Ryder Jones belts home run vs. Crawdads
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
HICKORY -- Ryder Jones did for the Augusta GreenJackets Sunday what he did for the Watauga Pioneers during the 2013 baseball season -- hit for power.
Jones, a former standout shortstop and pitcher at Watauga, belted a three-run home run in the fifth inning of Augusta's 9-4 victory over Hickory at L.P. Frans Stadium. The two teams hook up for two more games in Hickory, starting at 6 p.m. Monday and 11 a.m. on Tuesday.
It was Jones' first home run of the season. Jones took a 0-1 fastball from Hickory starter Nick Wiper and put it over the left-centerfield wall.
"The first pitch was a fastball in," Jones said. "He missed too far in, so I took it. We had guys on first and second, so I was looking for a fastball over the plate and he gave me one middle-out(side), so I drove it to left-center."
Augusta ended up scoring five runs in the inning to take a comfortable 7-3 lead.
Augusta pitcher Christian Jones took a no-hitter into the eighth inning before the Crawdads got back-to-back singles with one out in the inning.
Ryder Jones, who plays shortstop for the GreenJackets, extended the no-hitter by making a spectacular play in the field. Jones charged a slow-rolling grounder and threw to first base to get the out just before the runner got to the base.
Jones, who went into the game batting .258, went 2-for-5 from the plate. He also singled in the seventh inning. In his first at-bat, Jones hit a line drive to right field, but it was caught for the second out of the first inning.
He improved his average to .264, and his RBI total to 16. The GreenJackets snapped a six-game losing streak.
"The one in the first inning, I hit really well," Jones said. "You couldn't tell because it was hit pretty hard, but it had a little topspin in the end and that's just me and my hips going too quick. I hung in there on the home run and the ball had some backspin and it lifted."
The Crawdads eventually scored three runs in the eighth and another in the ninth. Augusta also scored two runs in the ninth inning.
Hickory won a pitcher's duel 3-0 on Saturday against Augusta after scoring three runs in the eighth inning
Jones went 0-for-4 in the game. Augusta was held to just three hits, while Hickory had just five. Ronald Guzman drove in two runs in the eighth for the Crawdads.