The Riverdale Chieftains plated seven runs in the seventh inning for a 10-3 win over the Ithaca Bulldogs in a non-conference baseball game at Ithaca Friday.
Winning pitcher Trevor Troxel homered to tie the game and Trevor Johnson’s round-tripper broke the tie and sparked the seven-run uprising.
The loss was the third of the season for Ithaca while Riverdale knocked off the third team it had faced which had been ranked No. 1.
The contest was a tune-up for the post-season. And while some bragging rights may been involved between players who have had a long history of competing against each other, it may have offered a portend of a tournament battle in 2016 when the clubs may be in the same division.
Ithaca coach Jeff Hilleshiem said the results may not have answered many questions on the eve of his team’s quest for a second state tournament trip. “We walked 11 batters. That’s a season high,” Hilleshiem said. “Five of the guys we walked scored.”
And if the walks weren’t enough, the fact that the Bulldogs wasted an opportunity to score in the sixth with the score tied, 3-3, added to Hilleshiem’s concerns. “We had runners at second and third with nobody out,” he said, “and we had three guys strikeout – two looking.”
Riverdale scored twice in the second as Jared Roen delievered a two-run single off Luke Oelke.
Ithaca came right back as Ross Ghastin crushed a two-run homer over the leftfield fence. Oelke scored on a wild pitch to give Ithaca a 3-2 lead.
Relievers Troxel and Nolan Clary took over and dominated until the fifth. Troxel cracked a home run to tie the game.
Then after Ithaca wasted a scoring opportunity in the sixth, Johnson homered to open the seventh. Then the roof caved in. Five walks and hits from Troxel, and Brett Hach broke the game wide open.