Tigers back on top
In the game of baseball, it can take just one play to change the course of a game or even alter the course of a season.
The Ringgold Tigers will vouch for that.
Two separate plays in two separate games put the Blue-and-White on an emotional roller coaster ride last week as the Tigers went from potentially winning the region title outright to potentially losing the region title to being back in the driver’s seat once again.
North Murray 1, Ringgold 0
An error in the sixth inning allowed a Mountaineer to scamper home and it proved to be the only run of the game this past Tuesday as North Murray pulled into a tie with the Tigers for first place in 6-AAA and finished off a sweep in the season series.
The Blue-and-White had four hits overall, including Hunter Ricketts’ double in the fourth, Ty Jones’ single in the second, Andre Tarver’s single in the third and Holden Tucker’s double in the third.
North Murray managed just two hits in six innings against Ringgold starter Nathan Camp, but was able to pull out a win and snap the Tigers’ eight-game win streak.
Ringgold 5, Coahulla Creek 3
The visiting Colts came into Thursday’s game tied with Ringgold and North Murray atop the region standings and were just one out away from posting a 3-2 victory.
But with two runners on base, Tarver smoked a pitch over the fence for the three-run walkoff homer off Coahulla Creek reliever James Moore, ending the game 5-3.
The win, combined with Calhoun’s win over North Murray that same evening, put Ringgold back as the sole region leader with three games remaining.
Tiger coach Brent Tucker said he was ecstatic about the victory.
“I went up there and made a fool of myself,” Tucker said. “I was screaming and everything just like one of the kids. These kinds of games are exciting and are good wins for us. We were just excited—the whole team.”
Tarver’s bomb gave the Tigers their only lead of the night. The Colts led 2-0 heading into the third inning on an RBI-single by Tanner Cronan and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Trent Collins.
The Tigers battled back as Rhett Baldwin hit a two-run homerun to tie the game in the bottom of the fifth inning. However, the Colts would regain the lead in the top of the seventh as Cronan launched a solo homerun to put the Colts up 3-2.
Michael King, who replaced pitcher Spencer Hawkins, recorded the first out in the bottom of the seventh. Moore then relieved King and was able to get the
Colts within one out of winning the ball game, before Tarver got his hero moment with his only hit of the night.
Ammon Murphy was the winning pitcher for Ringgold, giving up one earned run and one hit.
Ringgold 17, Haralson County 1
Back at home to face the Rebels on Friday, Ringgold showed no signs of an emotional collapse after Thursday’s improbable win. Instead, they intensified their focus several notches and scorched the Rebels.
The region contest ended after three innings thanks to Ringgold’s onslaught of offensive firepower, which included 11 hits. Two players had perfect nights at the plate. Baldwin went 2-for-2 with five RBIs, while Tucker was 2-for2 with an RBI. Noah Parrish ended up going 2-for-3 with three RBIs, Tarver was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Ricketts contributed a hit and knocked in pair of runs.
Baldwin pitched a three-hitter, striking out three in three innings.
Ringgold (22-5, 13-2) will host Sonoraville on Tuesday and play at Murray County on Thursday. If they take care of business in their first two games this week, the Tigers will look to clinch the region championship at home against Bremen on Friday.
A region championship would assure the Tigers of a first-round home playoff series in the Class AAA state tournament, and perhaps a second-round series at home as well.
The state playoffs begin on April 28.