Gray Surges to Take 3-2 Lead in Garibaldi's Series
Nov. 13, 2012
MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Trailing 2-0 in the 2012 Garibaldi's Series, Gray has surged in the last three games to take a 3-2 lead heading into game six on Wednesday at FedExPark.
"I'm excited we have a tight series going into game six tomorrow," head coach Daron Schoenrock said. "We have a lot of position and pitching battles that are yet to be determined so a lot of that is going to come down to these final two games. We are starting to see the pitchers cycle around for the second time and that makes for an interesting finish to the fall practice time."
Game three, a seven inning affair ended with two runs scoring on a Ford Wilson hard hit chopper to third base. In extra innings during the series, each hitter comes to the plate facing a 3-2 count and with the bases loaded and two out, Wilson dribbled the chopper to third and Gray walked off with the win.
Bryce Beeler had two RBI in game three and Tucker Tubbs added a RBI double for the Gray team. On the opposite side, Tyler Dixon paced the Blue with two RBI and Jake Little added an RBI in a 2-for-4 afternoon. Pitching was highlighted by Josiah Ward who allowed two runs over four innings and Jacob Moody who recorded three strikeouts in 1.1 innings.
Sparked by Wilson's two home runs and five RBI, Gray continued the momentum in game four, tying the series with a 10-3 win. Beeler got the team rolling with a bases clearing double in the second and Wilson hit two home runs later in the game to give the Gray the decisive victory. On the mound, Gray starter Dylan Toscano allowed three runs on three hits and struck out four while his opposition Jon Reed allowed six runs on four hits while striking out six.
"The encouraging thing is offensively we have found a way to score runs every time the defense has failed to make a play or the pitchers fail to make that one pitch they needed," Schoenrock said. "This is not an offensive team that is going to jump out to runs and explode and hit a lot of home runs, but it is an offense that has to exploit weaknesses and we have done a very good job of that this fall. It is a lesson for the defense and pitchers too, because if you make an error or walk a guy, you have to figure out some way to overcome it and not let the offense score."
Freshmen Craig Caufield and Colin Lee started pivotal game five on the mound. Wilson and the Gray side ended up with a decisive 10-4 victory as the battle of the bullpens was won by Gray. Wilson was 2-for-5 with a double, home run and three RBI in game five. Tubbs added three hits, including a double, and three RBI for Gray. For the Blue side, Drew Griffin had an impressive day, notching a single, double and home run in five at-bats.
Caufield allowed four runs on four hits and struck out three in five innings. Alex Gunn made his series debut and pitched two perfect innings and Clayton Gant followed with two strikeouts in an inning of work. Erik Schoenrock closed the door with two strikeouts in the final inning to give Gray the 3-2 series lead going into game six on Wednesday.
"We have had a lot of two out hits this fall and that is a mentality that is hard to duplicate," Schoenrock said. "The big thing we are going to stress in the final two games is understanding momentum innings. Any time runs are scored by the opposition, our challenge is to deny the leadoff man getting on the next inning. We haven't had a lot of success grabbing momentum innings defensively and that is something we want to grasp in these last two games."
First pitch of game six is slated for 3:45 at FedExPark and the game is scheduled for nine innings. Schoenrock will toe the rubber for Gray and be opposed by Blue starter Heith Hatfield. Game seven is slated for 4 p.m. on Thursday at FedExPark.