Play It Again
Getting back on the baseball diamond was the easy part. Playing a doubleheader the first day was the problem.
Well, maybe not that big of a problem.
The St. Joseph Flyers’ baseball season was on a two-week hiatus due to a European trip by the students. Despite the layoff, they went back to the field Saturday and swept the River Valley Raiders 13-1 in five innings and 16-6 in six innings.
“I was very worried how we’d play after a two-week layoff. We were a little sloppy at times and made some mistakes, but we pulled through,” said Flyers’ coach Greg Bryant.
Pitching was the key to the return. Tanner Riley fired a 3-hitter in the first game while Cody Blackburn, Joseph Unger and Justin Mahlmeister combined on the nightcap win.
The Flyers had just five hits in the first game but took advantage of 11 walks.
“Tanner pitched well and hit well. Unger, Mahlmeister and (Payton) Blair hit well for us and we maximized our runners,” said Bryant.
Blair singled, stole second base and scored on a ground out by Riley to make it 1-0 in the first.
After River Valley got an unearned run in the top of the second, the Flyers came back with seven in the bottom of the inning.
Mahlmeister led off the inning with a home run. Unger walked, Blackburn was hit by a pitch, Spencer Schwab put down a sacrifice bunt and Anthony Whaley reached on a passed ball to load the bases.
Blair walked to force in a run, Levi Hopkins grounded out as a run scored, Riley walked to reload the bases and T.J. Young singled home a run.
Another walk forced in a run and Unger singled home two more.
St. Joseph scored five times in the third inning on five walks, two hit batsmen, an error and Schwab’s RBI single.
In the second game, the Flyers had 10 hits led by Riley who was 2-4 with a home run. Blair and Mahlmeister went 2-3.
“Cody, Joe and Justin gave us good pitching in the second game and that’s what we’re going to need with all the games we have this week. We need some depth in our pitching,” said Bryant whose team plays nine games in seven days.
River Valley went up 1-0 in the first inning, but Mahlmeister had an RBI single and Riley hit a sacrifice fly to put the Flyers up 2-1.
The Raiders got two runs in the second on to have the Flyers answer with six runs in the bottom of the inning fueled by four walks. Young and Mahlmeister each had 2-run singles and Unger added a run-scoring hit in the uprising.
Riley had a 2-run single in the third inning and the lead was 10-3.
The Flyers got a run in the fourth and Riley belted a solo home run in the fifth to make it a 12-5 game.
The Raiders scored one in the sixth, but the Flyers used five walks, an error and an RBI single by Blackburn to score four times and end the game.
The Flyers (6-0) host South Gallia at 5 p.m. Monday.
River Valley 010 00 = 1 3 0
St. Joseph 175 0x = 13 5 1
Trey Noble, Goodrich (2), Tyler Smith (3), Goodrich (3) and Cody Smith. Tanner Riley and Justin Mahlmeister. W-Riley (11-K, 1-BB, 0-ER). L-Noble. HR-St. Joseph: Justin Mahlmeister. Hitting-River Valley: Tyler Noble 1-2, Austin Smith 1-3, Bradley Young 1-2; St. Joseph: Payton Blair 1-2, T.J. Young 1-3, Justin Mahlmeister 1-1, Joseph Unger 1-1, Spencer Schwab 1-2.
River Valley 120 021 = 6 6 3
St. Joseph 262 114 = 16 10 5
Cody Smith, Davies (4) and Young. Cody Blackburn, Joseph Unger (4), Justin Mahlmeister (6) and Justin Mahlmeister, T.J. Young (6). W-Blackburn (4-H, 3-R, 1-ER, 2-BB, 2-K). L-Smith. (Unger 2-IP, 2-R, 1-ER, 3-BB, 2-K, 2-H; Mahlmeister 0-H, 0-ER, 2-BB, 2-K). HR-St. Joseph: Tanner Riley. Hitting-River Valley: Tyler Noble 2-4, Austin Smith 1-3, Helms 1-3, Cody Smith 1-3, Young 1-2; St. Joseph: Blair 2-3, Tanner Riley 2-4, T.J. Young 1-3, Justin Mahlmeister 2-3, Joseph Unger 1-3, Cody Blackburn 1-3, Anthony Whaley 1-2.