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Riverheads baseball team rallies to beat Wilson Memorial in season opener
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Riverheads baseball team rallies to beat Wilson Memorial in season opener

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Wilson Memorial first baseman Cameron Sprouse catches the ball before Riverheads’ Landon Branch can reach the base during Tuesday’s game in Fishersville. Riverheads won, 10-8.

FISHERSVILLE — Riverheads battled back from an early deficit and took the lead with four runs in the top of the sixth inning Tuesday evening to defeat Wilson Memorial 10-8 in Shenandoah District baseball action.

“It was our first game so I really didn’t know what to expect,” said Riverheads head coach Rodney Painter. “I was really proud of the way the guys managed the game. They played hard.”

Jacob Wakefield led off the bottom of the first with an infield single and eventually scored on a sacrifice fly by Mason McDowell to put Wilson on the board. Wilson’s Jacob Leavell led off the second inning with a double, moved to third on a groundout by Matthew Bobsin and then scored on Finn Irving’s sac fly for a 2-0 Hornets’ lead.

The Gladiators put three runs on the board in the third to take their first lead. Aidan Miller led off with a base hit and Landon Lightner walked. Ryan Farris drove in Miller with a base hit for the first Riverheads run. Lightner scored on a sacrifice fly by Hunter Lee to tie the score and Farris scored on a Wilson throwing error to put Riverheads up 3-2.

The lead didn’t last long as Wilson answered with four runs in the bottom of the third to regain the lead. Aiden Podgorski led off the inning with a double and moved to third on a groundout. Podgorski scored on a balk to tie the score. The Hornets loaded the bases and Leavell delivered a clutch two-run single to put the Hornets back on top, 5-3. Bobsin then plated a run with a groundout, making the score 6-3.

Run-scoring singles in the top of the fourth by Riverheads’ Lightner and Farris pulled the visitors to within 6-5 and the Gladiators tied the score at 6-6 on Colton Kwiecinski RBI-groundout in the top of the fifth.

Wilson forged ahead again, 7-6, in the bottom of the fifth on a run-scoring single Blaise Pettry, setting the stage for the big rour-run outburst in the sixth by the Gladiators.

Miller led off the sixth with a triple, but Wilson’s Jacob Wakefield retired the next two batters on strikeouts. Matthew Charles then hit what looked to be a routine grounder to second, but the ball took a bad-hop and the single allowed Miller to score the tying run. After a walk, a Wilson error allowed Charles to score as the Gladiators took an 8-7 lead. Trenton Thompson then chased two runners home on a double down the left-field line, giving Riverheads a 10-7 advantage.

With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Wakefield’s fly ball was lost in the lights for a triple. After a walk to Grayson Wright, Wakefield scored on McDowell’s sac fly, pulling the Hornets to within 10-8.

The Gladaitors had a chance to blow the game open when they loaded the bases with one out in the eseventh. Wilson’s McDowell worked out of the jam to keep Wilson within two.

Leavell and Pettry led off the bottom of the seventh with singles to put the potential tying runs on base for the Hornets. Riverheads then went to the bullpen and Farris struck out Tanner Leche for the first out of the inning. Coby Sprouse then hit a grounder up the middle that was fielded by Miller. Miller stepped on second and then threw to first to complete the double play, sending Riverheads home with a 10-8 victory.

RIVERHEADS 10, WILSON MEMORIAL 8

RIVERHEADS 003 214 0 — 10 10 3

WILSON 114 011 0 — 8 10 5

Charles, Kwiecinski (4), Lightner (6), Farris (7) and Farris, Thompson (7); Bobsin, Wakefield (5), McDowell (7) and Leavell.

WP—Lightner. LP—Wakefield. Save—Farris.

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