The 2012 St. Matthews Babe Ruth baseball season got underway with a bang as the Braves rallied twice to seize a 12-8 win from the River Cats.
Both teams plated three runs in the first inning and were scoreless in the second before a four run Braves uprising gave them their first lead of the game.
Bennie Ruiz opened the frame with a walk, moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt, raced to third on Reed Hutchinson’s grounder to second and scored on a wild pitch. Connor Oliver followed with a single and Joe Zeiser blasted a double to left to bring him home. Bear Brown’s single through the left side plated Zeiser and closed the scoring.
The River Cats answered in their half of the inning with two runs when a Jack Tompkins single chased home Allen Orms and Tony Mastropaolo.
The lead changed hands for the third time the following inning, courtesy of a three run River Cats uprising. Josh Wilson got things started with a walk, stole second and third and came home on a Gabe Carter single to center.
Kenny Carter singled to bring his brother home for a second time in the game. Carter stole second and third and raced home on a Mastropaolo grounder to short.
The lead was short-lived as the Braves decided the affair with a five run fifth. Zeiser picked up his second RBI when he singled through the left side to bring home Ruiz and tie the game. A misplayed grounder to third allowed Hutchinson to score the go ahead run one batter later.
The Braves added insurance runs when the inning’s second error allowed Alex Barnum to reach and sent home Jack Farmer and Brown. Spencer Foreman’s single to left scored Clayton Krampe with the game’s final run.
Brown got the win despite giving up three runs in the fourth and Zeiser pitching a scoreless fifth to close the game. Kenny Carter suffered his first loss of the year. Zeiser paced the Braves offense, going 2-2 and scoring two runs to add to his RBIs. Mastropaolo’s 2-3 day, with two RBIs and two runs scored led the River Cats offensive.
The Babe Ruth season, for 13-15 year olds, continues through July 3 with five teams vying for this year’s championship.