Rangers 18, Machine 10
The Rangers head to the championship series for the fourth straight season after knocking off the Mad River Machine 18-10 and 13-3 on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Action Sports Center.
Things looked bleary from the start as a steady drizzle arrived at first pitch. Ben Schubert got the start for game one and tried to battle through the elements, but a slick ball and mound helped contribute to five walks in the first inning, accounting for 3 runs. But the Rangers battled back in the bottom of the first with a leadoff double from Brandon Riley. Following three walks and a hit-by-pitch, the score stood 3-2. An RBI single from Machine third baseman Jake Wilson increased their lead to 4-2. The Machine piled four more runs in the fourth as the Rangers found themselves in an 8-2 hole.
The Rangers finally got to Machine ace Paul Wilson in the bottom of the fourth, scoring four times. Todd Peck and Kody Barth started the frame with singles. Phil Dickerson walked and Nick Gilmore reached on an error. Jonmarc Lippincott walked with the bases loaded. Brandon plated a run on a fielder’s choice and Steve Marshall drove in the final run of the inning with a single.
Robert Riley relieved Schubert on the mound with two outs in the 4th and held the Machine without a run in the next two innings, giving the Rangers an opportunity to come back.
A big 12-run fifth inning boosted the Rangers into the lead for good. After starting the inning with an out, Peck and Barth singled in succession again to start the rally. Dickerson singled home Peck. Gilmore walked to load the bases. Lippincott then hit an opposite field single to plate 2 runs to give the Rangers a 9-8 lead. Brandon followed with an RBI single. Marshall was hit by a pitch, forcing the Machine to turn to its bullpen. Schubert greeted the new pitcher with a two-run single. After a walk to Robert Riley, Joe Staten smacked an RBI single. Peck singled for the second time in the inning to score two more runs. Dickerson and Gilmore added RBIs on bases-loaded walks, and Lippincott’s groundout capped the scoring in the inning, giving the Rangers an 18-8 advantage.
The Machine got two runs in the seventh to produce the final score
Rangers 13, Machine 3
Todd Peck was handed the ball for game two and he didn’t disappoint in his second career start. He handcuffed the Machine into just 6 hits, allowing 2 earned runs, striking out 5.
The Rangers kept the momentum going to start the second game, producing a 5-0 lead out of the chute. Schubert had a 2-run single and Barth had a 2-run double in the inning. Brandon Riley singled in the second to drive in Gilmore for a 6-0 lead. The Machine picked up an unearned run in the bottom of the second, but the Rangers got the run back in the top of the third on an RBI double from Dickerson. Schubert’s bases-loaded walk gave the Rangers an 8-1 lead through four innings. Run-scoring singles from Lippincott and Brandon Riley in the fifth helped push the lead to 11-1. Marshall added a two-run single in the seventh for a 13-1 advantage.
The Rangers could have tacked on more, but a long home run from Schubert was called foul (reason is still unsure). The Machine added two more in the bottom of the seventh to end the game at 13-3, sending the Rangers into the championship series next weekend.
The Rangers piled up 29 hits, 15 walks, and 9 HBPs on the afternoon.
Offensive highlights: Brandon Riley 6-9, 4R, 4RBI, 2 doubles, SB; Steve Marshall 3-7, 3R, 3RBI; Ben Schubert 3-9, 5RBI; Todd Peck 4-6, 4R, 3RBI; Kody Barth 4-4, 6R, 3RBI, double; 3HBP; Phil Dickerson 4-6, 3R, 3RBI, double; Jonmarc Lippincott 3-5, 5R, 5RBI.
Historical Notes: Kody Barth set a franchise record reaching base in 18 straight plate appearances (5 singles, 1 double, 1 HR, 5 BB, 6 HBPs).