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STEM — Granville Central’s baseball team has a knack for rallying in the late innings and winning.
That could be said about the 8-7 extra-inning win over Kerr-Vance Academy on March 11.
Kerr-Vance jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with Colby Wilkerson and Evan Johnson crossing the plate in the top of the first inning.
Wyatt Humphries and Wilkerson gave the Spartans a 4-0 lead heading into the home-half of the second inning.
JJ Tilley stood in the batter’s box and took a pitch to the arm to start the inning. Dylan Laws sent a double deep that allowed Tilley to move to third. Brady Smith singled to drive in Tilley and Rafael Rodriguez, who was running for Granville Central pitcher Dylan Laws.
Smith was able to move to third on ground outs by Caleb Underwood and Austin Falls. Billy Blevins drew a walk to put runners on the corners for the Panthers.
Wyatt Laws hit a routine ground ball, but the third baseman bobbled the ball allowing Smith an Blevins to score. Wyatt Laws was eventually tagged out at second base, but the Panthers evened the score at 4-all.
Falls bunted his way in the bottom of the fifth inning and Wyatt Laws blasted a double to center field. Falls scored to give the Panthers a 5-4 lead.
The Spartans responded in the top of the sixth with Wilkerson, Johnson and Michael Holtzman touching the plate. Kerr-Vance had a 7-5 lead going into the home half of the sixth inning.
Granville Central could not generate a run in the bottom of the sixth, but was able send Kerr-Vance back to the dugout without any runs in the top of the seventh.
The Panthers needed some runs quickly and the Kerr-Vance pitching staff helped that along with back-to-back walks to Underwood and Rodriguez. Both would end up walking home to knot the score at 7-all.
The Spartans went scoreless in the top of the eighth and the Panthers had a huge opportunity in the bottom.
Underwood drew a walk and Rodriguez singled to advance Underwood. Wesley Laws singled to drive in Underwood for the 8-7 win.
Unofficial statistics: Wesley Laws (two of four, 2B, two RBI), JJ Tilley (one for two, RBI), Dylan Laws (one for three, 2B, RBI), Brady Smith (one for four), Austin Falls (two for three, RBI) and Hawthorne (RBI).