Before the rain forced a suspension of a second game of Sunday's DH, the Rangers hopes for a victory were drowned in an extra-inning defeat to the Wright Knights at Centerville high school.
An excellent pitching matchup between the Rangers' Joe Becker and the Knights' Clay Cleaver kept offense to a minimum. Becker's nemesis Jerel Bristol singled and scored in the first inning to give the Knights a quick 1-0 advantage. The Knights added another the run as Alec Hutzleman singled home Jake Postel in the top of the third.
In the bottom half of the third, Ian Rike was hit by a pitch and went to third on a single by Nick Gilmore. Nick then coerced an errant pickoff attempt allowing Rike to score to tie the game. Ben Schooler later singled to drive home Gilmore to tie the game at 2-2.
The Rangers grabbed the lead in the fourth after a leadoff triple from Cooper Nolte and a run-scoring single to right by Cody Pelfrey. But the Knights answered in the top of the fifth on a single from Hutzelman, scoring Bristol who doubled to start the inning.
Both pitchers eased through the sixth and seventh innings to force extras. Becker struck out the first two batters in the 8th, but Garrett Copas singled and went to second on a walk. After stealing third, Copas later scampered home on a wild pitch to give the Knights a 4-3 lead.
Becker pinch hit in the bottom of the 8th and roped a single to start the inning. But three straight groundouts thwarted any comeback opportunity.
Becker suffered the hard-luck loss going 8 innings, allowing 10 hits and striking out 9.
Game 2 started after a little lightning delay, but it was the Knights that brought the thunder in the bottom of the first busting out three hits and taking advantage of two errors to jump out to 3-0 lead. As more lightning and threat of rain loomed, the game was suspended in the bottom of the second inning, and will be made up as part of a DH on June 17.
Offensive highlights: Cooper Nolte 2-for-3, triple, SB; Cody Pelfrey 1-for-3 RBI; Nick Gilmore 3-for-4, SB.
Historical Notes: Joe Becker finished the day with a career total of 400 innings pitched in MVABL play. Becker is the 4th pitcher in league history to reach that mark. He also surpassed 500 career innings pitched.