CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — Getting back to .500 in a big way.
The Gallia Academy baseball team plated three runs in the bottom half of the fifth and ultimately held on Wednesday night for a 3-2 victory over visiting Jackson in a non-conference matchup of former SEOAL rivals at the VA Memorial Stadium in Ross County.
The Blue Devils (7-7) trailed 1-0 through three innings of play, but the hosts found some two-out lightning in a bottle during the home half of the fifth after sending eight batters to the plate.
Matt Moreaux and Andrew Toler stood at first and second with two outs in the frame, but Cole Davis responded with a single to center that allowed Moreaux to come home — tying the game up at one apiece.
Braden Simms followed with a double to centerfield that plated both Toler and Davis, giving the Blue and White a permanent lead of 3-1 after five complete.
The Ironmen started the sixth with a leadoff walk to Graham, then Neal drilled a double to right-center that allowed Graham to score — cutting the deficit down to 3-2 with nobody out in the sixth.
The Red and White mustered only one baserunner in their final seven at-bats, leaving a runner stranded at third base at the end of the sixth and also at first base with one out in the seventh.
Neal also tripled in Graham with two away in the top of the third while giving JHS a 1-0 advantage.
Both teams produced five hits in the game, with the Blue Devils committing the lone error of the night. The Ironmen left five runners on base, while the hosts stranded four on the bags.
Josh Faro was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, five hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out a dozen Jackson hitters. Graham took the loss after surrendering three earned runs, five hits and three walks over five frames while fanning three.
Moreaux led GAHS with two hits, followed by Davis, Simms and Morgan Stanley with a safety apiece. Simms knocked in two RBIs and Davis added another RBI for the victors.
Graham and Neal both had two hits apiece for the Ironmen, while Blackburn added the other safety for Jackson. Neal drove in both runs in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.
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