COSMOPOLIS — A Sunday afternoon in Grays Harbor proved to be the perfect ending to a week of unpredictable summer baseball chaos for the Dirtbags as the Rural Baseball Squad defeated Aberdeen 13-12 and 10-6 in a South Sound Senior Babe Ruth League doubleheader.
Earlier in the week the Dirtbags had a doubleheader against the Lower Columbia Baseball Club Roofers changed to a single nine-inning game on short notice. With just one game to play, RBI boys staked out a big lead before watching it all vanish and then losing in extra frames.
On Wednesday a double-header against Kelso Premier was wiped from the docket after the Premier club forgot to update their schedule. That same day the bad news got worse when it was announced that the Aaron Foote Memorial Tournament in Grays Harbor had been called off by the host team, leaving the Dirtbags with an empty weekend slate.
And while they had to wait a little longer than they’d have preferred, the Dirtbags managed to exact revenge on the Aberdeen Apes with a pair of come-from-behind victories at Pioneer Park’s Ken Waite Field to end the week.
In the day’s opener, RBI put up five runs in the second inning and entered the third frame leading 5-1.
With Woodland’s Mickey Woodward on the hill for the Dirtbags, the lead seemed safe but the Apes insisted on hanging around. In the fourth inning, Aberdeen backed up a walk with a pair of hits and plated two more to creep ever closer.
When RBI went to the pen, things got even worse with the Apes scoring eight runs over the next two innings to take a 12-8 lead heading into the seventh frame.
That’s when the RBI bats came back to life, scoring five runs on a mix of hits and walks. Chaz McFarland scored the game-tying run by stealing home and then Woodward brought home the go-ahead run with a flare to left field that landed 25 feet behind third base and directly on the chalk line.
Seizing the moment, Woodward returned to the hill in the bottom of the seventh and preserved the one-run lead to earn the save. Woodward pitched five innings in the game with seven strikeouts and two earned runs allowed.
Dylan Mills led RBI at the plate with three hits and two runs scored. Todd Tabor and Mateo Vodjansky added a pair of hits in the win.
In Game 2, it looked like the Dirtbags were out of gas as they were held to just two runs over the first six innings. It turns out they were just trying to drum up the drama.
Trailing 4-2 heading into their final at bat, the RBI guys again found a way to make the ball bounce their way. Jesse Towns reached base on an error to start the inning and then Todd Tabor made it hurt with a double that one-hopped the wall to score the run. Daymon Gressett then ripped a bounding double into the gap to tie the game.
In the extra inning RBI went off for six runs to earn the final advantage. Jake Comer started the inning off with a double and Gressett capped things off with a triple that hopped off the top of the wall in right field.
Woodward again earned the victory for RBI, this time by tossing the final two innings in scoreless relief.
“After having all those cancelations we switched things up a bit. Caught the Cowlitz Black Bears game on Saturday night and then camped out as a team,” RBI bench coach Nayt Taylor said. “Over the last 36-hours I think we got a lot better as a team.”
Rural Baseball Inc. (9-7) is scheduled to play a doubleheader at Warrenton, Oregon on Friday starting at 4 p.m.
Rural Baseball Inc. vs. Aberdeen
DIRTBAGS 13, APES 12
RBI 050 111 5 — 13 14 2
Aberdeen 010 245 0 — 12 9 4
Batteries: RBI — Mickey Woodward, Chaz McFarland (5), Austin Stout (6), Woodward (7) and Todd Tabor. ABD — N/A.
DIRTBAGS 10, APES 4 (8 Inn.)
RBI 100 100 2 6 — 10 9 2
Aberdeen 101 020 0 0 — 4 5 2
Batteries: RBI — Ryan Bloomstrom, RJ Workman (6), Mickey Woodward (7) and Todd Tabor and Daymon Gressett (6).