CENTENARY, Ohio — If you factor out the weather conditions, it was an otherwise perfect night of baseball for the Blue Devils.
Gallia Academy pounded out 14 hits and played error-free for five innings while rolling to an 11-1 mercy-rule victory over visiting Logan in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League contest Friday night at Bob Eastman Ball Field in Gallia County.
The Blue Devils (4-4, 1-1 SEOAL) led wire-to-wire as the hosts plated five runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back.
The winless Chieftains (0-7, 0-2), however, mustered only their seventh run of the season in the top of the second as Brendan Karns lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield — allowing Jakob Kline to score for 5-1 contest.
GAHS responded with three runs in the home half of the second for an 8-1 edge, then plated two more in the fourth to secure a 10-1 lead through four complete.
Pinch-hitter Ty Howell received a leadoff walk to start the bottom of the fifth, then Braden Simms re-entered for Howell as a runner.
Simms advanced to second on a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt by Kole Carter, then Matt Bailey drove a double to the right-center gap that allowed Simms to come home with the game-clinching run.
With cloudy skies, wind gusts and temperatures hovering around the low 40s, GAHS coach Rich Corvin was most pleased to pick up this first SEOAL victory of the season. More importantly, the 13-year skipper was even prouder of how well his troops handled business against a struggling ball club in less-than-ideal conditions.
“We haven’t been hitting the ball very well with runners in scoring position, but we seemed to do a little better with situational hitting tonight,” Corvin said. “We played very well in the short game and it opened things up for us. It was a good night for us at the plate.
“Marcus was around the plate all night in this weather, and that was big for us too. We were also pretty decent behind him defensively. Overall, I’m pretty happy with these guys for what they did tonight.”
Marcus Moore was the winning pitcher of record after allowing one earned run, four hits and a walk over five frames while striking out nobody. The hosts also committed none of the four errors in the contest.
Bailey walked and Anthony Sipple reached on a bunt single to put runners at first and second with one out in the bottom of the first, then Eric Ward followed with a two-RBI double to left-center that allowed both to score for an early 2-0 advantage.
Ward stole third and Josh Faro reached on a walk to put runners at the corners, then an error on a double-steal attempt allowed Faro to move up to second as Ward plated the third run of the inning.
Ryan Terry followed with a bunt single that again put runners on the corners, then John Stout executed a sacrifice bunt to advance Terry to second with the second out of the inning.
Both Faro and Terry scored one batter later when Jeremy Brumfield singled to left-center, giving Gallia Academy a 5-0 cushion through one complete.
Carter led off the second with a single and advanced to second on a bunt single by Matt Bailey. Carter eventually scored on an error and Bailey stole home to make it a 7-1 contest.
Ward also delivered a one-out single, stole second and came around to score on a two-out single to left-center by Terry, giving GAHS a sizable 8-1 cushion after two full frames.
The Blue Devils let a golden opportunity get away in the third after loading the bases with nobody out, but LHS came up with a force out at home and line drive double-play to get out of the inning unscathed.
Ward led the bottom of the fourth off with a single and later scored on a Terry double to left-center, making it a 9-1 contest. Terry later scored on an RBI-single by Brumfield to make it 10-1 headed into the fifth.
The hosts outhit Logan by a sizable 14-4 overall margin and left five runners stranded on base, compared to four left on by the Chieftains. Neither team had a batter strike out during five innings of play.
Chase Walter suffered the loss after surrendering eight earned runs, eight hits and two walks over two innings of work. Kline worked 2.1 innings of relief, allowing three earned runs, six hits and two walks.
Ward, Terry and Brumfield all paced GAHS with three hits apiece, followed by Bailey with two safeties. Carter, Sipple and Simms also added a hit each to the winning cause.
Brumfield had a team-best three RBIs, while Ward and Terry each knocked in two scores apiece. Ward also had a team-high three runs scored, while Bailey and Terry each scored two times.
Walter, Kline, Denny Powers and Colton Stilwell had a hit apiece for the Chieftains. LHS — which had 22 at-bats in the setback — managed no hits and only one baserunner in its final 11 trips to the plate.
Gallia Academy moved into a second-place tie with Warren (1-1) in the SEOAL standings after Jackson claimed a 2-1 walkoff win over the Warriors Friday night. The Ironmen currently sit in first place at 2-0, while Logan is currently sits last in the SEOAL at 0-2.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.