CENTENARY, Ohio — It took a little bit, but once the Blue Devils woke up, there was no denying they were the better team on Wednesday.
The Ohio Valley Conference leading Gallia Academy baseball team trailed visiting Chesapeake 5-0 midway through the second inning of Wednesday night’s clash, at Eastman Ball Field. The Panthers didn’t score again, however, and the Blue Devils roared back to take the 13-5 win.
Two hits and one GAHS (13-7, 10-2 OVC) error allowed Chesapeake to take a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning. The Panther lead grew to 3-0 with one out in the top of the second, as Casey McComas singled home Kelton Jones. With two outs in the second, McComas and Austin Browning both scored on a GAHS error, making the CHS advantage 5-0.
Chesapeake let the Blue and White back in the game to start the bottom of the second, issuing five consecutive free passes, which plated two runs. With no-outs and the bases loaded, GAHS senior Kole Carter singled in two runs, cutting the deficit to 5-4.
With one out and the bases loaded in the home half of the second, Braden Simms scored on an Eric Ward sac-fly, tying the game at five. GAHS seniors Matt Bailey and Anthony Sipple both scored with two outs in the second, giving the hosts a 7-5 lead.
The Blue Devils added two more runs in the bottom of the third, as Carter singled home Josh Davis, and Sipple singled home Simms. Gallia Academy scored twice in the fourth inning as well, with Simms tripling home Cole Davis, and then scoring on an error.
In the bottom of the sixth frame, Simms scored on an error and Carter was driven in by Sipple, capping off Gallia Academy’s 13-5 win.
GAHS junior Jeremy Brumfield — who struck out two batters in 5.2 shutout innings of relief work — earned the pitching victory for the hosts, allowing three hits and one walk. Blue Devils’ starting pitcher Ryan Terry allowed five runs, three earned, on six hits in 1.1 innings.
Browing was the losing pitcher of record for CHS, allowing seven runs, four earned on 10 hits and four walks, in 3.1 innings of relief. Chesapeake starter Jamey Mills surrendered four earned runs on three walks and one hit batter in one inning of work, while McComas gave up two unearned runs on one hit in 1.2 innings. Browning struck out three batters in the setback, while McComas fanned one.
Bailey led the hosts at the plate, going 3-for-4 with one run scored and one stolen base. Simms was 2-for-3 with a triple, four runs scored and two RBI, Carter was 2-for-5 with one run scored, three RBI and one stolen base, while Sipple was 2-for-4 with one run scored and two RBI.
Brumfield and Terry both singled once and scored once for GAHS, Zach Graham added one run scored and one RBI, Ward drove in one run, while Cole Davis, Josh Davis and John Stout each scored once in in the win.
McComas led the guests offensively, going 2-for-4 with one double, two runs scored and one RBI. Browning was 2-for-3 with one double and one run scored, Jones was 2-for-3 with one run scored, while Webb singled once and scored once in four at-bats. Kobe McWhorter singled once and drove in one run for CHS, while Dakota Blankenship added a single.
Gallia Academy had two errors and nine runners left on base in the win, while Chesapeake had four errors and six runners stranded.
The Blue and White also topped CHS on April 11, by a 12-1 count in Lawrence County.
GAHS is scheduled to finish a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League clash with Jackson, on Thursday, and then the Blue Devils will visit Portsmouth on Friday, in an OVC clash. A win at PHS will secure at least a share of Gallia Academy’s first-ever OVC baseball championship.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.