By Tom Schultz For the Herald
The Clinton Herald
---- — MORRISON, Ill. — The Riverdale Rams were coming off of an extra innings win over the West Carroll Thunder, 9-8, to get into Wednesday’s contest with Erie/Prophetstown. The Rams were unable to continue the momentum.
The Panthers came out ready to hit from the first pitch with two hits and a sacrifice fly to put them up 2-0 in the first inning and on their way to a 12-2 win.
E/P put the pressure on Riverdale early and didn’t let up adding another run in the second. The Panthers used their aggressive base running to get themselves into scoring position early.
“If we can jump on them early, that was the goal to get on the board early and put the pressure on them. I thought our running game put the pressure on them,” E/P coach Jason Orman said.
With lefty Ian Wirt on the mound for the Rams, E/P wasn’t fazed as they timed him up on the mound and took three bases on him in the first two innings. Their running game did what it was supposed to by disrupting Riverdale’s defense, which became more error prone as the night when on.
“I thought we had some timely hitting and did a good job of putting pressure on the defense all game long,” Orman said.
All five of Riverdale’s errors came in the last two innings, but that was foreshadowed by too many passed balls and wild pitches in the dirt getting away from the catchers. The miscues allowed the Panthers to execute on offense early on and take control of the game.
E/P continued to add to their lead throughout the game, highlighted by a four-run fourth inning where the lineup batted around. Three errors by the Rams defense allowed in two runs while the Panthers continued to heat up with the bats emphasized by an RBI-triple from catcher Zach Inskeep.
“He’s getting hot at the right time, we’re pleased that he’s swinging the bat real well,” Orman said of Inskeep. “He’s got massive power, great opposite power to all fields and he’s showing why he’s our senior catcher.”
E/P scored two more runs in the bottom of the sixth putting them up by 10 runs and ending the game that inning due to the 10-run rule. The Panthers take on Morrison for the 2A regional final on Saturday at 11 a.m.
RIVERDALE 2, ERIE/PROPHETSTOWN 12
Riverdale 001 001 — 2 2 5
E/P 213 042 — 12 14 1
Ian Wirt (3ip, 8h, 6r, 4er, 2bb, 2so), Jared Richmond (2.2ip, 6h, 6r, 3er, 1bb, 2so) and Grady; Ethan Howard (6ip, 2h, 2r, 2er, 3bb, 9so) and Zach Inskeep. Multiple hits: E/P (McCullough 3, Hart 3, Ames, Inskeep 3); RBI: Riverdale (Patterson, Milroy); E/P (Hart, Coleman, Inskeep, Cole, Howard 2)