The Rangers had their work cut out for them as they faced Jeff Beall and the South Dayton Slammers on Sunday, June 7 at Bellbrook high school.
Brandon Saylor got the start for the Rangers on the mound. He gave up a leadoff single to Dan Barhorst, who came around to score on a throwing error later in the inning. Nick Gilmore roped a leadoff double for the Rangers in the bottom of the first and scored on a two-out RBI double from Dominic Kuzujanakis.
Kyle Moyer started the bottom of the second with a double. Chris Jones then reached on a fielding miscue. With one out, Eric Becker hit a rope to the right fielder, who dropped the ball, allowing Moyer to score to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead. With two outs, it was Rob Pederson's turn for a 2-run double. Ben Schooler followed with an RBI single. Kujo then laced another RBI double to give the Rangers a commanding 6-1 lead.
The Rangers made it 7-1 in the third as Chris Ridl pounded a run-scoring single up the middle to score Moyer, who doubled for the second time in the game. From that point on, the offense couldn't put anyone past second base the rest of the game.
Meanwhile, Saylor was pitching a great game, compiling 8 K's and 2 hits over 5 innings. The Slammers second run came in the fourth on a passed ball. Saylor started the top of the sixth and was rudely interrupted by a Todd Barhorst home run. After a couple more hits and a walk, he was relieved by rookie Kenny Owens. Thrown in to the fire, Owens got a sac fly from Beall and got a sacrifice bunt attempt hit back to him, where he threw out the runner trying to score. Clinging to a 7-4 advantage, Owens made one bad pitch and Dan Barhorst made him pay with a 3-run game-tying home run to right field.
Zach Losey entered the game to get the final out in the sixth and would close out the game with 8 strike outs. But just as the Rangers had a tough time closing out last week's contest with the Redlegs, the ninth inning was once again unkind to the team this weekend. Todd Barhorst started the 9th with a hard grounder that took an unfortunate high hop over Kujo at first, and that dreadful feeling was almost palpable. Rick Anderson worked his 4th walk of the game to put runners on first and second. Mark Barhorst laid down a sacrifice bunt back to the mound, but the throw to first pulled the second baseman off the bag. Losey was able to strike out the next batter. With the infield still in, Jeff Beall hit a handle shot that made it between first and second to score the go-ahead run, and eventual winning run.
Offensive highlights: Nick Gilmore 2-for-4, 3R, 2SB; Rob Pederson 2b 2RBI; Ben Schooler 2-for-4 RBI; Kujo 2-for-4, 2RBI, 2 doubles; Kyle Moyer 2-for-4, 2R, 2 doubles; Chris Ridl 1-for-3 SB.
Historical Notes: The Rangers are 10 pitching strikeouts away from 4000. Nick Gilmore swiped his 100th career base.