For the first time all season, the Rangers failed to reach double-digits in scoring. But in the end, it's the "W" that counts, and that's what the team delivered on a 90-degree afternoon of baseball at Carroll high school.
Ben Schooler got his first start of the season and was superb, allowing an unearned run over 6 innings, striking out 7 for the win.
It wasn't an easy win as the Rangers offense had to find an answer to Heidelberg lefty Brady Knizner, who held the Rangers in check last season. The Rangers pushed three runs across in the bottom of the third. Chris Ridl would beat out a botched fielding attempt and score on Markus Neff's 400-foot double to center. Cooper Nolte would double home Neff, but would be snuffed out attempting to make it to third. Cal Walters was hit by a pitch. After moving all the way to third base after an errant pickoff attempt, Rob Pederson plated Walters with a groundout.
The Machine would score a run in the top of the fifth on a fielding error. But the Rangers answered right back in the bottom of the inning as Jonmarc Lippincott and Ridl singled. Lippincott would score on Chris Jones' knock to right field.
The Rangers continued to add some cushion in the bottom of the sixth. Walters walked and Pederson singled him to third. Schooler's favorable chopper over the infield scored Walters, and Pederson scored on Moyer's fielders choice.
The score remained 6-1 into the 8th. Ryan Qvick relieved Schooler in the 7th and went 1-2-3. With a runner on and one out in the 8th, Qvick picked off the runner for the third time in his last 3 outings. Machine catcher Levi Meade would hit a solo home run, but that's all they would muster off Qvick.
Pederson added another RBI groundout in the bottom of the 8th to make it 7-2. Brandon Saylor allowed one hit in the ninth, but struck out the final batter of the game. It marked the first time all season that the Rangers did not allow a run in the opponents' final at-bat.
Offensive highlights: Rob Pederson 2RBI; Kyle Moyer 2B, RBI, SB; Markus Neff 2B, RBI; Cooper Nolte 2-for-3, 2B, RBI.
Historical Notes: N/A