Galion Graders skid continues

After 5-0 start, Graders have lost 8 of 12

By Chad Clinger -

CINCINNATI — After a pair of game against the Hamilton Joes in which the Galion Graders were outscored a combined 27-11, the hometown Graders took to Cincinnati for a contest against the hosting Steam on Saturday, June 30.

Unfortunately, the Galion squad was unable to snap out of their skid and fell to their hosts by a final tally of 9-3. The win moves Cincy to 13-6 on the season, just one game back of the Southern Division leading Southern Ohio Copperheads (13-4). Galion drops its fourth consecutive contest and their fifth in the last six games to fall to 9-8 overall.

It took a while for the visiting Graders to get their offense going as their first hit of the contest did not come until the top of the fifth inning thanks to a single off of the bat of Cole Andrews that also scored Vince Donato to get Galion on the board.

Heading into the sixth inning, Cincinnati had pulled in front by a score of 3-1 thanks to five total hits. The visiting Graders would attempt to cut the deficit and were able to inch closer thanks to a run scoring double from Juan De La Cruz that plated Todd Sekowki to make the score 3-2 in favor of the hosts. Two more hits would lead to another run for the Steam in the bottom of the sixth frame to once again put their advantage at two runs; 4-2.

Looking for the late inning push they so desperately needed, Austin Hathaway stepped in to lead-off the seventh for Galion. Hathaway delivered a single and wasted no time putting himself into scoring position by stealing second, his first steal of the season. After an Andrews strikeout and a walk was issued to Tyler Pavone, the Graders had runners at first and second with just one out. Christopher Jordan then stepped in and ripped a single to load the bases for Sekowski. Sekowski was able to score Hathaway from third with a single but Galion would finish the inning quietly, leaving the bases loaded and trailing 4-3.

That was until the bottom half of the seventh inning when the Cincinnati line-up unloaded on the Graders pitching staff, recording six total hits in the inning and plating five runners, all while leaving the bases loaded to end the inning. The damage was done however and Galion found themselves down by what would be the eventual final score of 9-3.

Cincinnati used 14 hits to plate their nine runs and left 10 runners on the bases throughout the contest. Galion mustered seven hits leading to their three runs and stranded nine. Both squads committed two errors in the field of play.

Jose De La Cruz got the nod as the starter and would also take the loss for the Graders, working six innings and allowing four runs (three earned) while giving up seven hits. Jose walked two and fanned three in his time on the mound. Tex Norrell saw ⅔ of an inning and the Steam made him pay as he allowed five earned runs on five hits, walked a batter and struck out one. Mac Spears relieved Norrell and went the remaining 1⅓, allowing just two hits while walking one and striking out one.

Offensive statistics for Galion on Saturday were: Team- 7/35, 3R, 3RBI, 4BB, 11K, SB; Jordan- 1B; Sekowski- 1B, R, RBI; Juan De La Cruz- 2B, RBI; Donato- R; Hathaway- 1B, R, SB; Andrews- 2B, RBI and Pavone- 1B.

Hamilton Joes 14, Galion Graders 5

GALION — Back on Friday, June 29, the Galion Graders welcomed the Hamilton Joes back to Heddleson Field for the second game of their two-game stint. Thursday saw the visiting Joes blowout their hosts by a final of 13-6.

Friday night unfortunately proved to be a similar story for the home team as the Hamilton offense showed up in a big way yet again to down the Graders; 14-5. The Joes racked up 16 total hits en route to the lopsided victory while the Graders turned in 12 of their own but were unable to get the runs across the plate.

Hamilton began their onslaught early on Friday, using a big top of the first inning consisting of five runs on five hits to put the home team down big early. In the bottom of the first, Michael Rodriquez provided Galion’s only offense with a solo home run, his first of the summer.

The Graders were able to keep the Joes’ bats at bay in the top of the second and headed to bat in the home half trailing 5-1. Andrew Stone looked to change that and led-off the inning with a double and would score Galion’s second run two batters later thanks to an RBI-single from Donato to send the game into the third at 5-2 in favor of the visitors.

In the third, Hamilton would plate two additional runs via three hits to increase their lead to five runs at 7-2. Rodriquez stepped in for Galion and delivered his second, solo home run of the evening to help the Graders inch closer at 7-3 heading into the fourth frame.

The visitors were not yet finished bringing the offense and plated two runs in the fourth on four hits while Galion managed just a run in the bottom of the frame via a Stone lead-off double and an RBI single by Seamus Kenneally. From that point up until the eighth, the Graders would be held scoreless while Hamilton proceeded to tack on three runs in the sixth and a run in the seventh to stretch their lead to 13-4. In that time frame, Galion had singles from Hathaway (fifth), Kenneally (sixth) and Donato (sixth) but they would all be left on the base path. In the bottom of the seventh, Rodriquez and Juan De La Cruz would walk to begin the inning but the Graders would go in order after that.

Galion was able to get the Joes out in order for the first time in the contest and hold Hamilton scoreless in the top of the eighth to head to the plate needing a big rally to put the game within reach. In the bottom of the eighth, the Graders recorded three hits but scored just one run as Jordan singled in Donato. The Joes put up another run in the top of the ninth and the Graders went in order to finish up the game.

Henry Martinez took the loss for Galion after starting on the hill and working the first five innings. Martinez allowed 12 hits that led to nine earned runs while walking three hitters but striking out eight. Nick Smith pitched the final four innings for the Graders, allowing five hits and five runs (three earned) while notching one walking and striking out four.

Offensive stats for Galion on Friday were: Team- 12/39, 5R, 5RBI, 3BB, 7K, 10LOB; Rodriquez- 2-HR, 2RBI, 2R; Jordan- 1B, RBI; Hathaway- 1B; Stone- 2-2B, 2R; Kenneally- 3-1B, RBI; Donato- 2-1B, RBI, R and Pavone- 1B.

For the second consecutive game against Hamilton, Galion committed four errors in the field while the Joes finished with just one miscue.
After 5-0 start, Graders have lost 8 of 12

By Chad Clinger

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048