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The Blue Devils played solid baseball but couldn't come up with clutch hitting against Wilson Memorial.
Courtesy of Galax Gazette
Grayson County pitcher Max Rodgers covers home plate as Wilson Memorial’s Hunter Carr scores.
Sunday, June 9, 2013
>RADFORD - Grayson County displayed most all the elements of successful baseball Saturday - solid pitching, reliable defense and general heads-up play. The clutch hit remained elusive, though.
Wilson Memorial took advantage of its chances when they presented themselves and went on to knock the Blue Devils out of the Group A Division 2 semifinals with a 6-1 victory at Radford University.
The Hornets (18-5) got a fine performance and complete game from sophomore pitcher Brendan Gochenour, who retired the last five batters he faced after Grayson County (19-7) opened the sixth with a single from Matthew Cornett and a fielders' choice to Landon Frost.
Wilson Memorial will playGlenvar at 10 a.m. Sunday at Radford University. The Hornets will be playing for their fourth state title after winning in 1990, 1980 and 1977.
The Blue Devils were already down 3-0 when Luke Wilson opened the fifth with a triple then scored on Ty Cannaday's sacrifice fly. With two outs, the inning remained in progress thanks to Lucas' Rudy's hit and an error that put Spencer Roberts aboard. Max Rodgers was next up and he hit the ball hard, but right fielder Justin Leary had a bead on it to end hopes of a big inning.
"Baseball karma," said Grayson County coach Tiny Funk, filling in for Mike Worrell who was away on family business. "Their pitcher did an extremely good job. He made us beat him. That was a problem"
Gochenour scattered five hits, struck out six and hit a batter. He walked one.
"He's done it for us all year," Hornets coach Rodney Cullen said. "He's 7-0 now. He really commands his pitches and mixes them well. He locates his fastball and mixed in the curve really well. He did a good job."
With the lead down to 3-1, the Hornets answered in the six with two more runs to stretch the advantage. A walk, a one-run Heath Hatfield double, and an RBI single by Justin Leary provided the scoring. Grayson County turned its second double play to close the frame.
Wilson Memorial added one more run in the seventh to pad the lead, Daniel Poole reaching on a fielder's choice, stealing second, reaching third on a pop, and scoring on a passed ball.
Frost had two hits and was the only Blue Devil with multiple hits. Rudy reached twice in four appearances. Rudy saluted the opposing pitcher.
"That guy hit his spots. When he got two strikes on us, he put us away. That's really all you have to do if your team's playing good defense, which they did."
Wilson Memorial 001 202 1 - 6 6 2
Grayson County 000 010 0 - 1 5 1
Gochenour and Cale. Cannaday, Rodgers (6) and Rudy
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