Dog days of summer sees Graders drop two of three

By Chad Clinger - [email protected]

GALION — On Thursday evening, the Galion Graders were back at Heddleson Field in Heise Park to conclude their three-game series with the visiting Michigan Monarchs.

After dropping the first two contests, the home team would bounce back in the series finale and defeat their guests by a tally of 12-3 to improve to 6-18 on the summer. With the loss, the Monarchs fall to 12-14 overall.

Things began quietly for both squads and after two and a half innings, the score was still 0-0. Galion came to bat in the home half of the third with plans to change that and did so with a three-run inning, starting with a walk issued to Takahiro Yamada. Ryan Strittmather proceeded to flyout before DeVonte Washington grounded into what should’ve been a fielder’s choice but, thanks to an error by the Michigan shortstop, saw Yamada advancing to third and Washington to second with just one out. Andrew Sharp would plate Yamada on a sacrifice fly to center field, making the score 1-0 with two down in the frame. That was before Sean McLaughlin stepped in and ripped a two-run homer to put the Graders up 3-0. Bryce Ray would single before Steven D’Eusanio went down on strikes to end the threat.

Michigan would once again go quietly in the top of the fourth to send Galion to the dish, still up by three runs.

Nicholas Sykes would single with one out in the bottom of the inning, sparking the start to what would turn out to be a huge inning for the home squad. Yamada would draw another walk to put two on for Strittmather, who would proceed to single in Sykes from second to stretch the lead to 4-0. With runners on the corners and still just one out, Washington singled to load the bases. Sharp would draw an RBI walk, scoring Yamada before McLaughlin would strike again, plating Strittmather and Washington on a single. Ray would deliver Sharp home with a single of his own to put runners at the corners once again with still just one out. D’Eusanio kept the rally going strong, scoring McLaughlin on a single before JP Bitzenhofer plated two with a bases-clearing double. Now up 11-0, Sykes grounded out to short but got Bitzenhofer across in the process. Yamada walked for the second time in the inning and third time in the contest before Strittmather reached via an error to put runners at the corners. Washington stepped in and would go down swinging to end the inning but not before the Graders plated nine to put themselves in cruise control at 12-0.

The Monarchs would finally get on the board in the fifth thanks to a lead-off solo home run by Jordon Rogers and would eventually score a pair in the top of the eighth to take the game to its’ final score of 12-3.

Galion erupted for their 12 runs on 11 hits, stranded eight on the bases and committed just one error in the field. Michigan scored three runs on just five hits, left six on and had two errors defensively.

Jarrett Miller earned the win as the starter on the hill for the home squad, throwing eight strong innings while giving up the five hits and three earned runs. Miller walked a pair and fanned four in the process. Chase Jessee came on to finish up the game, walking one and striking out one in his one inning of work.

Offensive statistics in the series finale were: Team- 11/35, 12R, 12RBI, 7BB, 10K, 2-2B, HR; Washington- 1B, 2R; Sharp- 1B, R, 2RBI; McLaughlin- 1B, HR, 2R, 4RBI; Ray- 2-1B, R, RBI; D’Eusanio- 1B, 2B, R, RBI; Bitzenhofer- 2B, R, 2RBI; Sykes- 1B, R, RBI; Yamada- 2R and Strittmather- 1B, R, RBI.

Galion met up with the dreaded Lima Locos for a doubleheader at Simmons Field on Friday and will be back at Heddleson Field for a double-dip with the Locos on Saturday during Galion’s annual Pickle Run Festival. On Sunday, those same two teams will meet back in Lima before the Graders return home for a series with the Muskgeon Clippers on Tuesday, July 9.

Michigan 13, Galion 5

GALION — Following the completion of their suspended game from Tuesday, the Graders and Monarchs clashed for a shortened, seven-inning contest on Wednesday evening in Heise Park.

Galion would drop game two of the series with visiting Michigan; 13-5.

The Monarchs opened up the scoring in the top of the second, taking a 2-0 lead before the Graders rallied for three runs in the bottom of the frame. Ray would start the Galion scoring with a lead-off home run before Austin Harper singled and later took second on an error by the pitcher. Sykes would record the first out in the inning before Yamada hit into a would be fielder’s choice that would see him get first thanks to an error by the shortstop that put runners on the corners with one out. A wild pitch scored Harper and saw Yamada make it all the way to third before scoring on a single by Strittmather. Washington singled with two down before Sharp grounded into an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play.

With the Graders up 3-2, the Monarchs posted a four-run third and did the same in the fourth while allowing just one Graders’ run in the home half of the fourth on a Sharp RBI single that scored Yamada, who led-off the inning with another walk. Entering the fifth, Galion trailed; 10-4.

Michigan was held scoreless to open the fifth and in the bottom of the inning, Ray led-off with a double before reaching third on a wild pitch thrown to Sykes. Ray would then score the lone run of the frame for Galion when Sykes grounded out to short.

Now trailing 10-5, Galion would allow two additional runs to the Monarchs in the sixth and another in the seventh to take the game to its’ final score of 13-5. Michigan scored their 13 runs on 15 hits, stranded 11 on the bases and had two errors defensively. The Graders managed five runs on nine hits, left eight on the base path and had three miscues in the field of play.

Pitching stats in the loss were: SP/LP James Kontur- 3IP, 8H, 6R(5E), BB, 3K; Louis Lipthratt- 2⅓IP, 5H, 6R(3E), 4BB, K; Jessee- ⅔IP, BB, K and Parker Brown- IP, 2H, ER, BB, 2K.

Offensively for Galion in game two: Team- 9/29, 5R, 2RBI, 4BB, 4K, 2B, HR; Washington- 3-1B; Sharp- 1B; Ray- 2B, HR, 2R, RBI; Harper- 2-1B, R; Sykes- RBI; Yamada- 2R and Strittmather- 1B.

Michigan 11, Galion 1

GALION — In a contest that began on Tuesday and was forced to be finished on Wednesday due to weather, the Graders dropped their series opener with the visiting Michigan Monarchs; 11-1.

The Monarchs plated 11 runs on 15 hits but still stranded 14 on the base path while the Graders scored one run on five hits, all singles, left nine on and had two errors defensively.

McLaughlin had two of the five singles for the game while scoring the lone run with teammate Strittmather also picking up a pair of singles. Ray rounded out the Galion offense with their fifth single.

Pitchers used in game one of the series were: SP/LP J. Miller- 2IP, 2H, 2ER, 3BB, 2K; Troy Vermillion- 2IP, 9H, 5ER; Wyatt Smith- 3Ip, 3H, 3R(E), 3BB, 2K; Cody Gabriel- IP, H, ER, 2BB, K and McLaughlin- IP, K.

By Chad Clinger

[email protected]

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048

Follow Chad on Twitter @GalionSportsGuy

Reach Chad at 419-468-1117 x2048