On a perfect evening for baseball, Riverdale and Blackman faced off in a huge District 7-AAA matchup at the Reservation on the Riverdale campus tonight. As both teams were looking to catch Siegel at the top of the District 7-AAA standings. Blackman came from behind with three runs in the final inning to win 5-4.
Down 4-2 heading into the top of the seventh, the Blaze needed three runs to win the game, and they got them when it counted. Senior Austin Reynolds led off the inning with a single off Riverdale junior reliever Drew Huff. Junior Stephen Smith came in to pitch run for Reynolds, and senior third baseman Nick Carter crushed a pitch over the scoreboard in left field to tie the game.
Junior Austin Chessor walked for the Blaze, and Smith once again came in to pitch run. After junior Micah Cale was hit by a pitch and junior Jacob Whitehair singled in Smith to take the lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.
“It was huge,” Reynolds said after the game. “The bats went quiet there in the middle of the game, but they woke up at the end.”
“We have been saying the entire year that we got to put together quality at-bats, and stay with our approach and sooner or later something is going to come in our favor,” Blackman head coach Justin Entrekin said after the win. “We got a good pitch to hit in the seventh inning, and Nick Carter did a great job of looking for a pitch and doing something with it.”
Reynolds came in to pitch for the Blaze in the final at-bat for the Warriors. Huff led off the inning with a base hit over the third baseman’s head, and senior Kaleb Swayze was hit by a pitch. However, Reynolds struck out Warrior senior Clint McCullough and junior Brad Woodson to end the game.
“Once we got that lead in that inning, we knew this was the game that we needed to get tonight,” Entrekin said. “We decided to bring in Reynolds, and shut down that inning and live to see another day tomorrow.”
With the win, the Blaze improve to 10-7, 3-2 in District 7AAA, while the Warriors drop to 11-6, 3-2 in District 7AAA. However, all District 7AAA series are a two-game home and home series. The Warriors will look for revenge tomorrow night at 6 p.m. this time at Blackman’s home field.
“It is always big to get the first one on the road, and playing at home tomorrow we got a good chance to win the series,” Reynolds said.
The Blaze got on the board with two runs in the top of the first inning when sophomore Matt Harnish homer to left center and pitch runner Smith scored off a ground out by Cale to give the Blaze a 2-0 advantage.
Riverdale got on the board in the bottom half of the inning when Huff scored on a single off the glove of the Blackman shortstop by McCullough to cut the Blaze led to 2-1 after one inning.
The Warriors added two more runs in the bottom half of the third when sophomore Haddon Adams crushed a two-run homer to left to give them a 3-2 advantage after three innings. Riverdale added another run in the fifth when Huff scored a double off the right field wall by Swayze to make the score 4-2.