Blue Devils fall at Chesapeake, 8-6

By Bryan Walters -

CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — From a no-no to uh-oh.

After Josh Faro delivered a no-hitter against Ironton just 24 hours earlier, the Gallia Academy baseball team let a four-run lead slip away on Wednesday night during an 8-6 setback to host Chesapeake in an Ohio Valley Conference contest in Lawrence County.

The visiting Blue Devils (5-5, 4-3 OVC) built a 4-0 advantage a half-inning into play and were up 5-3 midway through the fourth, but the Panthers countered by sending eight batters to the plate in the home half of the fourth.

The end result for CHS was five runs on three hits and a pair of fielder’s choices, allowing the hosts to secure a permanent lead at 8-5.

The Blue and White added a run with one away in the seventh and had runners at first and third with two away in the seventh, but an infield pop-up thwarted the rally bid and allowed Chesapeake to wrap up the two-run triumph.

Gallia Academy started the scoring in the top of the first as Dylan Smith singled home Cole Davis, then an error brought Faro home for a 2-0 edge. Smith scored on a wild pitch and Garrett McGuire later came around on a two-out error, giving the guests a four-run cushion midway through the first frame.

CHS countered in the third as Evan Burcham doubled home Trent Dearth, then Burcham came home on a Josh Hansen single to make it a 4-2 contest. Zach Wright then delivered a single that plated Dearth, allowing the hosts to close to within 4-3 through three complete.

Kaden Thomas started the fourth with a single, then Brendan Carter entered in as a pinch-runner. Carter eventually came around to score on a two-out single by Braden Simms, making it a 5-3 contest midway through the fourth.

With the game tied at five and runners on second and third with one away, Burcham delivered a triple that plated both Henson and Dearth with the eventual game-winning runs while also making it a 7-5 contest.

Burcham later scored on a Hansen sacrifice to give the Panthers an 8-5 advantage through four full frames.

The Blue Devils left runners stranded at the corners in the fifth and went down in order in the sixth, but did manage to make things interesting in the top half of the seventh.

Faro started the inning with a double and later came home on a McGuire double to make it 8-6, then McGuire advanced to third on a two-out single by Morgan Stanley. GAHS followed a flyout to second base, ending things with the game-tying run standing at first.

Both teams had 10 hits apiece and Chesapeake also committed all four errors in the contest. Gallia Academy stranded eight runners on base, while the Purple and White left only three on the bags.

Bryce Depriest was the winning pitcher of record after allowing two earned runs, 10 hits and one walk over seven innings while striking out five. Simms suffered the loss after surrendering five earned runs and four hits over three innings of relief while fanning three.

Smith and McGuire led the guests with two hits apiece, followed by Davis, Simms, Faro, Stanley, Thomas and Matt Moreaux with a safety each. Simms, Smith and McGuire had the lone RBIs for GAHS, while Faro led the way with two runs scored.

Dearth, Burcham, Wright and Depriest had two hits apiece for the Panthers, followed by Hansen and Martin with a safety each. Burcham drove in three RBIs and also joined Dearth in scoring twice in the win.

By Bryan Walters

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.

Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.