DAVISVILLE - Visiting Ritchie County won its way into the LKC baseball playoffs for the fourth straight year Tuesday afternoon with a 10-5 triumph over Parkersburg Catholic at Marshall Field.
The Rebels, now 15-10 overall, broke open a close game versus the Crusaders (14-11) with a five-run sixth inning uprising to extend an only 5-4 lead to a 10-4 advantage.
In the decisive frame, Ritchie leadoff hitter Dylan Frye slugged a solo homer, three runs crossed on Catholic errors and DH Rayce Bolin belted an RBI double.
The Crusaders closed to within 10-5 in the bottom of the seventh on Nick Roedersheimer's RBI double before a double play ended the game.
With the victory, the Rebels clinched the No. 2 spot in the LKC North standings at 9-3, behind just St. Marys at 10-2. Ritchie will face LKC South champion Gilmer County at 7 p.m. Thursday in the LKC playoff semifinals at Roane County High School in Spencer, preceded at 5 p.m. by St. Marys against LKC South runner-up Clay County. The winners then play at Roane Friday for the LKC crown.
Catholic led 1-0 on Roedersheimer's bases-loaded walk in the first, but Ritchie went ahead 2-1 in the top of the third on Seth Cottrill's run-scoring groundout and Tyler Reed's RBI single. However, the Crusaders, finishing 7-5 in the LKC North, went back on top 3-2 in their half of the third on an error and Roedersheimer's first RBI double of the game.
The Rebels, though, regained the lead again at 5-3 with a three-run fourth on Cottrill's RBI infield single and D.J. Burgess' two-run base hit.
Catholic got a run back, edging within 5-4, in the fifth on a RBI single by Jake Boice before Ritchie's five-run frame to notch the win.
Ritchie has now qualified for the LKC playoffs all four years since Dan Vanoy took over the Rebel baseball helm with its highest finish in that span being conference runner-up.
Burgess pitched the first four innings for Ritchie with Andrew Davis hurling the last three frames, surrendering only three hits.
For Catholic, Andrew Cinalli went the entire game on the mound with six strikeouts and three walks.
''We were putting the ball in play, putting pressure on them and all of a sudden, we started making a bunch of errors,'' said Catholic head coach Tom Harvey. ''You've got to value the baseball - I've probably said that 10,000 times this year.
''But Ritchie did a good job. They hit the ball and then they capitalized on our errors, plus we had some base-running mistakes.''