Redlegs 3, Rangers 1, game 1
Rangers 17, Redlegs 0, 6 inn., game 2
The Rangers/Redlegs series is the definition of a true rivalry. Can't have a good rivalry if everything is one-sided. That's certainly not the case in the Backyard Battle. Having already split an earlier DH between the two clubs back in June, the same fate was handed both teams on Sunday, August 12 out at Middletown Madison high school.
Two of the league's top four ERA leaders toed the rubber in game 1. The Rangers had their usual troubles scoring runs against Redlegs ace Aaron Carmack. Getting on base didn't seem to be an issue, but finding home plate was. The Rangers could only muster 6 hits, but coerced 8 free passes, leading to an astounding 14 runs left on base over 7 innings. Jonmarc Lippincott's single to right field in the fifth inning produced the lone run for the Rangers.
Rangers starter Luke Trubee once again was on the wrong side of offensive struggles. Trubee allowed just 5 hits and struck out 9. The Redlegs damage came in the first and second innings. Jacob Robinson tripled in the first and scored on a groundout by Kyle Arend. Brandon Howard launched a home run in the second. James Robinson doubled and eventually scored after an errant throw from the catcher eluded the pitcher.
Rangers saw their 6-game win streak come to a crashing halt with a 3-1 defeat in game 1.
Game 2 was entirely a different story as the Rangers took advantage of 13 free passes en route to a 17-0 run-rule in 6 innings. Joe Becker was the benefactor of the offensive outburst, blanking the Redlegs for his first shutout of the season and bringing his record to 7-3. Becker struck out 6 and pushed his scoreless innings streak to 13 straight innings.
The Rangers jumped out early in the top of the first inning scoring 5 times. Ryan Kemp had a sac fly. Stephen Hoendorf had an RBI double. Cody Pelfrey had an RBI single. And Eric Becker added a bases-loaded walk in the inning. The score remained 5-0 into the 5th inning. Dominic Kuzujanakis singled home a run, and Hoendorf added a 2-run single to increase the lead to 8-0. Nine more runs came across in the decisive sixth inning highlighted by Brandon Marshall's 2-run double and Ben Schooler's 2-run single.
The win ensured a winning season for the Rangers, who currently stand 13-10 with two games left against the Cardinals next Sunday, August 19 at Centerville high school.
Offensive highlights: Nick Gilmore 3-for-6, 3 runs, 2 SB, double; Dominic Kuzujanakis 3-for-7, 3 runs, 2RBI; Stephen Hoendorf 2-for-7, 2 runs, 4RBI, double; Brandon Marshall 2-for-6, 2RBI, double; Cody Pelfrey 3-for-5, 2 SB, RBI.
Historical Notes: Brandon Marshall's 2-run double in game 2 was his 100th career hit. Shawn Schmitt is 7 strikeouts away from 900 Ks for his career. Backyard Battle record stands 16-16.