T.L. Hanna finished with a 4-2 edge in home runs, but Ridge View emerged as a 9-8 winner in Monday’s Class 4A District II elimination game at the Blazers cozy field.
“We have a pretty small park, but there were some real shots in the game that would have gone out of most places,” said Blazers coach Tommy Hill. “We got one more run, and that’s all that matters at this point.”
Ridge View (16-9) moves on the district finals on Wednesday at Dorman needing two wins to advance to the Upper State championship tournament. Dorman beat the Blazers 4-2 in the second round on Saturday.
“We have to win one game first, then we’ll worry about the second one,” said Hill. “If we get it that far, anything can happen.”
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The visiting Yellow Jackets from Anderson slugged three homers off RV starter Andrew Hill and had a 7-4 lead entering the bottom of the sixth inning. Here, the Blazers erupted for four runs to take the lead for good. Hughston Armstrong’s sacrifice fly allowed the go-ahead run to score.
Tony Price came on for Hill and pitched perfect relief innings in the fifth and sixth, and belted what proved to be a decisive solo home run in the bottom of the sixth for a 9-7 Blazers lead.
Price served up a solo homer to the first man he faced in the seventh, compelling manager Hill to bring in Scotty Baldwin to close the deal. Baldwin promptly retired all three batters he faced to record his third save of the season.
Hill said Baldwin is the choice to start tomorrow at Dorman.
Julio Iglesias copnnected on a long shot for Ridge View's other home run.