HAVELOCK | On a chilly Friday night in Havelock, the Rams hosted the Jacksonville Cardinals on the baseball diamond for an early season Coastal 3A matchup.
Jacksonville took an early 1-0 lead when Timmy Appleton reached first base on a throw misplayed by Havelock.
Appleton advanced to second base on a wild pitch and two pitches later he reached third on a passed ball. With two outs in the top of the second inning, Will Carpenter hit a towering infield pop-up that would've gotten Havelock out of the inning, but it was misplayed by the infield, allowing Appleton to score the first run of the game.
Jacksonville was aided again by Ram miscues in the top of the third.
Cade Anderson reached first on an error and later scored on a double by Ryan Kokocha for the Cardinals.
Kokocha later scored in the inning on a fielder's choice to make it 3-0 Jacksonville.
The Cardinals threatened to score again when Andrew Vladyka led off the fifth inning with a triple that reached the right field fence.
Vladyka broke for home when Josh Christiansen hit a weak ground ball back to the mound and Vladyka was thrown out at the plate.
Vladyka caused the Rams trouble again in Jacksonville's top half of the seventh.
The left hander drew a walk, then advanced to second base on a balk by Junior Renwick, who came in in relief for the Rams in the top half of the sixth.
Vladyka then stole third base with only one out in the inning.
Appleton hit a sacrifice fly to right allowing Vladyka to score putting Jacksonville up 4-1 going into the bottom half of the seventh.
The Rams started the night off slowly at the plate, with Jacksonville's starting pitcher, Anderson, having alot to do with that.
The right hander had control of his pitches on the cold, windy night.
Anderson struck out 11 batters while allowing three hits and one unearned run thru 5.2 innings of work.
After the game Havelock's head coach, Matt James, said of Anderson's night, "he was very poised, very focused on the mound."
Not to be outdueled on the mound was Havelock's starting pitcher, Rayce Harrelson, who went five innings, striking out five Cardinals while only allowing one walk.
Havelock catcher Alex Verduzco started the scoring off for the Rams when he was hit by a pitch reaching first with two outs in the home half of the third.
He then stole second and later scored on an error by the Cardinals making it 3-1.
All was quiet from there for Havelock until the bottom of the seventh when Christiansen, who relieved Anderson midway thru the sixth, struck out the first batter of the inning.
Zack Sabdo, Junior Renwick, and Alex Verduzco all reached base on three-consecutive walks.
Harrelson singled up the middle scoring two runs, which knotted up the score at 4-all, giving the crowd some extra baseball.
Jacksonville went quietly in the extra frame giving the Rams a chance to win.
Travis Kosner started the bottom of the eigth with a single up the middle.
Jolerian Webb followed him with a single of his own, advancing Kosner to third.
Sabdo then laid down a bunt between the mound and first base, which was fielded by the pitcher, Christiansen, who tossed the ball home, and Kosner somehow managed to dodge the tag, scoring the winning run.
Renwick picked up the win for the Rams while Christiansen suffered the defeat.
Coach James said after the comeback win, "I was proud of my guys. They didn't quit. It's a great win, great finish, and the fans really enjoyed it."
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