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NEW PORT RICHEY — The last thing River Ridge thought it could pull off in its third game in three days was blowing out an upstart Wiregrass Ranch club.
But after a 5-0 loss to Land O’Lakes this past Friday, the Royal Knights have reeled off wins over Nature Coast and Fivay and can add a third to their streak after routing Wiregrass 11-1 in five innings Thursday night.
“I never saw this,” River Ridge coach Jack Homko said. “We’ve won three in a row, including wins over Nature Coast and Fivay, but I never expected this.
“Honestly, we haven’t been playing up to our abilities lately. Pitching was good and fielding went really well. We hit two home runs tonight and previously we haven’t hit two all year. Hopefully this win jump-starts us.”
Luck hasn’t been on the side of Wiregrass Ranch (5-3) lately and in the top of the first, Bulls ace John Michael Gant fouled a pitch off his leg and hobbled off the field. Coach Jeff Swymer said Gant would be questionable to pitch today against Citrus.
The Knights (5-4), who improved to 2-2 at home, scored two runs in the bottom of the first as senior Matt Heimann nailed a single to left that scored Joe Schiro and Cody Boland. After Tommy Peterson’s home run in the third inning gave River Ridge a 3-0 lead, the Knights started to pour it on in fourth and fifth innings. Boland connected off a Harry Olsen offering and sailed a two-run shot over the rightfield fence for a 7-1 lead.
“We were trying to give the guys a little more fun,” Swymer said. “A little more fun got us an 11-1 loss. That lasted two games and that’s enough.
“We’re going back to playing our game.”