Blue Devils top Rock Hill 3-1, claim OVC title outright

By Alex Hawley -

CENTENARY, Ohio — Call them selfish if you want, but the Blue Devils aren’t going to share their first Ohio Valley Conference title with anyone.

The Gallia Academy baseball team defeated Rock Hill by a 3-1 count on Friday night in Lawrence County, locking up the first place in the eight-team league for the Blue Devils, who finish with a 11-3 mark in the OVC.

The visiting Blue Devils (15-9, 11-3 OVC) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning, as senior Ryan Terry doubled home Kole Carter and Eric Ward, with two outs.

The guests had some more two-out magic in the second frame, as Anthony Sipple singled home Braden Simms, increasing the GAHS lead to 3-0. However, the Blue Devils were scoreless over the next five frames, mustering only one hit.

Rock Hill — which only had two hits over the first six frames — loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the seventh inning. Gavin Jenkins scored the Rock Hill’s first run of the game in the next at-bat, but GAHS turned a double-play on the ground-ball. Gallia Academy got a ground-out to the pitcher on the next at-bat, capping off the 3-1 win.

Blue Devils’ senior Marcus Moore struck out six batters in a complete game effort, earning the pitching win, while allowing one earned run on four hits and three walks.

Sean McFann tossed six frames and was the losing pitcher of record for the Redmen, surrendering three runs, one earned, on three hits and five walks. Landon Smith finished the game on the mound for RHHS, allowing two hits in one inning of relief. McFann struck out two batters, while Smith struck out one.

Terry led the Blue and White at the plate, going 1-for-3 with one double and two RBI. Simms and Carter both singled once and scored once for the victors, Sipple added one single and one RBI, while Ward scored once and Matt Bailey singled once.

Kyle Stanfield’s 2-for-3 effort led the Redmen, while Heath Carpenter and Trae Crabtree were both 1-for-3.

Both teams committed one error in the game. GAHS left nine runners on base in the win, while Rock Hill stranded six.

GAHS hosted Vinton County in the opening round of the Division II tournament, on Monday.

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

By Alex Hawley