SHIVER ME TIMBERS!
A two-out, walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh by Riverside catcher Micah Goodwin drove in two runs off Northern reliever Ryan Williamson on Thursday, preserving both senior night and a perfect season in the PAC-6 4-A for the Pirates.
“It can’t get much better than that,” Goodwin said.
Williamson had intentionally walked Goodwin in the sixth, but Northern coach Greg Pruitt allowed the submarine-style pitcher to bring it to the Riverside senior when the stakes were extremely high.
Goodwin delivered big-time, along with Jonathan Rhew and Joe Wood, who both scored in the seventh after reaching on singles. Riverside’s Kory Behenna got on with a walk and scored the third run in the seventh.
In the third, Northern designated hitter Mack Fenlon homered to push the Knights out to a 6-2 lead.
The Pirates were on the ropes.
“Northern played their (rear ends) off,” Riverside coach Doug Simmons said.
“They have a good, little team,” Goodwin said. “They slap the ball around a little bit.”
As the Knights get older, they’re going to be even more dangerous, Goodwin said.
But Riverside has 10 seniors, and that veteran presence kept the Pirates steady when the Knights were rocking their boat, Goodwin said.
“They were up there hitting,” Simmons said. “They were aggressive. They were stealing bases. I know they’ve got a young team, but they’ve got a lot of good players. They’re going to be just fine.”
“We competed the whole way,” Pruitt said, taking nothing away from Riverside. “They’re a very strong team. They’re very senior-laden.”
Riverside made it to the first round of last year’s playoffs, and the seniors on this Pirate team remember that, Goodwin said.
“We want more,” Goodwin said.
The 4-A playoffs begin next week.
“I’m worried now that we won’t be able to come off this high and be prepared for Tuesday,” Simmons quipped regarding the postseason.
Going undefeated in the PAC-6 was not a preseason goal for Riverside, but as the season shaped up, the Pirates figured perfection was possible, Simmons said.
Goodwin making good on a two-two pitch in the clutch put the icing on what already has been a pretty sweet season for Riverside.
RIVERSIDE 9, NORTHERN 8
Northern |231 |001 |1 — 8
Riverside |101 |310 |3 — 9
BATTERIES — Northern, Adam Riddle, Ryan Williamson (5th, L) and Spencer Smith. Riverside, Will Hibbard, Blake Morgan (3rd, W) and Micah Goodwin.
LEADING HITTERS — Northern, Smith 2-5, A.J. Bumpass 2-5 (2B, 2 RBI), Griffin Baker 2-4 (2 RBI), Mack Fenlon 1-4 (HR, RBI). Riverside, Cory Crabtree 1-5 (2 RBI), Goodwin 3-5 (2B, 3 RBI), Morgan 2-4 (2B, 2 RBI).
Records — Northern, 8-13, 6-4 PAC-6, Riverside, 18-3, 10-0 PAC-6.