MERCERVILLE, Ohio — A memorable night for the Wildcats.
The Hannan baseball team picked up its first road win of the 2016 campaign while also earning the program’s first-ever victory over host South Gallia Tuesday night following a 13-2 victory in six innings of a non-conference matchup in Gallia County.
The Wildcats (3-6) never trailed in the contest as the guests broke away from an early one-all tie by plating three runs in the top of the third for a 4-1 edge, but the Rebels (0-12) countered with a run in the home half that frame for a 4-2 game through three complete.
HHS, however, came up with nine unanswered runs over the next three innings for an 11-run edge, then retired the Red and Gold in order in the bottom of the sixth to complete the mercy-rule triumph.
The Wildcats outhit the Rebels by a sizable 14-6 overall margin and neither squad committed an error in the contest. The Blue and Gold stranded 10 runners on base, while the hosts left four on the bags.
After having eight players produce at least one hit while all nine batters reached base safely throughout the course of the game, second-year HHS coach Tad Greathouse was most pleased with his troops’ offensive output.
Greathouse also noted that Ryan Gerlach was dominant on the mound, as was the defensive effort — making Tuesday night one of the more-complete victories that the Wildcats have enjoyed in quite sometime.
“It was a good night for us. Just to make a long road trip and come out and compete against a public school, that’s something that we can’t say we always do because a lot of our games are against Christian programs,” Greathouse said. “We got some good pitching from Ryan and the defense was solid behind him, and we were able to score some runs for him.
“Honestly, we’re just happy to be at a point where we believe that we can compete with public schools … and this win is a big step in the right direction for us. The kids are starting to see that the hard work is paying off.”
Gerlach allowed only two earned runs, six hits and zero walks over six innings of work. Gerlach also struck out a dozen in the winning decision.
Hannan took an early lead in the top of the first as Isaiah Burgess lifted a sacrifice fly to centerfield, allowing Dalton Coleman to tag up and score from third for a 1-0 edge.
SGHS tied the game in the home half of the first as Cuyler Mills doubled home Colton Coughenour for a one-all contest after one full frame. The hosts, however, were never closer the rest of the way.
After a scoreless second, the Wildcats came up big in the top of the third as Gerlach and Burgess led things off with back-to-back singles. Corey Hudnall followed with a doubled that plated Gerlach, giving the guests a permanent lead at 2-1.
Nick Hughes laid down a sacrifice bunt that allowed Burgess to score for a 3-1 contest, then Hudnall came plateward after a two-out single by Matt Qualls made it a 4-1 game.
The Rebels, however, cut their deficit in half as Coughenour delivered a one-out triple and later scored on a two-out single by Mills, making it a 4-2 contest through three complete.
The Wildcats added two runs in the fourth for a 6-2 advantage, then tacked on three runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth to wrap up the 11-run triumph.
Gerlach led Hannan with four hits, followed by Coleman, Poore and Burgess with two safeties apiece. Hudnall, Hughes, Qualls and Junior Morehart also had a hit each in the triumph.
Poore led HHS with three RBIs and Hudnall drove in two RBIs. Gerlach, Burgess, Hughes and Qualls also knocked in a run apiece.
Coleman scored a team-best three runs, while Gerlach and Burgess each crossed home plate twice. Poore, Hudnall, Morehart, Hughes, Qualls and Ryan Davis also scored a run apiece for the victors.
Coughenour paced the hosts with three hits and two runs scored, followed by Mills with two safeties and two RBIs. Austin Stapleton also had a hit in the setback.
Bryan Walters can be reached at 740-446-2342, ext. 2101.