Beyer rides high after upset of Downey
Apr 06, 2012 (The Modesto Bee - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Beyer High's Trey Ridenour hopes to recapture the electricity that made him a dominant pitcher two years ago, and he might have found it on Wednesday.
The 6-foot-3 junior lefthander scattered six hits, but more important to coach Paul Cornwell was Ridenour's control.
"He came out pounding the strike zone and never let up," said Cornwell, who handles the pitchers. "The inning he struggled, his fastball was up. But he came back in the sixth and he had something extra."
Ridenour went the first six and Conner Torres threw the seventh for the save as Beyer upset No. 3-ranked Downey 4-2 to stay perfect in the Modesto Metro Conference.
The Patriots (6-5, 3-0) entertain Downey (8-5, 4-1) today at 3:45 p.m. MMC teams play each other twice each week.
"If we can win again, taking both from Downey, it's going to a big week," said Ridenour (2-1), who walked one batter.
He struck out just three, but his defense turned three likely hits into outs. That allowed Ridenour to focus on strikes.
"They get to everything out there. The confidence I've got in those guys allows me to focus on strikes, rather than trying to be too fine and make every pitch perfect," he said.
In 11 starts as a sophomore, Ridenour gave up an average of four walks and finished with a 65-43 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He had 66 strikeouts as a freshman and just 25 walks.
In his first three starts this season, he allowed 14 walks.
"I got content last year and it showed," said Ridenour, neglecting to mention the groin pull he pitched with. "I'm in in better condition after playing a lot of long toss to stretch my arm, and more running."
Javier Claxton had the lone run-scoring hit off Ridenour, a two-run single in the fifth to cut Beyer's lead to 3-2. Gabe Garcia drilled a bases-loaded shot to the left side with two out, but shortstop Torres batted it down for the final out.
Ridenour had been beating the Knights with his low fastball, which most of the hitters were unable to get around on.
That fastball began to climb in the fifth and what had been groundouts became singles.
"He came back in the sixth to shut them down, which is what I want," Cornwell said.
Torres (1-1, 0.00 ERA) could get today's start, with No. 2 starter Tyler Coffey sidelined by a broken arm. Another option is Paul Conrad (0-1, 0.81).
"Ideally our starters will go seven innings, but it's nice to have a kid with Conner's arm for the seventh," said Cornwell.
Ridenour threw 81 pitches, reaching his pitch count. Downey's Nick Ippolito suffered his first loss after four straight wins, striking out 10.
Dempsey Grover's RBI double in the third got Beyer going, and he singled in another in the two-run fifth. Beyer got an insurance run on Joe Pedloe's seventh-inning single.
Coffey will miss the remainder of the season, but cleanup hitter Cameron Godfrey (.357 in 14 at-bats) could return as soon as next week after breaking his arm five weeks ago.
"We lose one, but get another back," said Mitch Munthe, who is coaching the Pats with Cornwell and Steve Clark. "It will be help our lineup to get Cameron's bat back in there."
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