High school baseball: Ironwood Ridge 18, Canyon del Oro 6, 5 innings: Nighthawks avenge loss with 4 homers

I-Ridge jumps on CDO early with back-to-back shots
2013-04-03T00:00:00Z High school baseball: Ironwood Ridge 18, Canyon del Oro 6, 5 innings: Nighthawks avenge loss with 4 homersJason Harris Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 03, 2013 12:00 am  • 

For the second time in less than a week bitter rivals Ironwood Ridge and Canyon del Oro got together to battle it out.

After falling behind early in their eventual loss to CDO last Wednesday, the Nighthawks returned the favor at home on Tuesday, jumping out to a comfortable lead on their way to an 18-6 victory in five innings.

The win kept Ironwood Ridge (15-3) undefeated at home and snapped an eight-game winning streak for the Dorados (12-5).

"They got some balls elevated, and they made the most of some errors we haven't been making recently," CDO coach Steve Ambuehl said. "Against anybody, but especially against Ironwood Ridge, you have to eliminate those mistakes."

I-Ridge, which leads the state in RBIs with 199, finished the day with four home runs, including back-to-back blasts by senior sluggers Jake Matthews and Devin Harrison, for the second time this season, to extend the Nighthawks' lead to 9-1 after two innings.

"My first at-bat wasn't too good," Matthews said. "I let a fastball get by. I took advantage of the same pitch on the next at-bat."

The two-run shot to deep-center was Matthews' sixth of the year.

Harrison, who was tied for second in the state with 32 RBIs heading into the game, wasn't satisfied with just one long ball.

Doubling his season homer total, Harrison hit another blast in the fourth inning, a three-run shot to push I-Ridge's lead to 15-6 and give him four RBIs on the day.

"There were people in scoring position," Harrison said. "I was just trying to put something in play and keep my RBIs up."

Junior Ryan Windish sent the Dorados home for the day with his three-run home run just inside the right field foul pole in the fifth.

Sparingly used senior pitcher Sean Dannenbaum was credited for the win. He asked for the ball after last week's loss to the Dorados.

"He did a good job keeping us right there," Ironwood Ridge coach Dennis Toia said.

"As a coach, that's one thing you want - a guy who wants the moment."

Dannenbaum struck out three and gave up six runs in 3 1/3 innings before giving way to junior Alex Nolan, after CDO sophomore Nick Ames hit a towering three-run homer to cut the Nighthawks' lead to 12-6.

Ames finished the game 3 for 3, with four RBIs and two runs. CDO senior Brandon Burke homered and also went 3 for 3.

"The rivalry is there, especially with social media and everything," Ames said about facing the Nighthawks. "We split, so hopefully if we see them again in the playoffs, we can win when it matters."

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