A shutout on the road Thursday night by the Ravenwood Raptors baseball team (18-4, 10-1) led to a sweep of the season series against the Brentwood Bruins (18-3, 8-3) in a 6-0 win.
“The Raptors have a really good bunch and they played well,” said Brentwood head coach Bill Moore. “We got a little sloppy tonight.”
“Every district win is so valuable,” said Ravenwood head coach Danny Borne. “The work is not finished; we still have four to go.”
“This is our biggest rivalry,” said Ravenwood reliever Blake Bevis. “We competed and came out on top.”
“This is huge coming off Tuesday night’s game and beating them here at their place,” said Ravenwood left fielder Nic Raum. “It is coming down to the last couple of games of the season. We are hot right now, and hopefully we keep that going into the playoffs.”
In the first inning, Brentwood starter Paul Delligatti drew a groundout to first and fly outs to left and right field to keep the Raptors off the board 0-0.
Ravenwood starter Alex Sterling retired the Bruins in order in the bottom of the first inning, recording a strikeout and a pop out, plus a ground ball to first base.
The Raptors drew first blood in the top of the second inning with an RBI single from left fielder Nic Raum to give Ravenwood a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the second inning, Sterling was dealing as he retired the Bruins in order, forcing two groundouts to the shortstop and a fly out to left field to hold the Raptors advantage 1-0.
The Bruins stalled the Raptor’s offense in the top of the third inning as Delligatti collected a groundout to the shortstop and second baseman and a fly out to left field, keeping the score at 1-0.
Sterling continued to roll in the bottom of the third inning, forcing a pop out, ground ball to third base and a fly out to center field to keep the Raptor edge at 1-0.
In the top of the fourth inning, Ravenwood produced a four run outburst starting with an error on a sacrifice bunt. Left fielder Nic Raum picked up his second RBI of the night on a groundout to third. Shortstop Ben Severence and third baseman Myles Denton each chipped in an RBI single to extend the Ravenwood lead 5-0.
“Nic is a very talented player who had been struggling with the bat,” said Coach Borne. “This was his night. We have had it all season long that different guys have stepped up in the lineup when we needed it. We need him (Nic) down the stretch.”
“He is the guy that has been able to drive in runs,” said Bevis. “It is big for our team to have him in the back of the lineup.”
“I was thinking, just keep it simple,” said Raum. “We had runners on. I just had to put it in play and make something happen.”
The Bruins bats continued to struggle in the bottom of the fourth inning as second baseman Austin Johnson recorded every out of the frame catching two rocket lineouts, turning one into a double play to stay 5-0.
In the top of the fifth inning, Brentwood reliever Dean Huffman retired the side in order, catching a pop out and forcing a pop fly to third base, along with a fly out to center field to hold the score at 5-0.
Bevis continued the pitching showcase for the Raptors in the bottom of the fifth inning, recording two strikeouts and a fielder’s choice keeping the lead at 5-0.
The Raptors added to their lead in the top of the sixth inning when Brentwood issued a bases loaded walk to Bevis, 6-0.
Bevis closed the door in the bottom of the sixth inning by striking out the side. The final punch out came with the bases loaded keeping the score 6-0.
Brentwood reliever Henry Hanley kept the Raptor offense at bay, forcing a lineout to the shortstop, a groundout to second base and a fielder’s choice to hold Ravenwood 6-0 in the top of the seventh inning.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Bevis sealed the combined shutout for the Raptors, recording all three outs in the frame, with two strikeouts and a caught pop fly to sweep the Battle of the Woods series 6-0.
“The plan was to get a lead and get Blake in to finish it,” said Coach Borne. “We have not used him much this week, so he was really fresh. Alex showed a good outing on Monday, so we wanted to go with the guy that gave us the most pitches for strikes. It could have been closer because they had a lot of guys in scoring position, but we happened to pitch out of jams.”
“Sterling came out and just dominated, getting ahead in the count and getting batters out early,” said Bevis. “I came in and shut the door.”
“They (pitchers) just knew that they were going to give good defense and that we are back there for them,” said Raum. “If they just keep throwing strikes, we will help them out.”
Brentwood will host Wilson Central for Senior Night on Friday night.
“We can’t dwell on what happened tonight,” said Coach Moore. “That is the nature of our sport. We’ve just got to move on to tomorrow.”
Ravenwood will play Nolensville at home Friday night.
“This is a big game, because they are coming to our district next year,” said Coach Borne. “We’ve tried to play those guys home and away this year, and hopefully our guys respond.”