OAK HILL, Ohio — Albeit it’s early, but the Raiders remained perfect.
That’s correct, as the River Valley High School baseball team is undefeated for its early season at 3-0 — thanks to capturing a 7-6 non-league win at Oak Hill on Monday evening.
The contest was originally scheduled to be played at River Valley, but was moved to Oak Hill due to poor field conditions on the Raiders’ home field in Cheshire.
On Saturday, the Raiders swept both ends of a non-league doubleheader with Eastern Brown — and already have won half as many games as they did all of last year (six).
The loss left Oak Hill at 1-1, as the Raiders ended Oak Hill’s season last spring by storming back to win the Division III sectional championship — the first in RVHS history.
Thus, both of the Oaks’ last two home losses have come against the Raiders.
On Monday, River Valley broke a 5-5 tie with two runs in the sixth inning, as the Oaks only got one of those back in the bottom half of the sixth.
The Oaks — facing Raider reliever Austin Ragan — did have the tying run at third base in the form of Cody Swann, but Ragan induced Owen Greene into a groundout to shortstop to end the inning.
In the seventh, despite allowing a walk to Matt Gilliland and a single to Riley Kuhn, Ragan escaped the jam — catching Kuhn stealing with two outs to end the game.
Ragan, relieving starter Brycen Brumfield, earned the pitching win.
He worked two and two-thirds of an inning, allowing one earned run on three hits and one walk.
Brumfield, pitching the opening four-and-a-third, scattered seven hits and three walks while allowing five earned runs.
The Raiders scored three runs in the first, followed by two apiece in the fourth and fifth frames.
After Oak Hill had scored twice in the first, it tied the game at 3-3 with a run in the second — followed by its two runs in the fifth and one in the sixth.
River Valley outhit Oak Hill 13-10, as Ragan, Justin Sizemore and Jamie Bainter all had three hits apiece, with Dustin Barber singling twice.
Bainter and Bailey Rhodes recorded RBI-doubles in the fifth, scoring Sizemore and Ragan respectively, who both singled.
In the sixth, and with two outs, Devin McDonald singled to score both Dillon Ragan and Bainter — as five consecutive Raider batters went to the plate off Gilliland.
Dillon Ragan reached on a one-out walk, followed by four consecutive singles by Sizemore, Bainter, McDonald and Austin Ragan.
In the opening inning, and off Oak Hill starting pitcher Michael Hays, Dillon Ragan and McDonald both walked — sandwiched around back-to-back singles by Sizemore and Bainter.
In all, Ragan, Sizemore and Bainter scored two runs apiece, while Austin Ragan collected one.
Hays faced four Raiders apiece in innings two, three, four and five.
Swann, Greene, Kuhn and Tyler Rice registered two hits apiece for the Oaks, including a double and triple by Swann.
Swann’s two-out triple in the sixth scored Rice, trimming the deficit to 7-6.
Gilliland, with an RBI-single in the fifth, and Sayer — with a single in the third — rounded out the Oaks’ basehits.
Swann and Greene scored twice and Gilliland once, as Gilliland walked three times and Swann once.
The Raiders returned to the road, and returned to non-league action, on Tuesday at Gallia Academy.
They return to the road on Thursday as well, by traveling to Rock Hill.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106