Rutherford Hosts Callaway Baseball For Win Over Wewahitchka
The Rutherford Rams welcomed some very special guests onto the field prior to Tuesday’s home win over the Wewahitchka Gators, as members of Callaway Youth Baseball joined the team for a special pre-game session before then enjoying the Rams’ 14-9 victory. The recreational baseball team is based out of Panama City, and they were invited to warm up with the players and then stand alongside them for the playing of the National Anthem at the start of the game.
The two teams then put on an offensive display that would delight any baseball crowd.
“We were honored to host Callaway,” Rutherford manager Jamie Bukowski said. “We went to their facility about a month ago on a Saturday morning to host a three-hour clinic. I think it’s a valuable asset for a high school program to be involved in its local youth league. It gives our boys a chance to give back to the league that a majority of them got their start in, and it also gets the young kids excited about seeing where they may be able to play as they get older. The young players really bond to the older guys, and look up to them, and in turn our players really bonded with them.”
Rutherford (5-11) jumped out with the early lead with two runs in the bottom of the first inning, and added two more in response to the Gators’ first run in the top of the second. A six-run third inning broke things open and put the Rams in the driver’s seat to victory, but the Gators (0-16) refused to go quietly by rallying late for four runs in both the fifth and sixth innings.
The early offense provided enough of a cushion to secure the victory, as starter Noah Johnson picked up the decision. Johnson allowed one unearned run in four full innings, surrendering three hits and hitting one batter while recording eight strikeouts. The junior right-hander improved to 4-2 on the season.
Numerous Rams starters had multiple hits. Dillyn Richardson led the way by going 3-for-3 with a triple, a home run, two RBIs and four runs, and Preston Holland also scored four runs while going 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Mark Miller went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run, and Olandis Enriquez added a double and three RBIs. Johnson backed his own cause on the mound by going 2-for-3 with three RBIs.
The Gators also had a big day at the plate, collecting 10 hits total. Garrett Miller led the way by going 2-for-4 with a double, a triple, three RBIs and two runs, and Hayden McDaniel and Gunner Grogan were both 2-for-3. Xavier McDaniel was 2-for-4 with a double and Harley Redd went 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs.