Grapeland Defeats Slocum, 11-1
By Will Johnson
GRAPELAND – While the Grapeland Sandies are still in a fight to repeat as champs of District 20-2A, the Sandies are also in a precarious position where a misstep along the way may well doom their playoff chances. Grapeland sits three games back of Centerville for the top spot and is tied with Leon for fourth place.
So when the Slocum Mustangs came to town on Friday, April 5, the Sandies knew they couldn’t take the struggling Mustangs lightly. Grapeland didn’t and thanks to a big fifth inning, the Sandies waltzed to an 11-1 win to aid their push for the playoffs.
Justin Bobbitt got the nod for the Sandies and found himself in trouble two batters into the game. Slocum’s Randy Guess led off with a single which was followed by a triple from Andrew Abernathy, driving in Guess to make the score 1-0.
Austin Sarraf was up next and he popped out to short. Bobbitt next walked Dustin Fletcher to put runners at the corners, but Abernathy was caught trying to steal home for the second out. Bobbitt also got Mateo Rodriguez to swing at strike three to end Slocum’s at-bat.
Grapeland evened things up in the bottom half of the inning. Josh Ackley led off with a single off of Abernathy who got the start for Slocum. Bobbitt was up next and drew a walk to push Ackley to second.
Austin Driskell followed in the batting order and hit a fly ball to center that gave Ackley a chance to tag-up and move to third. Bobbitt was picked off of first but two pitches later, Ackley stole home to tie the game. Blake Howard grounded out to short to bring the inning to a close.
Following a quiet second, the Sandies scored twice in the third to take a 3-1 lead. Ackley led-off with a deep shot to center that was hauled in by Moses Taylor. Bobbitt walked and Driskell followed with a double to move Bobbitt to third.
Blake Howard was up next and came through in the clutch with a two-run single though the middle of the infield. That was all the offense could generate but at the end of three, the Sandies led by two.
Following another three up three down inning from Bobbitt, the Sandies tacked on another run. Colten Franklin led-off the inning with a groundout to the pitcher, however, Ackley drew a walk while Bobbitt moved him to third with a single.
Driskell followed with a double to plate Ackley and make the score 4-1. Following a pitching change, the Mustangs were able to avoid any further damage as they moved to the fifth inning.
Bobbitt was still dealing for the Sandies and got out of the fifth inning unscathed. That was all he would need as the Sandies crossed the plate seven times in the bottom of the fifth to make the score 11-1 and win by the 10-run mercy rule.
Abernathy took the loss in 3.1 innings pitched. He gave up four runs on six hits, struck out two and walked six.
Bobbitt picked up the win for the Sandies in five innings of work. He allowed one run on three hits, struck out four and walked one.
PHOTO BY JON HOBSON
Will Johnson may be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org