Aaron Miller’s RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning scored Josh Church from third base and lifted Ashley Ridge to a 5-4 win over Summerville in a Region 8-AAAA baseball game Wednesday night.
The win evened the best-of-three series at a game each. Summerville beat Ashley Ridge, 3-1, on Monday night. Game three will be at Summerville on Friday night.
Miller’s heroics helped Ashley Ridge improve to 9-4 overall while Summerville dropped to 8-3 overall with its first region loss.
“They have a great team — good players and good coaches,” Ashley Ridge coach B.J. Bellush said of Summerville. “We kind of challenged our kids tonight. We felt like we played pretty poorly on Monday night and we asked our kids to show our community what Ashley Ridge baseball really is. Our kids played their tails off. Both teams did. We sort of had that ‘refuse-to-lose’ attitude and hopefully we can use this as a springboard and kind of get rolling a little bit.”
Summerville took a 2-0 lead with single runs in the first and second innings but the Swamp Foxes answered on Gabe Austin’s two-run homer to left center in the bottom of the second.
Freshman Ben Mitchum gave Ashley Ridge a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the bottom of the third and starting pitcher Cole Ayers made the lead stand for a few more innings. Ayers went five innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits.
Summerville grabbed a 4-3 lead with a two-run fifth — aided by a balk and singles from Rusty Grayson, Johnny Watts and Brodie Blanton.
Summerville starter Wilson Beattie went 52/3 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and eight strikeouts. Ashley Ridge tied the game in the bottom of the sixth on a two-out, RBI double from shortstop Kyle Watkins.
Reliever Donnie Sturm earned the win over Ashley Ridge, allowing just one hit over the final four innings.
“Donnie was big for us,” Bellush said. “He’s a guy coming off a UCL injury and he’s been pretty solid for us in the three or four times we’ve used him.”