Steady HiTom comeback falls short
from Daniel Frey with HiToms Baseball
High Point/Thomasville, N.C. – The High Point-Thomasville HiToms (20-12) chipped away at a four-run deficit but the Gastonia Grizzlies (11-21) grabbed the lead back in the top of the ninth to win 5-4 on Saturday night.
The Grizzlies put together an offensive onslaught off of HiToms starting pitcher Daniel McCrary in the top of the second inning starting with a two-run homer by Logan Koch to right field. After a base hit, Michael Patrick clubbed a two-run homer of his own. With runners at second and third, Hunter Slater caught a line drive and then threw out the runner at third before Darien Simms crossed home plate.
Hunter Slater immediately earned a run back for the HiToms on a solo homer that sailed over the right field fence. After two innings, the Grizzlies led 4-1.
The HiToms proceeded to crawl back into the game on an RBI sacrifice fly out by David Fry and David Newcomer’s RBI groundout.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Grizzlies were clinging onto a 4-3 lead but Brad Jarreau had other plans sending a solo shot over the right centerfield fence to tie the ballgame up at 4 off of Gastonia reliever Josh Macijewski.
Another scoring chance arose for the HiToms in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded but Jarreau struck out looking to end the threat.
Gastonia finally broke through again in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI single shot up the middle by Alex Reynolds. Reid Clements (2-1) pitched the final two innings for the HiToms and struck out two batters.
Representing the winning run with a runner on base in the bottom of the ninth, Zac Almond crushed a ball to right field that fell just short in front of the wall for the second out. Kyle Dyson (3-0) got Danny Sullivan to fly out to right to end the game as the Gastonia Grizzlies held on for a 5-4 victory.
The Coastal Plain League enters the All-Star break with festivities beginning tomorrow, July 10 at J.P. Riddle Stadium in Fayetteville. The HiToms host the Swampdogs in their next game on Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m.