The Redlegs and Rangers met up for the 3rd time this season on Sunday, this time under the lights at Rice Field in Miamisburg. This edition of the “Backyard Battle” would prove to be the most exciting in recent memory as a tough back and forth contest came right down to the final inning.
Matt Delbridge returned to the mound to make his season debut for the Rangers and was effective over 7 innings, allowing three runs and striking out six. Joe Becker relieved Delbridge and tossed 2 scoreless frames and was the beneficiary of a Rangers' 8th inning rally to earn his 4th win of the year.
Rangers' outfielder Steve Marshall got the home team on the board in the second with a two-out run-scoring double. Delbridge looked sharp early, striking out 5 of the first 9 batters he faced. But Kyle Arend's RBI single plated Jacob Robinson in the top of the third to tie the game at 1-1.
Matt Mattice and Jared Bradley kicked off the fourth inning for the Redlegs with singles. Mattice scored on Bradley's hit, and Bradley scored on a sac fly from Eric Williams to give the Redlegs a 3-1 advantage.
Meanwhile, Redlegs' rookie Aaron Carmack was rolling through the Rangers' batting order allowing only three hits and striking out six in the first five innings of work. However, the Rangers mounted their comeback in the bottom of the sixth as Todd Peck smacked a two-out double and scampered home after a pair of wild pitches.
Delbridge settled down and blanked the Redlegs over his final three innings and got defensive help from Todd Peck's Willie Mays impersonation, robbing Jack Millard of extra bases in front of the left field fence.
Joe Becker tossed a 1-2-3 eighth inning before coming up big offensively in the bottom of the inning. Becker began the inning with a line drive single to left, and subsequently stole second to put the tying run in scoring position. Jonmarc Lippincott, returning midway through the game from his trek from Indiana, lined a single to right field to put runners on the corner with nobody out. Brandon Riley roped a shot to center field where Robinson made a diving catch, resulting in a sac fly to tie the game at 3-3. Lippincott would move to second on a single from Kody Barth, and ultimately came around to score the go-ahead run on a pair of wild pitches.
The Redlegs put runners on second and third in the top of the ninth with one out, but Becker struck out Kevin Campbell and induced a ground out from Robinson to end the game.
It was the 9th one-run contest among the 22 Backyard Battles between the two clubs. The Rangers lead the all-time series 14-8.
Offensive highlights: Kody Barth 2-4, Todd Peck 1-3 double, Steve Marshall 1-3 double RBI, Joe Becker 2-3 SB.
Historical Notes: Jonmarc is 1 RBI away from 400 MVABL RBIs. Joe Becker picked up his 50th career hit.