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Impressive loss for Knights

River Ridge doesn't back down against powerhouse Dunedin in 2-0 defeat.

By ERIC MUSKATEVC

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 23, 2003


DUNEDIN -- Facing Dunedin, the No.1 team in the Class 4A poll and ranked No.8 nationally by Baseball America, can seem a bit intimidating. Especially in the first round of a 34-year-old tournament the host Falcons have won 14 times.

But Saturday, River Ridge didn't look scared despite a 2-0 loss in the Dunedin Easter Tournament.

"We didn't embarrass ourselves," Royal Knights coach Jack Homko said. "I think our kids hung tough. This is their tournament and we gave them more than they expected."

Justin Roth pitched a complete game but lost his third straight. Roth gave up one run in the second inning when Michael Barbara scored on a Ricky Rogers triple. Barbara, who went 2-for-3, knocked his second single in the fifth, driving in Joey Angelberger for the final run.

"No.1 in the state and just two runs," Homko said. "Justin gave us a good effort and it's a feather in the cap any time you can hold a team like that to two runs. He held them in check I think."

Roth (3-3) allowed seven hits and struck out four.

On the mound for Dunedin (12-2), Tim Bascom (5-0) pitched a complete game and maintained his 0.00 ERA for the season. Bascom struck out the side in the top of the seventh to end it.

The Knights (5-6) stranded all four of their baserunners and managed three hits.

Doug Kneib and Kevin Kuryliw singled back to back in the fourth, but River Ridge could not capitalize. Jeff Durso singled for the Knights' third hit in the sixth.

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