CELINA — Galion broke open a tie game with a four-run seventh inning and held on to beat Grand Lake 6-4 in Great Lakes League baseball action on Wednesday night.
The Graders (9-18) fell behind 2-0 after three innings of play. The Mariners plated two runs in the home half of the third on an RBI single by Garrett Felix and an error that allowed Preston Jones to score from third base.
Galion cut the deficit to 2-1 in the fourth inning when Nick Christopher belted a solo home run. The Graders tied the game 2-2 in the sixth inning when Jay Luikart hit a solo home run, his team-leading fifth round-tripper of the season.
In the pivotal seventh inning, the Graders loaded the bases with no outs. Lead-off batter Matt Christopher was hit by a pitch. Avery Fisher drew a walk. Kaito Hara then got on base thanks to an error by the Mariners pitcher Taj Porter. Seth Schroeder followed with a double that allowed Christopher and Fisher to score and give Galion a 4-2 lead.
Hara, who advanced to third base on Schroeder’s double, then scored on a passed ball to extend the Galion lead to 5-2. Schroeder then stole home to round out the scoring for the Graders.
Grand Lake (12-18) loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, setting the stage for Preston Jones to drive in a pair of runs with a single that closed the gap to 6-4. Graders relief pitcher Jarrett Miller struck out Felix for out number two and Jones was caught stealing for the final out of the game.
Nick Christopher went 2-for-5 with a home run, an RBI, and scored a run. Schroeder finished 1-for-5 with a double, two RBI, and scored a run. Luikart went 1-for-4 with a homer, one RBI, and scored a run.
Avery Fisher went 1-for-2, drew two walks, and scored a run. Hara and Matt Christopher each drew a walk and scored a run. Brian Erbe finished 2-for-4.
Logan Fisher earned the win in relief for Galion. He worked three innings and struck out five batters.
Wyatt Smith started and pitched four innings. He struck out six batters and walked one. Smith gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits.
Miller worked two innings in relief, gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits, and recorded three strikeouts and one walk.
Jones finished 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored a run for Grand Lake. Ryan Davis went 2-for-4 and scored twice. Ethan Whitley went 1-for-4.
Porter took the loss for the Mariners after surrendering five runs (four earned) on three hits in 2-2/3 innings of work. He struck out three batters and walked one.
Galion is back in action on Friday against Sandusky at Heise Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.
The Graders wrap up the weekend with road games on Saturday at Grand Lake and on Sunday at the Michigan Monarchs. Galion’s road swing continues on Tuesday at Royal Oak.
Admission to Galion home games costs $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens.
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