Ragsdale hitting, Robertson pitching lifts WO-S by H-F

Published 10:05 am Friday, March 25, 2016

By Ronnie Hughes

Leader Correspondent

WEST ORANGE — The Mustangs of West Orange-Stark continued their District 24-4A dominance with a gritty win over the Hamshire-Fannett Longhorns 3-1 Thursday night at home.

Ryan Ragsdale’s presence at the plate helped propel the Stangs’ to the win and remain perfect in district play at 3-0.

Ragsdale went 3-for-3 on the night with two runs batted in, two stolen bases and one run scored.

Mustang pitcher Payton Robertson, struggled early in the first with his command and walked two batters, but he eventually settled down and found his groove to work his way out of the inning.

The Mustangs, however, would notch the first run of the night. A walk to KJ Miller and a sac-fly by Jack Dallas led to an RBI double off the left field wall by Ragsdale to score Miller for the 1-0 advantage after one inning of play.

Robertson struck out two of the three Longhorn batters in the second, but the Mustangs also struggled at the plate going three-up-three-down with two strike outs as well by Longhorn pitcher Jordan Johnson. Robertson again struggled entering the third inning after hitting the first batter, he’d walk the next. Adam Burgason singled down the third baseline to load the bases with just one out. The Mustang defense would back their pitcher up and snag two outs to work out of the jam. The Longhorns left all three runners stranded in the third.

The woes continued for both teams at the plate and on the bags through the next couple of innings, before the Longhorns notched a run in the top of the fifth. Christian Simpson led off with a monster long ball off the left field wall which he’d round the bases for a double. After a sacrifice-fly sent Simpson to third he was brought home after a wild pitch by Robertson to tie the game at one after five complete innings. The Horns’ again left the go-ahead runners stranded at second and third.

WO-S would finally get some offense going in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jack Dallas led off with a hard hit ball back to shortstop which he was able to beat the throw to first. He’d then take second on a wild pitch. Ragsdale stepped to the plate with Dallas in scoring position and ripped an RBI single down the third baseline to score Dallas and the go-ahead run. Two batters later and the bases loaded, Ragsdale stole home on a wild pitch to eventually seal the deal for the Mustangs as they led 3-1 and just three outs away from the win.

The Horns’ didn’t go down without a fight as they would have the tying run on base with runners in the corner after a walk and a single. It would again be the Mustang defense making the plays and preventing the runners from crossing home as Dylan Myers hit a ground ball back to Robertson for the final out of the contest. Robertson ended the night with 7 strikeouts and picks up the win to keep the Mustangs unbeaten in District 24-4A. The Longhorns are still searching for their first district win of the season.

WO-S visits Bridge City Tuesday. The Cardinals are also undefeated in 24-4A play.

BC 5, H-J 2

BRIDGE CITY — The Bridge City Cardinals improved to 3-0 in District 24-4A play Thursday night by downing theHardin-Jefferson Hawks 5-2.

Kyle Bergeron got the win on the hill for BC, scattering just two hits while striking out four. Tod McDowell earned the save, tossing three innings, allowing no hits while fanning five.

McDowell was 3-for-3 at the plate with a double. Tanner Doiron also had a double.

In other 24-4A action Thursday, Silsbee toppled LC-M 12-2.