Games 20, 21
Rangers 12, Royals 5
Heading in to the final weekend of the regular season, the Rangers needed to win one game and have the Scouts lose a game in order to wrap up the No. 2 playoff seed.
That's how the scenario played out in the first game of a DH with the Royals at Carlisle HS. The Rangers started off the scoring in the top of the first scoring three times. Kyle Moyer scored on a wild pitch, and Markus Neff and Cooper Nolte added sac flies. The Royals followed in the bottom half of the inning with a 2-run home run from Nick Anloague. A sac fly from Eric Becker increased the Rangers lead to 4-2 after 2 innings. The Royals got another run back in the third as Tyler Eaton's groundout scored Nick Ferraro who had tripled to start the inning.
The Rangers kept the pressure on Royals' pitching, tallying 4 runs in the fourth. Chris Ridl had an RBI single. Moyer recorded the team's 4th sac fly, and Nick Gilmore had a 2-run single. The Royals got their final two runs in the fourth on an Evan Koogler sac fly and an RBI single from Tyler Schrock.
Jonmarc Lippincott scored the team's 5000th regular season run in the top of the 6th as he scored from third on an infield single from Eric Becker. Ridl would also score on a throwing error in the same inning to give the Rangers a 10-5 lead. Rob Pederson doubled and Ben Schooler singled in the 7th and scored on a throwing error for the final score of 12-5.
The Rangers sent veteran Joe Becker to the mound and he was efficient through 5 innings of work to pick up the win. Ben Schooler tossed two scoreless innings of relief, and carried that over into game two with a scoreless inning, allowing him to earn the league ERA title.
With the No. 2 playoff seed already wrapped up, the Rangers played around with the batting lineup and gave several players an inning of work, ultimately leading to a 7-0 loss. The only hits came from Nick Gilmore, Jonmarc Lippincott, Markus Neff, Chris Ridl, and Hunter Kraynak.
Pitching-wise, Schooler, Kraynak, Pederson, and Eric Becker tossed scoreless innings. Other outings came from Kenny Owens, Markus Neff, and Cooper Nolte.
The Rangers finished the regular season with a 14-7 record, finishing in the Top 2 of the regular season standings for just the second time since 2010.
Offensive highlights: Eric Becker 2-for-5, 2RBI; Chris Ridl 3-for-5, 2 runs, RBI, SB; Nick Gilmore 3-for-6, 2RBI; Rob Pederson 2-for-6, 2 runs, double, SB
Historical Notes: The Rangers are 25 RBIs away from 5000 franchise career RBIs. Jonmarc Lippincott scored the 5000th run in MVABL regular season play.