CENTENARY, Ohio — All alone in first.
The Gallia Academy baseball team moved into sole possession of first place in the Ohio Valley Conference on Thursday night, topping Fairland by a 12-2 count in six innings, at Eastman Ball Field.
GAHS (11-7, 8-2 OVC) spotted the guests a 2-0 lead, as Fairland’s Seth Clay singled home Trace Adkins and then scored on an Eli Bowen single, in the top of the first inning. However, the Dragons (8-6, 5-3) had just two hits over the remainder of the game.
Gallia Academy cut its deficit in half in the bottom of the first, as senior Anthony Sipple drove home classmate Matt Bailey.
GAHS tied the game with no-outs in the bottom of the third, when Sipple singled home Braden Simms. The Blue Devils took the lead just two pitches later, as Kole Carter scored on an Eric Ward sac-fly. With one swing of the bat, Gallia Academy doubled its run total, as Ryan Terry doubled home Bailey, Sipple and Jeremy Brumfield.
The Blue and White pushed their lead to 8-2, as Ward and Sipple both scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. Bailey singled home John Stout in the home half of the fifth inning, and the Blue Devils lead increased to 9-2.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Ward and Tanner Allen both reached via free pass and then scored on an FHS error. With the bases loaded and still no outs in the inning, Simms singled home Terry to cap off the hosts’ 12-2 mercy rule victory.
Blue Devils freshman Josh Faro pitched a complete game and earned the victory, allowing two earned runs on six hits, while striking out two batters.
Clay — who struck out one batter in three innings on the mound for FHS — was the losing pitcher of record, as he surrendered six runs, five earned, on five hits and three walks. Tyler George threw two innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on three hits and three walks, while Adkins allowed one hit and two walks, without recording an out.
Bailey led the hosts at the plate, going 3-for-4 with two runs scored, one RBI and one stolen base. Terry was 2-for-4 with one double, one single, one run scored and three RBI, Brumfield was 2-for-2 with one run scored, one RBI and one stolen base, while Sipple was 1-for-2 with two runs scored, two RBI and one stolen base.
Simms singled once, scored once and drove in one run for the Blue Devils, Ward added two runs scored, one RBI and two stolen bases, while Carter, Stout and Allen each scored once in the win.
Evan Burcham was 2-for-2 to lead the Dragon offense, Clay added one hit, one run scored and one RBI, while Bowen singled once and drove in one run. Adkins singled once, scored once and stole one base, while Hayden James marked one hit in the setback.
Fairland had three errors and left three runners on base in the game, while GAHS had zero errors and left nine runners stranded.
The Blue and White also defeated the Dragons on April 6, by a 4-0 count in Proctorville.
GAHS will now enjoy its longest break since the start of the season, as the Blue Devils are off until they visit Coal Grove on Monday. Gallia Academy defeated the Hornets by an 8-7 final, in Centenary on April 16.
Alex Hawley can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2100.