PORTSMOUTH, Ohio — Even though the Blue Devils lost on Friday night, the Gallia Academy baseball team left Portsmouth with a piece of history.
GAHS — which dropped a 5-4 decision to the host Trojans — secured at least a share of the Ohio Valley Conference championship on the night, as second-place Fairland lost to Chesapeake by a 8-3 count.
This is the first year that the Blue Devils — who have won 14 Southeastern Ohio Athletic League titles in school history — have competed for the OVC crown and the Blue and White will win the title outright with a win at Rock Hill on Monday.
After back-to-back scoreless innings to start the evening, GAHS (14-8, 10-3 OVC) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the third, as sophomore Braden Simms reached on an error and scored on a wild pitch.
The Blue Devil lead was short-lived, however, as the Trojans scored two runs on two GAHS errors and two free passes in the bottom of the third. PHS added another run in the bottom of the fourth, as Michael Potts singled home Dylan Mullins, giving the hosts a 3-1 edge.
With no outs in the top of the fifth, Gallia Academy tied the game, as Eric Ward singled home Kole Carter and Matt Bailey. The Blue Devils regained the lead with one out in the fifth, when Ryan Terry singled home Anthony Sipple.
The Trojans tied the game at four in the home half of the fifth, as Reese Johnson singled home Ryan Williams. With one out in the bottom of the sixth, PHS regained the lead, when Williams singled home Potts.
Trailing by one, GAHS put the potential go-ahead run on first base in the top of the seventh, but the Trojans got the strikeout they needed to secure 5-4 win.
Williams — who pitched the final three innings and struck out four batters for the hosts — earned the pitching victory, allowing three runs, two earned, on five hits and two walks.
GAHS freshman Josh Faro suffered the setback on the mound, allowing three runs, one earned, on one hit and one walk in three innings of work. Blue Devils’ senior Marcus Moore finished the game on the hill and allowed two earned runs on six hits and one walk. Moore struck out five batters, while Faro fanned three for the Blue and White.
Blue Devils’ junior Jeremy Brumfield was 2-for-4 to lead the guests at the plate, while Ward had one single and two RBI in the setback. Bailey and Carter both singled once and scored once, Terry added one single and one RBI, John Stout was 1-for-1 with a single, while Sipple and Simms both scored once.
Potts was 2-for-3 with one run scored and one RBI to lead the Trojans, while Williams went 1-for-2 with one run scored, one RBI and two stolen bases. Mullins and Blake Weedebrook both singled once and scored once for the hosts, Johnson added one hit and one RBI, while Zach DeLotell had one hit and one stolen base for the victors.
For the game, GAHS had two errors and 10 runners left on base, while Portsmouth had one error and seven runners stranded.
This evens the season series at one game apiece, as the Blue Devils defeated the Scioto County natives at Eastman Ball Field on April 13, by a 13-3 count in six innings.
Gallia Academy’s final OVC game of the year will be on Monday, at Rock Hill.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.