Playoffs 1st Round
The Rangers come into the MVABL 2020 playoffs as the No. 2 seed taking on the No. 7 Mad River Machine. The two teams met up at AIA in Xenia on Saturday with the goal of advancing to the semifinals in two weeks.
In game one, the Rangers got on the board first on an RBI from Jonmarc Lippincott. The Machine tied it up in the top of the fourth as Tyler Bundy scampered home on a passed ball. In the bottom of the fourth, the Rangers got to starter Anthony Nelson, scoring 3 times. Eric Becker started things off with a triple. Kyle Moyer followed with an RBI to right center. After a double play erased the runner, Rob Pederson began a two-rally with a single. Ben Schooler walked, and Markus Neff drove home Pederson. An errant throw allowed Schooler to score to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead.
Chris Ridl continued the trend of Rangers' outfielder assists by throwing out a runner at the plate in the 6th. Schooler added an RBI single in the 6th to finish off a 5-1 win for the Rangers. Brandon Saylor struck out 2 in the complete game effort to move to 3-0 on the season.
Game two proved to be a little tougher as the Rangers faced Machine ace Andrew Madlinger. In the first inning, the Machine put together 3 straight hits, but an outfield assist from Kyle Moyer and an ending-inning double-play thwarted any additional damage beyond Evan Kelsey's RBI hit. In the top of the second, Chris Ridl roped a triple to the gap and then scored on Moyer's single to tie the game at 1-1. The Rangers took a brief lead in the top of the 4th as Moyer reached on a throwing error, putting runners on the corner with two outs. Moyer's delayed steal attempt worked to perfection as the rundown allowed Chris Jones to score from third.
A great defensive afternoon by the Rangers took a hiatus in the bottom of the fourth as the Machine tallied 5 runs on a few hits and a couple errors that knocked starter Ben Schooler from the game. However, the Rangers' offense overcame its defensive woes to bat around in the top of the 5th. Nick Gilmore started with a single to left. Eric Becker reached on an error. Schooler then stepped up and took his frustrations out on the baseball by drilling a 2-run double to deep center field to put the Rangers within two runs. Markus Neff then singled and Lippincott smacked a single to score Schooler. Ridl reached on a fielder's choice and Jones followed with a single to load the bases. Moyer then singled home Lippincott to tie the game. Brandon Saylor's sac fly gave the Rangers the lead back at 7-6.
Now it was up to Joe Becker, who relieved Schooler in the 4th. Despite giving up a hit to the first batter he faced, Becker did not allow another hit the rest of the way, giving the Rangers a 7-6 win and a date in the MVABL semifinals starting Sept 12.
Offensive highlights: Rob Pederson 3-for-5, 2R; Ben Schooler 4-for-6, 2R, 3RBI, 2 doubles; Markus Neff 3-for-7 RBI; Jonmarc Lippincott 3-for-6, R, 2RBI; Chris Ridl 2-for-7, 2R, triple; Eric Becker 3-for-8, 2R, triple; Kyle Moyer 3-for-6, R, 3RBI, 2SB; Nick Gilmore 3-for-8, R.
Historical Notes: The Rangers are 15 RBIs away from 5000 franchise career RBIs. The Rangers are 1 playoff victory away from 50 career playoff wins.