BIDWELL, Ohio — The River Valley Raiders, by both the dozen and half-dozen, were better than the Hannan Wildcats.
That’s because the host Raiders, playing their first games on their new field at River Valley High School, handled Hannan 12-3 and 6-3 in Saturday’s season-opening baseball doubleheader.
The first contest was called after four-and-a-half innings with the 10-run mercy rule, while the nightcap was also called after four-and-a-half frames.
In the opener, the Raiders erupted for seven runs in the first inning — before adding a single marker in the second to make it 8-0.
After the Wildcats scored three runs on four hits off River Valley’s Brycen Brumfield in the fourth, the Raiders responded with four more runs in the bottom half to make it 12-3.
Austin Ragan then pitched a 1-2-3 fifth frame for River Valley — with one strikeout and two defensive assists.
Devon McDonald was the starting and winning pitcher for the Raiders, as he allowed only two second-inning singles — while walking none and striking out six in three innings of work.
The only hits he allowed were second-stanza singles to Corey Hudnall and James Bledsoe.
Both clubs had six hits apiece, but three Hannan hurlers each allowed three walks.
Ragan ripped a triple to lead off the Raiders’ initial at-bat, as Dustin Barber belted a two-run double to punctuate the seven-run inning.
K.C. Collins in the first inning and Cameron Potter in the second had RBI-singles, while Andrew Mershon and Will Edgar also singled in the fourth.
Brumfield scored twice for the Raiders.
The Wildcats scored their three runs in the fourth by combining a Raider error, a double by Christian Holland, singles by Nick Hughes, Sawyer Casto and Austin Chaffin, and RBIs by Hudnall (sacrifice fly) and Bledsoe (groundout).
Similar to the first tilt, the second bout featured five hits by both squads, but the Raiders took advantage of six walks and a pair of hit batsmen by Hannan.
The Wildcats scored first in the opening inning, but the Raiders responded by scoring the next six runs to lead 6-1 following three.
Hannan cut the deficit in half to 6-3 in the fourth, but left runners on the corners after a pair of walks issued by River Valley’s Bailey Rhodes.
Wyatt Newman pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning which included a strikeout.
Kevin Morehart had a double and scored to make it 1-0 Hannan, but the Raiders forged the tie when Ragan walked to lead off and Brumfield plated him on a two-out single.
In the second, Lannis Gilbert was hit by a pitch before Jack Farley and Tre Craycraft both walked — as Ragan cleared the bases to make it 4-1.
In the third, Collins singled with one out, before Barber drove him in with two outs.
Morehart and Hughes had singles in the third, but the Wildcats didn’t score again until the fourth — when Bledsoe and Qualls both singled with Qualls scoring Bledsoe.
Dalton Coleman then reached on an error to cross Qualls and make it 6-3.
The Raiders return home, and return to non-league action, today (Tuesday, March 28) against Oak Hill.
First pitch is set for 5 p.m.
The Wildcats return to the road today — when they travel to Teays Valley Christian.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106