GALION — The 2021 Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League got off to a hot start as the Galion Graders out-dueled the Sandusky Ice Haulers 10-9 in the season opener for both clubs last Friday.
Avery Fisher had the big bat for the Graders against Sandusky. The Bucyrus native and current Ohio State player went 4-for-5, scored three runs, and drove in a run — which proved to be the game-winning RBI.
Brian Erbe was 2-for-3 with two RBI and scored two runs. He scored what turned out to be the game-winning run in the home half of the seventh inning at Heise Park.
The Graders loaded the bases in the seventh after Erbe and Seth Schroeder each drew a walk with one out and Ryan Mollette singled. Fisher then stepped in and drove in Erbe with a base hit that gave Galion the lead for good.
Galion built a 5-2 lead after four innings, but Sandusky rallied to tie the game at 5-5 in the top of the fifth inning. The Graders regained the lead, 7-5, scoring twice in the bottom of the fifth, but Sandusky plated four runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull ahead 9-7. Galion tied the game 9-9 in the bottom of the sixth, setting the stage for the Graders to move in front for good in the seventh.
Mollette was 2-for-4 and scored a run for Galion. Nick Christopher also went 2-for-4, scored a run, and drove in a run.
J.R. Heavlin, Seth Freeman, and Ben Sinins each recorded an RBI. Heavlin, Freeman, and Christian Orr each scored a run.
William Stutz picked up the win for Galion after coming on in relief of Ontario native Troy Vermilion. Stutz worked four innings and gave up four runs (none earned) on two hits. He struck out five batters and walked one.
Vermilion pitched five innings, surrendering five runs on seven hits. He recorded three strikeouts and two walks.
Scott Mackiewicz led Sandusky, going 4-for-5 with three RBI and scoring two runs. Drew Holderbach was 2-for-5, scored a pair of runs, and drove in a run. Jackson Green came off the bench and went 2-for-4 with an RBI and scored a run.
Ice Haulers relief pitcher Nick Saranczak took the loss. He pitched one inning and gave up a run on two hits. He recorded one strikeout and walked two batters.
Mariners 13, Graders 3
CELINA — Galion’s first road trip of the season on Saturday ended with a lopsided 13-3 loss to the Grand Lake Mariners.
The Mariners jumped out to a 2-0 lead after one inning of play and built an 8-1 cushion by the end of three innings. Galon scored a run each in the sixth and seventh innings, but Grand Lake pushed two runs across the plate in the seventh and three more in the eighth to round out the scoring.
Nick Christopher went 1-for-3 with an RBI and scored a run for Galion. Christian Orr was 1-for-3 with an RBI. Ben Sinins went 1-for-4 and drove in a run. Ryan Mollette was 1-for-2 and scored a run. CJ Colson scored a run for the Graders.
Logan Fisher was the starting pitcher and took the loss for the Graders. He worked three innings and gave up eight runs (three earned) on seven hits. He finished with one strikeout and five walks.
Jacob Savina worked 4-2/3 innings in relief. He gave up five runs on seven hits and recorded five strikeouts.
Garrett Felix led the Grand Lake attack, going 3-for-4 with a triple and four RBI. He also scored twice.
Gabriel Torres went 3-for-5, drove in two runs, and scored two runs. Kade Benavidez and Caden Kaiser each scored two runs. Noah Thigpen and Marcus Ernst each had two RBI.
Kevin Norton started and earned the win for Grand Lake. He worked four innings and only gave up one run on one hit. He struck out five batters and walked two.
Leprechauns 9, Graders 2
GALION — Opening weekend wrapped up with Royal Oak taking a 9-2 decision from Galion on Sunday evening at Heise Park.
The Graders held a 2-1 lead heading into the sixth inning before Royal Oak tied the game in the top of the sixth. The Leprechauns then scored four times in the seventh and three times in the ninth to pull away for the win.
Christian Orr, J.R. Heavlin, and Dylan James each had two hits for the Graders. Orr and Heavlin scored Galion’s two runs. Nick Chistopher, Ben Sinins, and Kaito Hara each had a hit. Heavlin and Sinins each had an RBI.
Brady Biglin of Crestline started for Galion and turned in a solid pitching performance. He worked six innings and gave up two runs on three hits. He struck out three batters and walked three.
Spencer Atkins worked for the final three innings in relief for the Graders and was saddled with the loss. He gave up seven runs (four earned) on four hits. He struck out five batters and walked.
Royal Oak’s Trent Farquhar went 1-for-3 with three RBI, walked twice, and scored two runs. Hayden Sullivan was 1-for-2 with a pair of RBI.
Lance Kinross started and worked six innings for Royal Oak. He gave up two runs on eight hits and had five strikeouts and two walks.
Bryce Dunscombe pitched three innings in relief. He held Galion scoreless on one hit and struck out two batters.
Up next for Graders
Galion (1-2) will be back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday at Heise Park. The Graders play host to the Michigan Monarchs (0-3) on Tuesday and entertain the Lima Locos (3-0) on Wednesday. Both games start at 7:05 p.m.
Galion travels to Sandusky (0-3) on Thursday and then returns home Friday to face Grand Lake (1-2) at 7:05 p.m. at Heise Park.
The Graders hit the road again Saturday with a trip to Lima. They wrap up the weekend with a home game on Sunday against the Muskegon Clippers (2-1) at 4:05 p.m. at Heise Park.
Admission to Graders home games costs $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens.
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