Blue Devils slip past Rock Hill, 4-3

By Alex Hawley -

CENTENARY, Ohio — Now that’s coming through in the clutch.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the eighth inning, the Gallia Academy baseball team got a game-winning single by sophomore Braden Simms, giving the Blue Devils a 4-3 win over Ohio Valley Conference guest Rock Hill.

The Redmen (6-5, 2-5 OVC) took an early lead as Cody Lewis singled home Jake Bragg with one out in the first inning. RHHS added two more runs in the first, as Kyle Stanfield came through with a two-out single, that plated Heath Carpenter and Seth McFann.

Gallia Academy (7-5, 3-1 OVC) began chipping away at the three-run deficit in the bottom of the second inning, when Eric Ward scored on a Ryan Terry sac-fly.

After Simms scored on a Matt Bailey sac-fly in the bottom of the third inning, the Blue Devils tied the game when Ward singled home Kole Carter later in the frame.

After four scoreless frames, the teams were set for extra baseball, still tied at three. The Redmen were retired in order in the top of the eighth, but the guests recorded back-to-back outs to start the bottom of the frame. Blue Devils senior Marcus Moore drew a base on balls and then advance to third on a two-out single by Terry.

The Redmen intentionally walked John Stout to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. Then, Simms came through with a single to right field, plating Moore and giving the Blue and White a 4-3 win.

Along with scoring the game-winning run, Moore earned the pitching victory for the Blue Devils, as he threw 4.2 shutout innings in relief. Moore struck out four batters and allowed three hits. GAHS freshman southpaw Josh Faro struck out three batters in 3.1 innings and was given a no decision, after allowing three earned runs on seven hits and one walk.

Lewis took the loss on the mound for Rock Hill, allowing four earned runs on 10 hits and one walk in 7.2 innings. Lewis struck out two batters in the setback. Seth McFann pitched to the final two batters of the game and gave up one hit and one walk.

Simms led the Blue Devils at the plate, going 3-for-4 with with one double, two singles, one run scored and one RBI. Ward was 2-for-4 with two singles, one run scored and one RBI for GAHS, while Carter doubled once and scored once. Terry and Bailey both went 1-for-3 with one single and one RBI, Stout was 1-for-3 with a single and a stolen base, while Anthony Sipple and Jeremy Brumfield each singled once.

Stanfield was 3-for-3 with three singles and two RBI to lead the Red and White, while Carpenter added two singles, one run scored and one stolen base in three at-bats. Landon Smith singled twice and stole one base for the guests, Blagg and McFann both singled once and scored once, while Lewis had one single and one RBI in the setback.

For the game, GAHS had nine runners left on base, while Rock Hill stranded six runners. The Redmen committed the game’s lone error.

The Blue Devils will look to sweep the Redmen on May 2, when these squads clash in Pedro.

Gallia Academy returns to the diamond on Monday, when they will host Ironton in an OVC clash. The Blue Devils and Fighting Tigers will also finish their game from April 1, which was tied at four and suspended due to darkness.

Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.

By Alex Hawley