Rangers can’t hold lead, fall to Fulton Falcons

Published 9:41 am Monday, April 3, 2023

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By Ron Marvel
Star Correspondent
In a game that might well be remembered for the wind gusts up to 40 and 50 miles per hour, the Rangers couldn’t hold the 4A  Fulton Falcons off in the late innings and fell 16-8.
Things couldn’t have started better for the host team as the Rangers jumped out to a 6-1 lead after the first inning; Logan Lewis would get things going for the Rangers as he hit a ball into the left field gap to score Brayden Powell. Jaycob Nidifer would follow up with a ground ball to past the Falcon third baseman to load the bases; after a Jacob Wilson walk plating Rylan Crabtree, Micah Gray would double on a hard shot to left scoring two more Rangers. Jamol Blamo would hit a hard grounder that handcuffed the Falcons third baseman to give the Rangers a 6-1 lead. The Rangers would extend their lead to 7-1 after a Nidifer single allowed Lewis to score, making it 7-1 after two innings.
The Falcons would slowly start to chip away at the Rangers lead, getting a run back in the third, making it 7-2. The Rangers would strand two in the bottom of the third after a Powell hard grounder to first would be handled. Rangers would assist the Fulton comeback with a couple of defensive lapses in the fourth. With the bases loaded, Falcon third baseman Cade Archer would hit a line drive, scoring two to make it 7-5 Rangers. The Falcons would then hit a hard ground ball to center to score two more, making it 7-7. After the Rangers couldn’t get much going in their half of the inning, Fulton would once again load the bases and take advantage of a couple of Rangers miscues to score six in the top of the fifth. Falcon shortstop Marcellus Jackson would hit what looked like a routine pop fly, but with the wind blowing so hard out to left, it carried and carried and cleared the left field fence; what looked routine turned into a three-run home run. After Jaycob Nidifer got a strikeout to end the inning, the Falcons had retaken the lead and had all the momentum with a 13-7 lead.
Landon Ramsey would hit a double in the bottom of the seventh to plate one more run, but it would be as close as the Rangers would get on the day. Logan Lewis would go a perfect 4-4 on the day, while Jamol Blamo would go 3-4. Landon Ramsey and Jaycob Nidifer would chip in two hits apiece. Logan Lewis and Jaycob Nidiffer would split time on the mound in the loss. The Ranger would tally 13 hits and steal eight bases on the day. Unaka will travel to play University High in a conference matchup on Monday.

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