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HILLSVILLE –– It’s been proven this year that there’s no shame in having played a close baseball game with Grundy. Even a loss to the one-time Southwest District doormat isn’t nearly as surprising as it once was.
Carroll County did neither.
Facing a team that handed league-leading Tazewell its first SWD loss of the season just a week earlier, the Cavaliers jumped on the Golden Wave early and advanced to the SWD tournament semifinals with a 12-4 win Monday at Bill Worrell Field.
Base hits by Blake Bowman and Reese Edwards set up an RBI double from Brandon Lineberry as the Cavaliers took the lead for good with a four-run first inning. Jared Cox added an RBI single in the first for Carroll, which also benefited from a pair of Grundy errors.
Carroll led 5-2 when another four-run outburst gave the Cavs a 9-2 lead. Three straight singles from Bowman, Edwards and Brandon Lineberry plated a run and set up Jordan Lamb, who banged a three-run homer off the scoreboard in right-center.
Chris Rife launched a two-run home run for Grundy in the fifth, but Carroll answered with three runs in the sixth on consecutive singles by Bowman, Edwards, Lineberry and Lamb for the final margin.
Bowman was 4-for-4 from the leadoff spot for the Cavaliers while Edwards and Lineberry were both 3-for-4.
Aaron Hooven fanned eight in five innings for the win, and Anthony Rosenbaum worked the final two scoreless innings.