CENTENARY, Ohio — A good night, from start to finish.
The Gallia Academy baseball team led 6-0 after two innings of play and plated 13 runs in the fourth en route to a 19-7 thumping of visiting Rock Hill Tuesday night during a non-conference matchup at Eastman Ball Field in Gallia County.
The Blue Devils (9-3) snapped a two-game losing skid by pounding out 11 hits and taking advantage of nine walks issued by RHHS pitching, which allowed the hosts to claim the wire-to-wire triumph.
GAHS dodged an early bullet as the Redmen (7-4) had the bases loaded with nobody out, but starter Seth Wills rallied with three consecutive outs to get out of the inning unscathed. The hosts followed with a triple by Gustin Graham that plated Gage Childers, then Graham came around on a groundout by Anthony Sipple for a 2-0 edge after one complete.
RHHS again left the bases loaded in the second, then Gallia Academy produced four runs on two hits, two walks and a wild pitch — allowing the hosts to secure a six-run lead after two full frames. The Redmen produced half of their hits in the third, which led to three runs and a 6-3 deficit after three complete.
Rock Hill produced another run in the top of the fourth thanks to an error and two hits, allowing the guests to pull to within 6-4. RHHS, however, never came closer the rest of the way.
The Blue Devils sent 17 batters to the plate in their half of the fourth, which resulted in 13 runs on eight hits, five walks, an error and a hit bastman — giving the hosts a commanding 19-4 lead.
Rock Hill scored three runs in the fifth without the benefit of a hit, but the guests ultimately ran out of outs — allowing GAHS to claim the mercy-rule decision.
Gallia Academy outhit RHHS by an 11-8 overall margin and left only three runners stranded on base, compared to the Redmen leaving 11 on the bags. Both teams committed two errors apiece in the contest as well.
Wills was the winning pitcher of record after allowing three runs, five hits and five walks over two-plus innings while striking out four. Aaron Dalton suffered the setback after surrendering six runs, three hits and three walks over two frames while fanning zero.
Graham led the hosts with three hits, followed by Kole Carter with two safeties. Childers, Sipple, Wills, Eric Sheets, Zach Graham and Matt Bailey also had a hit apiece in the triumph.
Childers drove in a team-best four RBIs, while Carter added three RBIs. Sipple and Gustin Graham also drove in two runs each for the victors. Childers, Gustin Graham and Ty Warnimont each scored three times for GAHS.
Jordan Hairston and Levi Wilds paced Rock Hill with two hits apiece. Hairston and Drew McClaskey each drove in two RBIs, while Jonathan Joseph scored a team-best two runs.