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Hoping to win consecutive games, the Grant County baseball team believed that a six-run lead in the seventh inning would be enough.
It was just enough as the Braves held on for a 7-6 win over Newport on April 4.
“I’m glad to get the win,” coach Justin Hollingsworth said. “We came close to giving it away at the top of the seventh because we didn’t make a few simple plays, but a win is a win and I’m happy with it.”
Aaron Goe started on the mound for the Braves and was able to go six innings.
The Braves lead from the beginning as Dillon Pelfrey and Alex Gregg reached base in the first before Goe helped his own cause with a sacrifice fly that scored Pelfrey. Gregg scored after Dillon Adams hustled down the line and forced an errant throw to first.
Newport answered with a run in the second inning before Goe ended the inning with a strikeout.
Grant County scored two runs in the fifth as Gregg laid down a sacrifice bunt and the fielder made a wild throw to first, hitting Gregg in the shoulder and letting two runs cross the plate for a 4-1 lead.
The Braves kept working in the field, as Jordan Cummins made several plays at third base and Kyle Wallace snagged some wild throws at first base. Newport was able to score in the fourth on a sacrifice infield single to cut Grant County’s lead to 4-2.
The Braves added to their lead as Cummins, Roman Harris and Shelby Caudill scored before Newport rallied in the seventh inning.
Cummins came in for the save in the seventh inning, holding on for the 7-6 win.
“We were hitting the ball earlier in the season. Now, we’re getting good contact and getting it to drop,” Hollingsworth said. “We needed the win. Dropping our first four games, it was starting to work on our pride a little bit.”
“We finally came together as a team and put together the hits and runs we needed to win,” Pelfrey said.
The Braves are relying on younger players this year, as sophomore Brandon Holder has held his own behind the plate as catcher and on the mound. Caudill has come in to start in centerfield as an eighth grader.
Braves earn first win of season against Pendleton County
The Grant County Braves were still looking for their first win after dropping their first four games of their season.
They earned their first win of the season, defeating Pendleton County 3-1 on April 1.
“I could see our potential, but we hadn’t put it together,” coach Justin Hollingsworth said. “We brought it all together and saw what we could do.”
Brandon Holder pitched for the Braves, while Dillon Adams had two runs batted in and Alex Gregg drove in one run.
“It’s a major relief,” Dillon Pelfrey said. “We’ve finally got that off our shoulders and we can start looking towards the future and hopefully get a district win this week against Simon Kenton.”
The Braves’ game against Simon Kenton was postponed due to weather to April 9.
Next up for the Grant County Braves:
• April 9 at home against Simon Kenton
• April 10-11 at Ernie Evans Memorial Tournament
• April 13 at Owen County
• April 14 at Bourbon County