PEDRO, Ohio — Another good start. Another tough finish.
After establishing a 3-0 first inning lead during an 11-9 loss to Point Pleasant just 24 hours earlier, the Gallia Academy baseball team let a seven-run lead get away on Wednesday night following a 13-8 setback to host Rock Hill in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Lawrence County.
The visiting Blue Devils (3-4, 2-2 OVC) broke a scoreless tie in the top half of the second after sending 10 batters to the plate, which led to six runs on four hits, a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly.
After taking a six-run edge through two complete, GAHS manufactured another run in the third as Dylan Smith reached safely on an error and later scored on a sacrifice fly, giving the Blue and White their largest lead of evening at 7-0.
The Redmen, however, started their furious rally in the home half of the third after sending 11 batters to the plate, leading to six runs on seven hits, a walk and a fielder’s choice.
Cody Lewis led off the bottom of the fourth with a double and came around with the tying run on a Kaleb Kidd single, making it a seven-all contest.
Kidd eventually scored the game-winning run after Landon Smith was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and one out. Logan Hankins came home on a sacrifice bunt by Kyle Stanfield, giving RHHS a 9-7 cushion through four full frames.
Dylan Smith reached on an error to lead off the sixth and eventually came around to score on a groundout by Kaden Thomas, allowing GAHS to close to within 9-8. The guests managed only one baserunner over their final seven plate appearances of the game.
Rock Hill tacked on four insurance runs in the home half of the fifth to extend the lead out to 13-8, which eventually held up down the stretch.
The Red and White outhit the Blue Devils by a 16-6 overall margin, as the hosts also committed only two of the five errors in the game. Rock Hill stranded 10 runners on base, while Gallia Academy left four on the bags.
Hankins was the winning pitcher of record after allowing six earned runs, six hits and three walks over seven innings while striking out eight. Thomas took the loss after surrendering 11 earned runs, 16 hits and five walks over five frames while fanning two.
Matt Moreaux paced GAHS with two hits, followed by Smith, Thomas, John Stout and Braden Simms with a safety apiece.
Stout led the Blue Devils with three RBIs and Thomas knocked in two scores. Smith had a team-high three runs scored in the setback.
Hankins paced the Redmen with four hits, three RBIs and three runs scored. Kadin France was next with three safeties, while Lewis, Blagg and Kidd had two hits each.
Stanfield, Jaret Barcorn and Landon Smith also had a safety apiece in the triumph.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.