - Redlegs 13-2 win in July 2013).
The Redlegs started out red-hot as Jacob Robinson laced a double to right-center. After a single from Kyle Arend and an RBI double from Kyle Weldon, the Redlegs took a 2-0 lead on Rangers starter Joe Becker. The Rangers got one run back on an RBI single from Robert Riley.
Becker struck out a pair in the second and Brandon Riley gunned out a stolen base attempt to keep the Camden club at bay. The Rangers' bats got hot in the second, sending 11 men to the plate and scoring 7 times. Jonmarc Lippincott led off the inning with an infield single. Nick Gilmore followed with a hit. Steve Marshall plated both runners with a double. Newcomer Brandon Marshall singled and scored on Brandon Riley's single. Kody Barth smacked a 2-run double. Robert added his second straight RBI single. Todd Peck's RBI single rounded out the scoring in the inning to give the Rangers a 8-2 lead.
In the third, Brandon Howard had a sac fly before Weldon obliterated a fastball over the tree-line in the right field for a two-run home run to cut into the Rangers lead at 8-5.
Both teams traded 1-2-3 innings before the Rangers batted around in the fourth inning, tallying 8 more runs. Rob Armour pinch-hit and drilled a double off the fence tubing in left field. The Rangers then did some two-out damage as Kody Barth and Robert Riley launched back-to-back home runs. Ben Schubert singled and Peck walked. Lippincott singled to left to score Schubert for an 12-5 advantage. Gilmore then drove in Peck with a single. Steve Marshall singled to load the bases. Brandon Marshall worked a bases-loaded walk. Eric Becker reached on an error, which plated another run. And Armour's bases-loaded walk made it a 16-5 game after four innings.
Kyle Arend doubled home Jacob Robinson in the fifth to give the Redlegs their sixth run. But it wasn't enough as the Rangers continued to hit the ball and work walks to score five more times. Barth belted his second 2-run home run of the game. Gilmore had another RBI single, and Brandon Marshall's RBI single ended the game on a run-rule.
Joe Becker pitched all 5 innings to record the franchise's 250th career complete game.
Offensive highlights: Kody Barth 3-for-4, 4R, 6RBI, 2-HR, double, SB; Robert Riley 3-for-4, 2R, 3RBI, HR, SB; Jonmarc Lippincott 2-for-3, 3R, RBI; Nick Gilmore 3-for-4, 3R, 2RBI, 2SB; Steve Marshall 2-for-4, 2R, 2RBI, double; Brandon Marshall 2-for-3, 2RBI.
Historical Notes: The Rangers lead the Backyard Battle series 13-7. Robert Riley became the 4th Ranger to reach 30 career home runs.