Richmond, INDIANA — With the weather once again being the deciding factor on game play, the Galion Graders made the trip to Richmond, IN on Tuesday, June 18 to clash with the hosting Richmond Jazz in Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League action.
In their third extra inning game of the season, the Graders would fall to the Jazz by a final score of 10-9. The loss signifies Galion’s fourth, one-run loss of the year as they fall to 3-8 overall on the season. With the victory, Richmond improved to 5-8.
After Richmond got on the board first in the home half of the third, Galion answered with a run of their own in the top of the fourth to knot the contest at a run apiece. A two-out rally in the visitors part of the fifth would give the Graders their first lead of the contest at 4-1. Despite Galion hanging a three-spot in the top of the inning, Richmond would prevail, scoring four runs in the bottom of the extra frame to walk-off the win with nobody out.
However, the Jazz’ offense would plate one in the sixth before rolling off four in the seventh while keeping Galion at bay to retake the advantage at 6-4. In that top of the eighth, the visitors would get a run back and hold the Richmond offense scoreless to send the game into the ninth down just one at 6-5. With two down in the top of the ninth, DeVonte Washington would come around to score to knot the game at six apiece and eventually send action into the 10th.
Creek Miller got the ball as the starter on the mound for the visitors and went 5⅓ innings while allowing three hits and two earned runs, walking four and striking out a pair before giving way to Troy Vermillion. Vermillion tossed just ⅔ of an inning, walking a batter in his efforts. Christopher Punka recorded one out in the seventh while allowing one hit and three runs (one earned) before Chase Jessee took the mound. Jessee lasted 1⅔, scattering two hits and allowing an unearned run while walking one and fanning three. Garrett Kuns took to the hill for Galion in the ninth, allowing four hits and four earned runs, two walks and a strikeout. Kuns was handed the loss as he got in trouble in the 10th, sending Jared Strickler in to pitch. Strickler allowed the game-winning hit after a walk in the 10th without recording an out.
In total, Richmond scored their 10 runs on 11 hits, stranded 11 runners on the base path and committed five errors in the field defensively. Galion plated nine on just six hits, left 13 on the bases and had just one error.
Andrew Sharp recorded the only multi-hit game for the visiting Graders, reaching on a single and a double while also scoring twice and stealing three bases. Thomas Staab had the only other extra-base hit for Galion, belting his second home run of the season in the top of the eighth inning. Staab finished with two runs scored and a run batted in.
Other offense for the Graders on Tuesday came from: Team- 6/38, 9R, 8RBI, 8BB, 7K, 4HBP, 14SB; JP Bitzenhofer- 2SB; Steven D’Eusanio- 1B, R, 2RBI, SB; Washington- 3R, RBI, 4SB; Sean McLaughlin- 1B, 3RBI, SB; Bryce Ray- 1B, RBI, 2SB; Austin Harper- SB and Ryan Strittmather- R.
Entering the contest on Tuesday in Richmond, the Galion Graders had stolen just a dozen bases in their first 10 games.
Following the game in Indiana being cancelled on Wednesday evening, the Graders are set to return home to Heddleson Field in Heise Park for a two-game series against the visiting Xenia Scouts (8-6) on Thursday and Friday. Galion will hit the road over the weekend for another two-game stint, this time at the Hamilton Joes (9-3). Following a Monday off, the Graders will once again head south on Tuesday and Wednesday to meet up with the hosting Cincinnati Steam (7-7).
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