Fort Frye baseball eliminated at district

WARSAW – Ridgewood scored five first inning runs and starting pitcher Zak Keesee hurled a complete game, two-hit shutout as the Generals blanked Fort Frye 7-0 in a Division III East District final contest Tuesday at River View High School.

With the win, Ridgewood (16-9) advanced to the regional tournament in Chillicothe next week.

Fort Frye’s season ended with Tuesday’s loss. The Cadets finished the 2013 campaign with a record of 17-9.

The Generals saw their first six batters reach base in the top of the first. Brice Hammond led off with a single to left field on the first pitch of the game from Cadet hurler Casey Hall. Then Seth Bergeron laid down a perfect sacrifice bunt down the first base line. Hall’s throw to first was off line, allowing Bergeron to reach safely and Hammond to get to third. C.J. Grove immediately followed with a base knock to right to plate Hammond for the game’s first run.

Keesee supported his own cause by following with a single of his own to left to drive in Bergeron. Next batter Ryan Lowe kept the hit parade going with a double to left field to score both Grove and Keesee and make it a 4-0 game. After Dillon McPherson’s bloop single to right sent Lowe to third, a groundout to second by Gage Young brought in Lowe to round out the first inning scoring.

“That was detrimental,” said Fort Frye head coach Sonny Bidwell of Ridgewood’s first inning outburst.

“They’re a good hitting team. We just couldn’t get the bleeding stopped in time.”

Ridgewood will be making its third trip to the regional tournament in the last four years, and head coach Chad Lahna was pleased with what he saw from his offense Tuesday.

“Our kids did a very good job getting on base early,” he said.

Trailing 5-0, the Cadets had work to do. Spencer Lang led off the bottom of the first with a bouncing single through the left side and went to second on Chandler Lang’s groundout to third. After Spencer Lang went to third on a wild pitch, Hall grounded back to the pitcher, who fired home to retire Lang. Keesee then got Derek Layton to fly out to end the inning.

The Generals added another run in the second when Grove’s second hit of the game, a single to right, plated Hammond to make the score 6-0.

The Cadets had a few chances to put a dent in Ridgewood’s lead, but to no avail.

Fort Frye received bases on balls from Drew Layton and Spencer Lang in the third inning, but neither was driven in.

Chandler Lang singled with one out in the sixth and ended up getting all the way third, but no further.

In the seventh, after the Generals added another run to make it 7-0, Caden Brooker and Colton Shuster each reached base on consecutive errors, but Keesee retired the next three batters to end the game.

“Zak (Keesee) made some good pitches and kept the ball down,” Lahna said of his ace, who had three strikeouts and two walks in seven innings of work.

Grove was the only batter in the game with two hits. He, along with Lowe, led everyone with a pair of runs batted in.

“Ridgewood is a good team,” Bidwell said.

“Everybody’s gonna be good when you get to this point.”

Tuesday’s game was the last for seniors Spencer Lang, Brooker, Hall and Dylan Bowman.