It was an uncharacteristic performance based on the last month’s results for the Yellow Jackets. Minimizing its effect on Denison’s course for the playoffs will be the biggest takeaway.
“I hope it’s just one of those days we came out flat and just didn’t perform and that’s all it is, one of those game,” Denison head coach Charles Bollinger said. “It seemed like we came out looking like a last-place team.”
Starting with an error and ending with a shutout was not how the Jackets wanted their day to go as Wichita Falls Rider defeated Denison, 7-0, in District 5-5A action on Friday afternoon.
Christian Ruebeck and Luke Kirkbride had singles for Denison (13-7, 3-1), which saw a six-game winning streak snapped and fell into a second-place tie with Denton Braswell and a game back of Denton.
The Jackets committed six errors and three pitchers combined to walk nine as Denison fell behind quickly and struggled to get anything going offensively.
“We did nothing well,” Bollinger said. “It didn’t look like the same team from any standpoint. Let’s get back to work and playing better as a team. Everything’s important. Dropping pop-ups. Get a guy 0-2 and then walk him. Every pitch matters.”
Maverick Folmer allowed just four Yellow Jackets to reach base and struck out 13 in six and two thirds innings to get the victory for Rider (8-12, 4-2), which bounced back from losing to the Jackets, 8-3, on Wednesday and is alone in fourth place.
“Confidence after a couple innings of shutting us down, he got in a groove,” Bollinger said.
Denison has a big series this week since it takes on Denton with the game Tuesday at home.
“Hopefully we’re going to bounce back and react from how we played today,” Bollinger said. “I expect us to.”
After Wilson Kirkbride was hit by a pitch to open the game and stole second, Folmer retired 16 straight Yellow Jackets, including six consecutive strikeouts from the second to the fourth inning, before Seth Thomas reached on a one-out error in the sixth.
Ruebeck singled past a diving Preston Lacy at third with two outs in the inning but the threat ended there.
Luke Kirkbride had a one-out infield single to short in the seventh. Garrett Maxwell was hit by a pitch with two outs against Lacy.
Rider closed out the scoring with one-out back-to-back doubles in the seventh as Rayce Radtke had his second RBI two-bagger in three innings.
T.J. Stewart came on in relief in the sixth and a wild pitch put Denison down by six runs.
Radtke had a two-out RBI double to right field in the fifth for a 5-0 advantage.
In the top of the second, the Raiders scored three times with only one hit. Grayson Coates led off with a walk, went to second on an errant pickoff throw and was sacrificed to third. Jerry Montijo walked and Radtke reached on an infield single when the ball came back fair along the third-base line.
Back-to-back errors by Wilson Kirkbride at short scored runs and then Logan Wissinger walked with the bases loaded to make it 4-0.
Jacob Monroe relieved Ruebeck in the third inning with one out and two runners on via walks to keep the deficit at four. Monroe struck out five in two and two-thirds innings of relief.
Rider jumped right to the lead in the first inning when Radtke led off the game reaching on a dropped fly ball in left by Emery, went to second on an errant pickoff throw and scored on Hunter Klasse’s RBI single to center. The lead stayed there despite Rider having two runners on as Ruebeck struck out the final two batters looking.