GREENFORD, Ohio (WKBN) – The South Range Raiders took advantage of a throwing miscue by the Lakeview Bulldogs to escape with a hard-fought 1-0 victory in Northeast 8 baseball action Friday night.  The win improves the Raiders to 9-0 overall on the season, 3-0 in the NE8.  The Bulldogs drop to 6-3, 5-1 in the league.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game just looking at who Lakeview has played and their scores,” Raiders coach Jim Hanek said.  “They are definitely a very good ball club and are well-coached.”

While the Bulldogs Blaine Barr and the Raiders Billy Skripac were mowing down batters one right after another, it wasn’t until the bottom of the fifth inning that the Raiders found a small crack in the Bulldogs’ armor and scored a run that ultimately became the game-winner.

The Raiders’ senior designated hitter Logan Cormell led off the bottom of the fifth inning with an opposite-field double over the Bulldogs right fielder Nate Foxx to put him in scoring position.  Then Raiders coach Jim Hanek called on the next batter Logan Baxter to try to bunt Cormell to third.

But on the second pitch, Cormell took off for third while Baxter missed the bunt.  Cormell reached third safely as Bulldogs catcher Alex Stowe’s throw to third went into left field.  Cormell bounced back up and raced home for the game-winning score.

“I saw that the third baseman was kind of pressing for the bunt, so I kind of made a heads-up decision to steal third and beat the shortstop (covering).  As soon as I saw the throw go past I hopped right up and went home,” Cormell described the action.

Skripac would pick up the victory (3-0) pitching six innings while only surrendering one hit and striking out ten Bulldog batters.  He would only issue three walks.  Dylan Dominguez would pitch a one-two-three seventh inning to pick up a save in the game.  Dominguez also collected two hits in the game.

Skripac would not surrender a base hit for five and one-third innings before the Bulldogs’ Jake Wilms laced a solid single to center field to break up the no-hitter.  But Skripac was so focused he didn’t even realize the fact that he had a no-hitter before Wilms’ single.

“I didn’t give up a hit until the sixth inning?” Skripac asked when questioned about pitching no-hit baseball.  “I didn’t even know.  I was focused on not walking anyone.  It’s not something in the front of my head, I’m just trying to win a ball game.”

The Bulldogs’ big threat in the contest came in the fourth inning when senior Cal Rinck led off the frame by drawing a walk.  He would steal second and race to third base when the Raiders catcher Konnor Brogan threw the ball into center field.  But that is when Skripac would buckle down and strike out the next three Bulldog batters, stranding Rinck at third.

Huge, huge inning,” Hanek remarked.  “The bulk of that fell on him (Skripac).  He was able to get some big, big punch-outs.  You’re in the back of your head thinking you’re probably going to surrender a run there, and then to not give up anything, wow!”

“We just had way too many strikeouts,” Bulldogs coach Cam Carson stated.  “No matter who is pitching, we just have to be able to put the ball in play in that situation to score a run.  We have to learn and be able to execute in those situations.”

The loss overshadowed a tremendous performance by the Bulldogs pitcher Blaine Barr who suffered the loss in pitching a complete game, six-hitter.  He would strike out four batters while only issuing one walk.

“It was definitely a close one, but one that we felt that we could have come out on top.  I told the guys that there are no moral victories, especially when your playing in the NE8,” Carson said.  “We feel like we can compete with anyone, and we expect to win games like this.  So we have to get better.”

The Raiders will attempt to keep their momentum rolling when they host Poland Saturday at noon in another key NE8 contest.  The Bulldogs are looking to bounce back when they host Newton Falls at noon on Saturday in non-conference action.