If you’ve been following the South Range Raiders this season, you understand that the 14-15 record that represents the burgundy and gold this season can be a bit misleading.
There was no conference title to contend for. No banner to hang. No crosstown rivalries with old foes.
Where most schools look for sympathy in a situation like this, South Range stood tall and used a playoff mentality in every situation gearing themselves up for times like these. The Raiders played up to higher divisions the majority of the year. Teams like Boardman, Canfield, and the like. All to get ready for what transpired Thursday afternoon.
Waynedale came into the game favored for their record, and their history. They had been in this situation before and were eager to get back. However, it was the Cinderella story across the diamond that the sun would shine a bit brighter on a mid-day matchup. Freshman, Jake Gehring (6-2) would get the start for the Raiders and pitch an absolute gem. Gehring registered 11 strikeouts, and 3 walks while giving up only 3 hits.
Offensively, the bats shined in the mid-afternoon sun as the Raiders roughed up Waynedale ace, Manny Camacho. Led by the efforts of Junior, Ben Rivera, the Raiders jumped out in the first inning when Rivera doubled home Brandon Youngs. Waynedale’s only run would come in the third inning when Jarrett Varner would rip a 2-out RBI single to tie the game.
The Raiders realized at that moment, that they just took the Golden Bears’ best punch. So, in the top of the fourth, Josh Stear would get aboard, and Jaxon Anderson would give the Raiders the lead again on a sacrifice fly. Then it was the Seniors taking control as Mike Cunningham and Brandon Youngs would drive in some insurance runs to seal the deal for South Range.
Ther Raiders will face Grand Valley today at 5 pm. These two teams already did battle once this season, and it was Sam Brooks (who presumably will get the ball today) who pitched a shut-out against today’s opponent earlier this season.
YSN will have you covered with all the Regional Finals action at YSNLive.com/South-Range.