COLUMBUS GROVE, OH – Columbus Grove struck first and last in Tuesday night’s Putnam County League matchup with rival Pandora Gilboa as they defeated the Rockets at home 16-6 in a 5 inning contest.
PG nabbed the first two baserunners of the contest in their half of the opening stanza but came up empty on the scoreboard when Ryan Lee was forced out at third and Isaac Stahl was thrown out at the same base to end the top half of the first inning with the Rockets scoreless.
Columbus Grove wasted no time putting up runs in their first at bat as the Bulldogs would account for a five spot and bat around in their opening at bat. Just a pair of hits came across for the home team but a trio of walks and a hit by pitch from PG hurler Ryan Lee helped his opponents to a 5-0 advantage after the first six outs of the game.
In their second time at the plate the Rockets blasted off against Grove starter Kurt Griffith and utilized a trio of singles, a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly by Austin Decker to centerfield to tie the ballgame with a 5 run inning of their own.
Three runs on three hits in the third inning put Columbus Grove ahead for good as Dane Schroeder and Alex Schnieder both singled before catcher Brady Hauenstein was hit by a pitch for the second time in as any at bats before two of the three were knocked in by Tayt Birnesser to push ahead ultimately at 8-5 when the inning ended.
For the second time in the contest the Bulldogs batted around, this time coming in the bottom of the fourth inning. After seeing Hauenstein hit by a pitch for the third consecutive trip at the plate, Columbus Grove would send 12 batters to the plate and scratch across 7 runs on 4 hits to go ahead 15-5 after four innings.
Needing to get at least one run to keep from being run ruled the Rockets saw their catcher Josh Shartell reach on an error and quickly be moved to second base on a Kurt Griffith balk. Moments after right fielder Zeb George was hit by a pitch in the helmet and pinch run, PG would get Shartell on the scoreboard for their sixth run and keep the game going into the bottom of the fifth when shortstop turned relief pitcher Brennen Moorman singled him in.
With the bases loaded and just one out in the bottom of the inning it was the Bulldogs Dane Schroeder who provided the final hit of the ballgame as he singled into left center to bring home Brady Rudasill and provide the final score of 16-6 in the contest.
Kurt Griffith improved to 2-1 on the season on the mound for the Bulldogs who improve to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in Putnam County League play. Griffith threw 74 pitches on the day and gave up 6 runs on 6 hits while striking out and walking a pair in the win. Columbus Grove will be back in action on Wednesday as they take on Miller City in PCL action starting at 5pm.
Pandora Gilboa’s Ryan Lee sees his record fall to 0-1 on the year as he tossed 66 pitches over 2 innings of work, giving up 8 runs on 4 hits while walking 5 and striking out just one batter. The Rockets are in action against Vanlue in Blanchard Valley Conference play on Wednesday at home at 5pm.
Ryan Lee (PG) 2-3
Alex Schneider (Grove) 3-4
*Stats compiled with help of Gamechanger*