CHESHIRE, Ohio — While one contest was close and the other was not, the bottom line was a successful Saturday sweep for the River Valley High School baseball team.
That’s because the Raiders took both ends of a non-league doubleheader against the visiting Belpre Golden Eagles at Cheshire Field, capturing the opening game 17-8 before winning 6-5 in walkoff fashion in the nightcap.
The first bout went the full seven innings, while the second matchup was shortened to five.
The sweep raised the Raiders’ record to 6-7, while Belpre fell to 4-12.
In the second game, River Valley’s Jamie Bainter led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, then scored four batters later on one-out RBI-single by Bailey Rhodes.
Bainter moved to third on back-to-back intentional walks to Austin Ragan and Brycen Brumfield.
The Raiders had also scored single runs in the second and fourth frames, sandwiched around a three-run outburst in the third that erased a 4-1 Belpre lead and forged a 4-4 tie.
Belpre, by scoring a pair of runs in the second and third, built leads of 2-0 and 4-1 — before the Raiders took a 5-4 advantage at the end of the fourth.
The Golden Eagles got a one-out walk and a two-out RBI-single in the fifth for the 5-5 tie, setting up the Raiders’ winning run in the bottom half.
The outcome made a pitching winner out of Dillon Ragan, who worked the final two innings and allowed only two hits and one walk with two strikeouts.
Brumfield started for the Raiders, giving up four earned runs on only a second-inning RBI-single by Davis.
However, he walked six in his three innings while striking out four.
Davis went the distance on the mound for Belpre, giving up six earned runs on nine hits and four walks.
Bainter and Devin McDonald drew walks in the opening inning, but were left stranded on the corners.
River Valley’s run in the second came courtesy of an Austin Ragan single and a Brumfield RBI-double.
In the third, the Raiders got three runs on three hits for the 4-4 tie, as Dillon Ragan, K.C. Collins and Bainter all singled to lead off.
All three scored with Collins and Bainter collecting RBIs, as Bainter scored on an Austin Ragan sacrifice fly.
The Raiders went ahead 5-4 in the fourth — when Jack Farley roped a one-out double, then scored on a double by Dustin Barber on the next at-bat.
In the opening affair, the Raiders scored at least two runs in every inning, including three times in the first and fifth — sandwiched around two-run frames in the second, third and fourth.
Leading 12-8, the Raiders erupted for five runs in the sixth to completely put the game out of reach.
Belpre — by scoring three times in the second — tied the tilt at 3-3, before the Raiders led 7-4 entering the fourth.
The Golden Eagles then added a single run, but River Valley increased its lead to 12-4 following five — its largest margin of the game.
Belpre, which utilized four pitchers, cut the deficit in half with four runs in the sixth.
Austin Ragan recorded the pitching win for the Raiders, allowing four earned runs on four hits with seven walks.
He did strike out eight, however.
Ian Polcyn pitched the final three frames, allowing four earned runs on seven hits and two walks with three strikeouts.
The Raiders cranked out 18 hits, including three apiece by Bainter, Barber and Dillon Ragan — as Barber and Ragan doubled back-to-back in the third.
With two outs, Lannis Gilbert was hit by a pitch, setting up those two two-baggers — as Ragan’s went for two RBIs.
McDonald, Brumfield and Rhodes rapped out two hits apiece, as Rhodes racked up five runs batted in, including a bases-loaded triple in the sixth to make it 16-8.
Rhodes’ two-run single in the fifth made it 12-4.
Bainter — in the first and second innings — and McDonald — in the fifth and sixth — had RBI-singles.
George Williams bunted for a single and Austin Ragan doubled in the sixth, before Polcyn’s RBI-single to cross Rhodes made it 17-8.
The Raiders return to action today (Tuesday, April 19) by hosting Wellston in a Tri-Valley Conference Ohio Division makeup duel.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106