CENTENARY, Ohio — Say it ain’t so.
The Gallia Academy baseball team came up one run short in its quest for perfection Wednesday night following a 4-3 setback to visiting Portsmouth in the Southeastern Ohio Athletic League finale for both programs at Bob Eastman Field in Gallia County.
The host Blue Devils (17-6, 9-1 SEOAL) had both an 11-game league and a current three-game winning streak snapped, as the Trojans (4-12, 2-8) became the first SEOAL squad to beat GAHS since May 3 of last season — an 8-6 setback at Jackson.
The Blue Devils, however, are still outright SEOAL champions for a second straight season with a combined 20-2 mark during that span. It’s also the third league crown for ninth-year skipper Rich Corvin, as well as the 12th overall in program history.
Portsmouth — which lost to GAHS at home by a 17-1 count back on April 6 — struck early and ultimately held on, as the guests stormed out to a 4-0 lead through an inning and a half of play. The hosts countered with a run apiece in the second, fourth and fifth frames to pull within a run at 4-3, but the Blue Devils never came closer — despite some golden opportunities late.
Gallia Academy received a leadoff triple from Drew Young in the sixth and got another one-out triple from Ty Warnimont in the seventh, but the Blue Devils never managed to get either of those potential tying runs 90 feet further. GAHS outhit Portsmouth by a 6-5 overall margin, but also committed two of the three errors in the contest.
John Faro was the losing pitcher of record for GAHS after allowing four earned runs, three hits and two walks over 1.1 innings while striking out two. Bobby Dunlap worked 5.2 innings of relief for the hosts, surrendering just two hits and four walks while fanning six. Martin went the distance for the decision, giving up three earned runs and two walks while striking out five.
Warnimont and Kyle Saunders led the hosts with two hits apiece, followed by Young and Justin Bailey with a safety each. Saunders drove in a team-best two RBIs, while Warnimont, Young and Bailey each scored once.
Brandon Wedebrook paced the Trojans with two hits and Len Collins drove in two RBIs. Collins, Jacob Albrecht, Michael Sturgill and Kahlil Lattimore each scored once in the triumph. Even with the win, PHS still finishes last in the SEOAL standings for 2012.
Gallia Academy returns to action Saturday when the program’s annual Wooden Bat Tournament starts at 9:30 a.m.