Fairbanks, AK – The Orange County Riptide concluded the final game of a three-game series with the Alaska Goldpanners Saturday night, winning 12-5 in a game cut short by inclement weather. The game was delayed by a lightning strike in the area and after a short delay, the umpires declared the Riptide winners due to poor weather headed towards Growden Park.
The win on Saturday was crucial to build team confidence after losing the first two games of the three-game series. The Riptide’s record stands at 2-2 on the young season heading into the Denali State Bank Tournament that will feature a four-team round robin format Sunday – Tuesday.
Mikal Ashley, a freshman from Johnson County College, made his Riptide debut vs. the Goldpanners, got the win. Ashley recorded his first victory on the season, bringing his record to 1-0. Ashley pitched three innings and allowed four hits, three walks while striking out two. Ashley left the game in the fourth inning with runners on base and ended his night with a 0.00 ERA.
The Riptide got on the scoreboard early with a sacrifice fly by Reed Spenrath (TCU), scoring Dwight Allen (University of Georgia) from third base. Ashley put up a zero in the bottom of the first and then the Riptide added three more runs in the second inning.
Tank Espalin (Indiana University) scored from third on a passed ball and Allen drove in Austin Kryszczuk (UNLV) from third with a single to center field. Jack-Thomas Wold (UNLV) sent a missile to the right field wall for an RBI double, scoring Allen.
Wold’s bat was not the only thing in his hands that helped power the Riptide’s win on Saturday. Head Coach Mitch LeVier tried Wold, typically an infielder, in Left Field. With the bases loaded and two out, Wold made a running, diving catch on the Goldpanners’ Grady Morgan’s (Chico State) shot to left field to end the inning and save two and possibly three runs. (Click the tweet below to see the video highlight.)
The dude hits like mad AND plays left field?@JackThomasW19 you are ridiculous.
Currently 7-0 with the Riptide leading. @mikalashley44 back to the mound. #ocriptidefamilt @CCL_Baseball pic.twitter.com/3oebRdwFrJ
— OC Riptide Baseball (@ocriptide) June 13, 2021
The Riptide offense kept attacking the Goldpanners in the fourth inning when Tyler Griggs (Central Arizona College) scored off of Wold’s base-hit. Allen scored another run courtesy of Eric Bigani’s (UNLV) infield single and Wold scored from third on a passed ball to end the inning leading 7-0.
Josiah Castillo (Pepperdine University) relieved Ashley in the fourth inning. The Riptide defense gave up three unearned runs by the end of the fourth inning but responded well with their bats in the fifth.
To start the fifth inning, Espalin scored from first due to an error after Kryszczuk’s hit to third was thrown wildly to first. Griggs drove in Kryszczuk with a single to right field and Bigani drove in Allen with a sacrifice fly. This burst of scoring stretched the Riptide lead to 10-3.
The Riptide defense only allowed one Goldpanners run in the fifth and sixth innings. When it was time to hit in the seventh inning, the Riptide added two more runs to their total. Griggs crossed home plate thanks to Bigani’s sacrifice fly and soon after Spenrath delivered another sacrifice fly to score Allen.
The game ended abruptly in the top of the seventh inning due to poor weather conditions. The Riptide were declared victorious with a final score of 12-5. This is the Riptide’s second win of the season and they are currently hold a 2-2 record.
The OC Riptide is back in action on Sunday taking on the San Diego Waves in their opening game of the Denali State bank Tournament. The tournament features four teams, the Riptide, Goldpanners, Waves and Berkovich Collegiate in a round robin format.
The Riptide will play the three other teams over the course of three days starting with the Waves on Sunday at 6:00 p.m. PST from Growden Park.
OC Riptide vs. Alaska Goldpanners June 12, 2021 – Box Score