Home runs drive Porter Ridge to win over Patriots

Senior Drew Harris got the start for the Patriots. (Ron Morris)
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Tuesday’s night baseball game between the Patriots and the Porter Ridge Pirates saw Porter Ridge plate six runs off two Pirates’ home runs.

The first one came in the top of the third inning with Porter Ridge trailing 4-2.  Michael Starrs drew a walk for the Pirates.  The Pirates’ first baseman Connor Smith stepped up to the plate and tied the score with a shot over the right field wall.

Noah Howie bats against Porter Ridge in a Tuesday home game. (Ron Morris)

The second homer came in the top of the seventh inning.  Porter Ridge and Independence were all knotted up 5-5.  The Pirates’ Tanner Sweatt led off with a single to left field.  Both Nick Horstkamp and Blake Efird bunted to load the bases.  With no outs and the bases loaded, junior Wes Turley came to the plate and hit a grand slam home run over the left field wall to give the Pirates a 9-5 lead.

After the game, Wes said, “That was my second home run ever, and my first grand slam.  The pitch was about belt high.  I turned on it, and my first thought was it was a sacrifice fly.  But I saw the left field running and I looked up and saw the ball go over he fence.”

After the grand slam, Michael Starrs hit a double to the center field wall and scored on a Connor Smith single making the score 10-5.

In the top of the first inning Porter Ridge got things going by scoring two unearned runs.  Max Kuhn scored after drawing a walk and Michael Starrs reached home after being hit by a pitch.  The Patriots committed two errors before the inning ended.

In the bottom half of the first, Indy’s CJ Brown and Bryson Jusko both reached on walks.  Noah Howie hit a hard grounder and reached on a fielder’s choice to load the bases.  Raja Milton singled to center scoring Brown.  Indy’s second run came after Tyson Clawson was hit by a pitch to bring Jusko home.  With Noah Howie on third the Porter Ridge pitcher was called for a balk, and the Indy runners advance bringing Howie home for the score.  Raja Milton came home on an error to give Indy the lead 4-2 after one full inning.

Porter Ridge tied the score in the top of the third when Connor Smith hit his two run homer.

Porter Ridge attempts to pickoff CJ Brown. (Ron Morris)

The Pirates took the lead in the top of the fifth.  Connor Smith led off with a walk followed by a Jh Vaughan single.  Tanner Sweatt loaded the bases with an infield hit.

With the bases loaded and no outs, Indy’s Coach Skinner called for a pitching change.  Jonathan ‘JT” Todaro came in to relieve starter Drew Harris.

Todaro struck out Porter Ridge’s next batter.  Indy’s Hoven Perez fielded a hard hit line drive for the Pirates’ second out.  Before Todaro could get the third out, Wes Turley drove Connor Smith home on a single to left field to give the Pirates the lead 5-4.

Indy tied the score in the bottom on the sixth with Raja Milton hitting a double to center field.  Ben Hagan reached on a throwing error that brought Milton home to tie the score 5-5 going into the final inning.

Wes Turled blew the game open for the Pirates with his grand slam home run, and Michael Starrs’ double to the center field wall was more than the Patriots could over come allowing Porter Ridge to take a 10-5 conference win over the Patriots.

Former Indy Coach and the Pirates current coach Daniel Cooke said,  I’m proud of the way we battled.  We got a young team and we struck first.

Then Indy scored four runs in the bottom of the first, but they fought back and won the game.  It was a great battle on both sides.  We just had the better hits, the clutch hits,  at the end of the game.

Porter Ridge       202  010  5  –  10

Independence    400  001  0  –    5

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