XENIA — After rain canceled home games last Friday and Saturday, the Galion Graders finally got to play baseball on Sunday.
However, Galion was unable to snap out of its current funk, and dropped a doubleheader to the Xenia Scouts, 3-1 and 6-2. The Graders (4-12) have now lost six consecutive games.
The Graders return to Heise Park on Wednesday for the first of four home dates this week. Galion plays Lima on Wednesday before squaring off wth three-time defending Great Lakes League champion Licking County on Thursday and Friday. The Graders entertain the Southern Ohio Copperheads on Sunday. Fireworks will be presented after the Sunday game. All home games begin at 7:05 p.m.
In the first game of the twinbill on Sunday, Xenia ace Quentin McGrath (5-0) pitched a four-hitter against the Graders. He recorded six strikeouts and two walks in a game that was shortened to seven innings. His league-leading earned run average dipped to 0.60 after his performance against Galion.
Tyler Hall (0-3) took the loss for Galion. He gave up all three Xenia runs on eight hits in five innings of work. Hall issued two walks.
Josh Peterson pitched one scoreless inning in relief for the Graders. He held the Scouts without a hit and walked one batter.
Levi Solomon, Lee Gilcrease and David Gauntt each had two hits for Xenia. Solomon scored a run and drove in a run. Gauntt had a RBI and Gilcrease scored a run. Zach Wylie scored a run and Miles Wright had a RBI.
Brody Basilone had a hit and scored Galion’s lone run. Alexander Malinsky had one hit and a RBI. Nicholas Riotto had two hits.
The Graders took what proved to be a shortlived lead in the top of the second. Basilone drew a two-out walk, advanced to second on a passed ball and scored on Malinsky’s basehit. After stealing second safely, Malinksy was left stranded when Brandon Wright flew out to left field.
Xenia (14-6) took the lead for good in the home half of the second. Gilcrease singled with one out, moved to third on a ground rule double by Wylie and later scored on a sacrifice fly to center field by Wright to even the score at 1-1. Solomon then singled, allowing Wylie to score from second with the go-ahead run.
Riotto gave the Graders hope in the third inning when he tripled with one out. However, Tyler Ocker grounded out and Colton Carney struck out to leave the potential tying run on base.
Galion left two more runners stranded in the fourth inning. With two outs, Basilone had a basehit and Malinsky drew a walk, but Wright flew out to center for the third out.
After Riotto worked his way to third base in the fifth inning, the Graders were again unable to bring him home.
The Scouts added what amounted to an insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Solomon led off with a basehit and scored on a double by Gauntt to round out the scoring.
In the second game, Gauntt hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to lead Xenia to the win. He now has a league-leading 24 RBI along with five homers.
Gilcrease, Solomon and Lincoln Reed each drove in a run. Gauntt and Christian Binger scored two runs apiece for the Scouts. Wright and Austin Orr each scored a run.
Dylan Donley (1-1) earned the win after working seven innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and had three strikeouts and four walks.
Joey Leavitt pitched two scoreless innings in relief.
J.T. Core drove in both Graders runs. Zach DeThomasis had a triple and scored a run. Kevin Shrock walked and scored a run. Riotto and Aaron Caputo each had a hit.
Ben Hamilton (0-2) was saddled with the loss after giving up three runs in one inning of work. He walked two batters and hit a batter.