BIDWELL, Ohio — To quote the immortal words of Lou Brown, “It’s all starting to come together Pepper. Starting to come together.”
The River Valley baseball team made another major league leap on Tuesday by securing its first winning streak of the year with a 9-7 victory over visiting Ironton Saint Joseph in a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The host Raiders (3-10) claimed their second straight home win in 24 hours, and did so emphatically after plating six runs in the third for a permanent cushion.
The Flyers (11-5) — who led 2-0 after a half inning of play — traded runs with the Silver and Black over the next two frames and trailed 9-5 through five complete, then added a run in each of their final two at-bats before ultimately coming up two runs short.
RVHS — which picked up its first home win against Nelsonville-York on Monday — has now won three of its last five outings overall.
Trailing 2-0 entering the bottom of the third, the Raiders sent 10 batters to the plate and yielded six runs on seven hits and a walk.
Blaine Cline doubled home Chase Caldwell and Dalton Mershon with one away, then Andrew Mershon dingled home Cline with the eventual game-winner for a 3-2 edge.
Alex Euton stole home, then Joel Horner doubled in both Chase Kemper and Andrew Mershon for a 6-2 advantage through three complete.
Three singles and an error allowed the Purple and Gold to close back to within 6-4 in the fourth, but a bases-loaded walk to Andrew Mershon plated Dalton Mershon for a 7-4 edge.
ISJHS had a run balked in during the top of the fifth, but the hosts answered with two scores in the home half of the frame as Caldwell scored on a passed ball and Dalton Mershon came in on an Euton single — making it a 9-5 contest.
Salisby singled in Mahleat in the sixth for a 9-6 contest, then Wilds singled home Wayley in the seventh to wrap up the two-run outcome.
The Flyers outhit River Valley by a 14-13 overall margin and also committed only one of the four errors in the contest. RVHS stranded eight runners on base, while the guests left five on the bags.
Andrew Mershon was the winning pitcher of record after allowing five earned runs and 14 hits over seven innings while striking out four. Rowe took the loss after surrendering nine runs (nine earned), 12 hits and four walks over 4.2 frames while fanning six.
Euton and Caldwell led the Raiders with three hits apiece, followed by Cline and Dalton Mershon with two safeties each. Horner, Wyatt Halfhill and Andrew Mershon also chipped in a hit apiece for the victors.
Cline, Horner and Andrew Mershon drove in two RBIs each. Dalton Mershon also scored three times.
Vaga paced ISJHS with three hits, with Sheridan, Wayley, Wilds and Mahleat adding two safeties apiece. Wilds drove in a team-high two RBIs, while Sheridan, Wayley and Mahleat crossed home plate twice.
River Valley hosted Athens on Wednesday and returns to action Thursday when it faces Southeastern at the VA Memorial Stadium in Chillicothe. First pitch is slated for 7:30 p.m.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.