By Greg Ritchie
GRAPELAND – The Sandies’ 2023 baseball season came to an end after two losses over the weekend to Douglass.
Game one held Friday, May 5 against Douglass Indians was a heartbreaker for Grapeland, as they lost the lead late in a 9-7 defeat. The game was tied at seven with Douglass batting in the top of the eighth when Andy Melton doubled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run.
After heavy rains in Palestine, the game was moved to Grapeland.
Despite the loss, Grapeland did collect nine hits in the high-scoring affair. Unfortunately, Douglass had eight hits on the way to victory.
Grapeland captured the lead in the first inning. Edy Lopez drew a walk, scoring one run.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Grapeland tied things up at seven when an error scored one run for Grapeland.
Douglass scored three runs in the second inning. The big inning for Douglass came thanks to a single by Melton and an error on a ball put in play by Payton Bragg.
Jax Vickers started the game for Grapeland, going three innings, allowing seven runs on five hits and striking out one. Johnny Lamb threw five innings in relief out of the bullpen.
Grapeland totaled nine hits in the game. Slade Harris, Cole Goolsby, and Sean Walker all had multiple hits for Grapeland. Harris went 3-for-5 at the plate to lead Grapeland in hits.
Douglass totaled eight hits.
In the Saturday, May 6 morning game in Nacodoches, Grapeland fell behind early and couldn’t come back in the 10-6 loss to Douglass. Douglass scored on multiple errors in the second inning.
Grapeland lost despite out-hitting Douglass ten to six.
Douglass got on the board in the second inning when Kolton Karns was hit by a pitch, driving in a run.
Grapeland scored four runs in the third inning. The offensive firepower by Grapeland was led by Jax Vickers, Cole Goolsby, and Gabe DeLeon, who each had RBIs in the inning.
Andy Melton led things off on the hill for Douglass. The pitcher lasted two and a third innings, allowing six hits and four runs while striking out four.
Slade Harris was on the hill for Grapeland, lasting six innings, allowing ten runs on six hits and striking out three.
Grapeland scattered ten hits in the game. Johnny Lamb, Harris, and Goolsby each collected multiple hits for Grapeland. Harris and Lamb all had three hits to lead the Sandies’ effort.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]