GALION — On Friday May 12, the Galion Tigers baseball team hosted the Western Reserve Roughriders in the Division III Shelby District sectional championship game.
Galion used small-ball and smart base running throughout the game to secure the sectional title over the Roughriders, 4-1.
The first two innings of the contest provided just one hit from each team and zero runs.
Garrett Kuns, the winning pitcher for Galion on the day, belted a two-out single in the first inning but was stranded at first after a Mac Spears groundout to the Western Reserve shortstop. Kuns allowed the Roughriders’ first hit in the top of the second, a single but the defense responded and the runner was left at second after a fielder’s choice.
In the third inning, the Galion offense came alive while recording just one actual hit. Chase Castline began the inning with a walk and would later come around to score after a sacrifice bunt by Ryan Talbott, a walk to Ryan Utz and a bunt single by Kuns. Utz and Kuns would score in the bottom half of the third inning as well thanks in part to multiple bunts catching the Roughriders’ defense off-guard. Spears would score the fourth and final run for the Tigers.
Western Reserve would score their only run of the contest in the top of the fifth inning. The Roughriders adapted Galion’s bunt philosophy to manufacture that lone run. A lead-off single, two sacrifice bunts and an error later and the run crossed the plate. Later in the inning, Western Reserve tried their luck on a single and sent the runner home only to be gunned down on an outfield assist by Talbott on a strong throw to the plate.
Kuns would allow only one more hit in the contest in the top of the seventh as Galion secured the victory. Kuns threw the seven innings of work, allowing just five hits and an unearned run while walking one and striking out five. Kuns helped his cause at the plate with two singles and a double, three of the four total Galion hits. Mitch Dyer had the other Tigers’ hit, a single in the bottom of the sixth but was picked off at third base by the Western Reserve catcher, thwarting the possibility of the insurance run.
The Roughriders finished the day with one run, five hits and no errors and stranded five runners on the base path. Galion scored their four runs on four hits, committed three errors and stranded four.
Next up for the No. 3 seeded Tigers will be a meeting with the No. 9 seeded Margaretta Polar Bears. Margaretta defeated the No. 1 seeded Seneca East Tigers by a final of 5-0 to win their sectional final. The Bears and Tigers will meet on Thursday May 18 at Shelby High School with action set to begin at 2 pm. The winner of that district semi-final contest will meet the winner of the Clear Fork-Edison game for the district championship on Saturday May 20 at 1 pm.
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