COAL GROVE, Ohio — In completing a cleanout of the Hornets’ nest on Tuesday, the Blue Devils completed a season sweep.
That’s because the Gallia Academy High School baseball team, with two victories in as many days over Coal Grove, made it a season sweep of the Hornets — as the Blue Devils defeated the hosts 11-4 in an important Ohio Valley Conference tilt.
Two wins for the Blue Devils on back-to-back days, as Tuesday’s matchup was a makeup that was originally postponed.
And, as a result, Gallia Academy — in addition to its fifth consecutive win —is now atop the OVC, almost by itself.
The Blue Devils, entering Wednesday’s conference clash at Chesapeake, were 8-3 in the league —part of 11-5 overall.
Ironton, idle on Tuesday, is only a half-game behind the Blue and White with a 7-3 conference mark.
Coal Grove fell out of a first-place tie with its latest loss, dropping to 10-5 and 7-4 in the OVC.
The Blue Devils downed the Hornets 5-2 on Monday, and had a similar start in the return bout — jumping out to a 5-0 lead after three-and-a-half innings.
Coal Grove got one run back in the bottom of the third, but the Blue Devils went off for six runs on three hits in the seventh —making it 11-1.
The Hornets had three points in their final at-bat, but by then, it was too little too late.
Gallia Academy, in tallying single runs in the first and fourth frames, amounted three runs on three hits in the third to lead 4-0.
The Blue Devils banged out 11 hits off a pair of Hornet pitchers, and also took advantage of four Hornet errors and five walks.
Meanwhile, Gallia Academy ace pitcher Josh Faro outdid Coal Grove’s Jeb Jones —as both hurlers worked the opening six innings.
Faro, for the win, gave up only one earned run on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
He retired the side 1-2-3 in the first and fifth frames, while facing four Hornets apiece in the second and sixth.
Dylan Malone led Coal Grove with two hits.
Jones, in suffering the pitching loss, allowed five earned runs on eight hits with three walks while striking out five.
Brody Thomas paced the Blue Devils with three hits, while John Stout, Jeremy Brumfield and Braden Simms chipped in two apiece, as Stout knocked in a pair of runs.
Wyatt Sipple and Dylan Smith both singled, as Sipple singled in the Blue Devils’ 11th run.
Stout led off the game by being hit by a pitch, and scored two batters later on Thomas’ RBI-single.
Stout then doubled in the six-run seventh, as Thomas also singled in the inning.
The Blue Devils return to the road, and return to non-league action, today (Thursday, April 27) at Meigs.
Paul Boggs can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2106