In what could well of been the warmest day of the calendar year so far, it took 11 innings for the Richmond Dragons to put away their local rivals Barons by a final score of 22-19.
The Dragons quickly applied the pressure by putting up 11 runs in the top of the first, forcing the Barons to turn to their Bullpen early and bring on Ace, Ravi Ravi. Through 5 complete, the Dragons were held to just 1 extra run through Dave D’urbano’s Sacrifice fly, allowing the Barons to slowly chip away at the deficient. Even with the outstanding pitching performance by Per Nilsson Eklof, The Barons eventually brought the game within reach heading in to the top of the 6th, with the scores at 12-11 to the Dragons.
The later innings turned into a bit of a pitchers dual as both Nilsson-Eklof and Ravi threw 3 scoreless innings, setting up a close and tense final 9th inning. The Dragons went out looking for some insurance runs in the top of the 9th and came through in the clutch with a RBI single by Sam Hofbeck and a bases loaded, 2 RBI single by Spencer Huet.
Heading into the bottom of the 9th and with a 4 run lead, Nilsson-Eklof nearly finished the complete game but the Barons wouldn’t go down without a fight, scoring 4 runs to level it up. After 8 and 2/3 innings and a total of 190 pitches thrown by the Dragons starter, they eventually turned to their Bullpen with Ben Carter coming in for relief. With the bases loaded, Barons failed to capitalise and Carter held the game at 15 a piece heading into the extra frames.
With fatigue and the heat kicking in, the Barons were first able to match the 3 runs the Dragon’s put up in the top of the 10th, but not the 4 scored in the 11th, which allowed the Dragons to close this one out by a final of 22-19.
The bragging rights belong to the Dragons for now, but they meet the Barons again in 2 weeks time for a Double Header at Connare Field.