GALION — Sunday was a beautiful day for baseball and the Galion Graders did not disappoint as they beat the Lorain County Ironmen, 9 – 1.
The Graders struck early by putting up a run in the bottom of the first inning when Reilly Hawkins crossed the plate on a Kevin Schrock single.
That was all pitcher Kipp Brewer needed.
“Kipp Brewer had a great day pitching, and took us all the way to the seventh inning,” Graders’ general manager Mike O’Leary said.
Brewer struck out five batters, walked one and gave up just four hits and the Ironmen’s single run.
Lorain County tied the game in the third inning, but from then on it was all Graders.
The fifth inning saw Trevor Snyder hit a double and score on a Ridge Winand double.
The rest of the Graders runs would come in the sixth and seventh innings.
In the sixth, Alex Laikos reached base on an error. A single by Riley Campbell and a single by Matt Carpenter scored Laikos. Reilly Hawkins joined in on the hitting with a single of his own that loaded the bases.
After an Ironmen pitching change, Kevin Schrock walked on four straight balls to score Campbell. After a Grader strikeout, the Ironmen changed pitchers once again and Ridge Winand reached first on an error, which scored Carpenter and Hawkins.
The seventh inning saw more of the same as Laikos again reached base, this time with a double. Shawn Tyler added a single, moving Laikos to third base. Riley Campbell walked to load the bases and then after a called “balk”, Laikos scored. Reilly Hawkins singled again, which scored Tyler and later Campbell would score.
Hawkins had a big day, batting four for five at the plate. He scored two runs and brought in a run.
With a comfortable eight-run lead, the dynamic duo of Grader pitching came in for the eighth and ninth innings.
“We put in our one two punch of AJ Cecil and Kent Axcell at the end of the game and they brought it home for us” said O’Leary.
Cecil pitched the eighth inning and only gave up one hit. Axcell came in the ninth inning and shut the door on the Ironmen. He walked one and struck out one.r.
“We looked like a baseball team today,” O’Leary said.