CANTON — River Ridge and Sequoyah poured in hit after hit Wednesday.
In the end, the Knights scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning to put the game away and win 13-8, but the nearly four-hour-long game did not come without a number of highlights, along with an incident late in the game.
Before River Ridge’s performance in the sixth, a woman in the stands was hit in the head by a foul ball, prompting a call to emergency services. After some time passed, she appeared conscious and seemed to be OK, but River Ridge coach Scott Bradley and Sequoyah coach Jason Eller met with umpires near home plate.
The discussion was whether to resume play or finish the game Friday at River Ridge.
“We were told we could not suspend the game, (so) we had to finish,” Eller said. “It’s a situation I don’t think anybody has ever been in, so we were in uncharted territory there. We just wanted to be respectful to her and her family.”
As far as the game went, River Ridge (21-6, 18-2) jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the top of the third after a single from Andrew Neubert, the starting pitcher, which drove in two runs.
Some solid baserunning and an error from Sequoyah tacked on two more runs, and River Ridge looked like it was in control of the game.
Sequoyah responded with a pair of singles from Kolby Kimberly and Bradley Gordon to cut the Knights’ lead to just one.
From there, the Chiefs consistently generated runs. Sequoyah took the lead in the bottom of the fourth on a ground-rule double by Kenskey Thomas that resulted in two RBIs.
Yet, each time Sequoyah (13-15, 11-9) got going offensively, River Ridge had a response.
Connor Donaldson’s double in the top of the sixth drove in two runs and was the catalyst that helped River Ridge pull away.
“We swung the bat really well,” Bradley said. “We hadn’t had an outpouring or a chance to hit like that in a while. … Super excited. If we can continue to swing the bat like that, with our pitching and defense, down the stretch, we’re going to be OK.”
The offensive showing was a bit of aberration in terms of how the Knights have played this season. Bradley said his team has 14 wins this year when the game is decided by two or fewer runs.
He said he likes how his team, which already clinched the Region 7AAAAAA championship prior to Thursday’s game, has responded in tough moments.
“In the past, we’ve had some guys get down on themselves or stressed out when they don’t play well,” Bradley said. “These guys, when the situation gets tough and tight, they seem to play better and rise to that occasion.”
On the other side, Eller said it’s his understanding that his team is in the playoffs as a No. 4 seed and will match up with Allatoona.
“We’ve been punched in the mouth a lot this year, and we’ve done some punching ourselves,” Eller said, “(but) I’m proud of us for coming back.”