Columbia Star

Gray Collegiate outlasts Nation Ford

The Gray Collegiate War Eagles scored two runs in the top of the seventh to knock off the Nation Ford Falcons 7-5 Monday, April 11 in the first day of the Forest Acres Classic.

Gray started in the top of the first when Savion Smith drew a one out walk. Peyton Starkey doubled and Landon Turner hit a sacrifice fly scoring Smith to put the War Eagles ahead 1-0.

Gray’s offense remained hot in the top of the third beginning with Smith, who drew another walk. Later, Turner hit a one out single scoring Smith to increase the War Eagle lead to 2-0. Two batters later Gavin Creede hit a two-out single, scoring Tanner Ouzts to put Gray Collegiate ahead 3-0.

Blane Redmond was hit by a pitch and Drew Young singled, scoring Zach Glenn as the War Eagles led 4-0.

Nation Ford responded in the bottom of the fourth. Rylee Ashworth and Seth Hanson drew walks and Paul Solari singled to load the bases with two outs. Then Nick Chuttey doubled, scoring all three runners to cut the deficit to 4-3.

The Falcons added a run in the bottom of the fifth when a single by Solari scored Jacob Pettit to tie the game at 4-4.

The War Eagles had an answer in the top of the sixth when Young hit a lead off double. London Spires moved pinch runner Blake Wadlington to second with a bunt. Then a single by Brent Stukes brought in Wadlington to put Gray ahead 5-4.

Nation Ford battled back in the bottom of the sixth. Drew Brink reached on an error and later scored on a wild throw tying the score at 5-5.

Then in the top of the seventh, the War Eagles responded once more beginning with a single by Turner. A one-out single by Creede scored pinch runner JT Edwards to put Gray ahead 6-5. Later in the inning a single by Spires drove in Creede to give the War Eagles the 7-5 win.

Brent Stukes picked up the win for Gray Collegiate. He went 3-2/3 innings giving up three runs on two hits. He struck out one.

Creede went 2-for-2 for the War Eagles at the plate with two RBI. Landon Turner went 2-for-3 with two RBI.

“This is a key win,” Gray Collegiate head coach Charles Assey Sr. said. “Our planned worked, even if it looked like it backfired. It worked because we were able to save some pitchers for later in the week. That was a good situation to come back and win. If we just execute, we are a really decent baseball team. They could have crawled in a hole when the momentum started going to the other dugout. But this team isn’t going to fold.”

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