Blue Devils hold off Coal Grove, 8-7

By Alex Hawley -

CENTENARY, Ohio — Nothing caps off a long week better than a win.

The Gallia Academy baseball team played a league game for the sixth consecutive day on Saturday afternoon at Eastman Ball Field, and the Blue Devils improved to 4-2 in the week, topping Ohio Valley Conference guest Coal Grove by a 8-7 count.

After a scoreless first inning, the Hornets (3-6, 1-6 OVC) scored five runs on three hits and five walks in the top of the second stanza.

Gallia Academy (8-6, 4-1) countered with four runs on five hits and one walk in the bottom of the second, which was highlighted by a two-run, two-out Anthony Sipple single.

The Blue Devils took the lead in the bottom of the fourth, as Jeremy Brumfield singled home Kole Carter, and Ryan Terry singled home Matt Bailey. GAHS wasn’t done scoring in the fourth inning, however, as senior Eric Ward scored on an error to make the hosts’ lead 7-5.

Coal Grove pulled within one run in the top of the sixth inning, as Jeb Jones singled home Jacob Clark. However, Gallia Academy got the run back in the bottom of the sixth, when Terry drove in Ward.

With one out in the top of the seventh, the Hornets again trimmed the deficit to one run, as Clark singled home Jordan Case. Daniel Rutherford drew a walk to load the bases for the guests, but GAHS executed a 1-6-3 double play to cap off the 8-7 home victory.

Terry threw 4.2 innings in relief and earned the pitching victory for the Blue and White, striking out five, while allowing two unearned runs on six hits. GAHS senior Marcus Moore earned the save on the mound, giving up one walk, while recording the final two outs. Carter started on the hill for the Blue Devils and he surrendered five earned runs on four hits and six walks. Carter struck out four batters in 1.2 innings of work.

Coal Grove’s Dylan Malone was the losing pitcher of record, after allowing eight runs, seven earned, on 11 hits and two walks. Malone struck out two batters and pitched a complete game.

Terry also led Gallia Academy at the plate, going 3-for-3 with one run scored and two runs batted in. Bailey was 2-for-3 with one run scored and one stolen base for the hosts, Brumfield was 2-for-3 with one RBI, while Carter singled once, scored twice and drove in one run.

Sipple singled once and drove in two runs for the Blue Devils, John Stout singled once, scored once and stole one base, while Braden Simms added one single and one run scored. Ward scored two runs for the victors, while Zach Graham had one RBI.

Jones led Coal Grove at the plate, going 3-for-3 with two RBI and the game’s lone extra-base hit, a double in the first inning. Clark was 2-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored, Malone was 2-for-2 with one RBI and one run scored, while Rutherford singled once and drove in one run.

Cole Gannon singled once and scored once in the setback, Darren Bloomfield added one single, while Case scored twice and Chase McKnight scored once.

Coal Grove left 12 runners on base in the tilt, while GAHS had nine runners stranded. Both teams committed three errors in the game.

Gallia Academy will try to sweep the Hornets on April 25, when these teams are scheduled to meet in Lawrence County.

The Blue Devils host Ironton in OVC action on Monday, and will return to Southeastern Ohio Athletic League play on Tuesday, at Logan.

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

By Alex Hawley