On a rainy evening at Clyde Prewitt Field in Leiper’s Fork, Grace Christian held off a rally with last year’s Class A State Runners-Up Summertown en route to a 6-5 victory over the Eagles. The GCA Lions advanced to the Regional Championship at Loretto on Wednesday night and clinched a spot in the sectionals round next weekend.
Summertown led off the game with a Bryce Giles home run, but GCA would respond in the bottom of the first with Gavin Ford driving in leadoff man Carson Ford to knot the score at 1-1. The Lions would cross the plate 4 times in the 2nd to widen their lead to 5-1. In the third, the Eagles powerful lineup would turn over, where Ty Riddle would blast a home run with one on and one away to make it 5-3 in favor of GCA after 3. After the game’s first 1-2-3 inning in the top of fourth, Grace would add another run in the bottom of the fourth as Martin Cash drove in Gavin Ford to give the Lions an insurance run. In the top of the fifth, Riddle would hit another 2-run bomb to bring the Eagles within one. In the sixth, Summertown would get runners on first and second with no outs, but a fielder’s choice erasing the lead runner, a strikeout, and a pick off would send the teams to the bottom of the 6th. With a one run lead in the top of the 7th, reliever Baylor Jones would strike out the two man wrecking crew of Giles and Riddle before closing out the win for the Lions, forcing a groundout to second.
Grace Christian’s Austin Kasick would pick up the win, with 5 innings of work, allowing 5 earned runs on 5 hits, striking out 4, walking 3, and hitting one batter. He totaled 109 pitches over 5 innings. In relief, Baylor Jones would pitch 2 innings of no-hit baseball with 3 strikeouts. Gavin Ford would lead Lion hitters with 3 hits, 2 of them doubles, and 3 RBI’s.
With the win, Grace Christian clinched a regional championship berth against Loretto in their first year in TSSAA. The win also gave the Lions a spot in the sectional round of the TSSAA tournament.
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