Saints in another dogfight, but Riverdale shows more muscle in Game 1

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 23, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; The Riverdale Rebels overcame an early deficit with eight runs in the second and got two more key offensive innings for a 17-10 win over the Trinity Saints Tuesday to take a 1-0 series lead in the first round of the Class A playoffs.

Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be Friday at Riverdale with a time to be determined. If Trinity wins that game, Game 3 will immediately follow.

Riverdale pitcher Seth Hay got off to a slow start on the mound in the first two innings but ended up pitching a complete game, his fifth of the season, to improve to 8-2.

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Hay allowed seven earned runs on 10 hits and five walks while striking out eight for the Rebels (16-5).

&uot;Once he settles down, he’s hard to beat,&uot; Riverdale head coach Kevin Raupp said.

Trinity (5-9) appeared to have gotten the early momentum by scoring three runs in the bottom of the first inning.

Gregory Ketchings walked, stole second and scored on a Ryan Rachal single. Walt Ketchings followed with a 2-run home run over the fence in left field for a 3-0 lead.

That lead quickly vanished and the momentum went right back to Riverdale with its eight-run rally in the second that chased Trinity starting pitcher Andy Moon from the game.

Moon allowed eight runs, four of them earned, on five hits while walking three, struck out three and hit three in 1 2/3 innings.

Eric Hester, Hay and Kyle Norred each had two-run doubles as the Rebels sent 13 batters to plate.

&uot;They did a good job of hitting the ball,&uot; Trinity head coach Jeremy Loy said. &uot;We couldn’t hold the mistakes. We couldn’t keep the runs down. Today our defense couldn’t keep us under control.&uot;

Trinity scored three runs in the bottom of the second on Walt Ketchings’ two-run double that scored Kyle Dunaway and Gregory Ketchings and Brandon Geter’s RBI single that scored Walt Ketchings.

&uot;I just hope we can stop No. 5 (Walt Ketchings),&uot; Raupp said. &uot;I knew he was good, but I didn’t know he was that good.&uot;

&uot;Walt Ketchings is hitting the ball so well lately,&uot; Loy said. &uot;If we can put some batters on in front of him, we can score some runs.&uot;

Riverdale scored four in the top of the third, keyed by Norred’s two-run single, to increase its lead to 12-6 off Trinity reliever Ryan Rachal.

&uot;He’s been struggling lately, but he stepped up big time,&uot; Raupp said of Norred. &uot;Our leadoff hitter (Justin Coe) has the team’s highest hitting average, but he struggled today.&uot;

Rachal lasted just one inning, allowing three earned runs on four hits and one walk. He was relieved by Brandon Geter, who allowed four earned runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings.

Trinity cut the lead to 12-8 with two in the bottom of the fourth, but Riverdale scored one in the top of the fifth and four in the top of the sixth to take a 17-8 lead.

The Saints cut the lead to 17-10 on Walt Ketchings’ second 2-run double of the game, but he was tagged out between second and third for the second out of the inning. Hay then retired the side in order to end the game.

&uot;You get 10 runs in a game you expect to win,&uot; Loy said.