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Devils win middle school tourney

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GCMS outscored its opposition a combined 64-14 to win the Pulaski Middle School Invitational.

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PULASKI -- The Grayson County Middle School baseball team won the Pulaski Middle School Invitational tournament, defeating the host Cougars 12-4 last Saturday at Calfee Park. The annual tournament is a fundraiser for Pulaski’s grade 6-8 baseball program.  Grayson had finished second in last year’s tournament and was looking for another chance at the championship. Saturday’s play began with a 19-0 early game win against Mountain Empire District rival Fort Chiswell.  Dylan Isom took the mound for Grayson and threw two hitless innings, striking out three.  Spencer Roberts closed the mercy rule-shortened game with one inning of no-hit relief.  Offensively the Blue Devils were led by Dylan Morris, who was 2-for-3 with a double, and Lucas Rudy walked twice and tripled.  A 15-run second inning sealed the game for Grayson Traveling to Dublin Middle School for a 2 p.m. game, the Blue Devils had to face a Blacksburg team that had already beaten Fort Chiswell 11-7 in its opening game.  Matthew Cornett again pitched two scoreless, hitless innings and Roberts closed the mercy rule-shortened game, facing only three batters in the third.  After three Grayson batters walked and two singled, Morris cleared the bases with a single, giving the Devils a four-run lead in the first.  They added eight runs in the second and 10 more in the third for a 22-0 win.  Rudy was 4-for-4 with a double while Roberts was 2-for-3 with a leadoff homerun in the third.  Cornett was 2-for-3 with a double, Landon Frost added a third-inning grand slam and Adam Wyatt and Dustin Lundy added doubles.  For the day the Blue Devil pitchers allowed no hits and no runs while the defense committed no errors.  This allowed head coach Charles Campbell to enter Sunday’s games with the No. 1 seed and his full complement of pitchers.   Rain soaked the Calfee field for Sunday’s games and Grayson found itself in quite a different battle with Blacksburg.  Having again beaten Fort Chiswell early that morning to earn the No. 4 seed, Blacksburg came with its A-game Sunday.  Grayson spotted Isom a 5-1 lead in the first inning and added three more runs in the second.  Lundy and Gavin Bailey led the Devils offensively, each going 2-for-3. Roberts was 1-for-2 with two walks.  After pulling to within 10-3, Blacksburg battled back in the pouring rain, taking advantage of seven fielding errors to close the gap to 10-9 in the fourth.  Grayson added another run in the bottom of the inning only to give up one in the top of the fifth.  Roberts relieved Isom in the fourth and went 2 2/3 innings.  Frost threw an inning and a third for the save.  The 11-10 victory put the Devils in the championship game, played immediately following. The rain finally stopped and host Pulaski took the field having beaten Scott Memorial, Mt. View, and Galax, all by shutout.  Both teams reached the finals with their aces intact but Grayson chose to let Frost start the second game, and he gave the Blue Devils 2 1/3 strong innings before giving way to Cornett.  The Devils jumped on the Pulaski starter with a six-run first inning and never looked back.  With a 6-4 lead, Cornett allowed no runs in 3 2/3 innings while pacing the Devils with a 4-for-4 performance with two doubles at the plate.  Morris and Bailey added two hits apiece while Ty Cannaday, Lundy, Rudy, Roberts, and Frost all added hits.  The mercy rule was invoked in the sixth, giving Grayson a 12 -4 championship game victory. Grayson batters piled up 64 runs in only 16 offensive innings during the four-game sweep while holding opponents to a combined 14 runs in 18 defensive innings.  While swiping bases regularly in each game the Devils failed to have a runner thrown out stealing all weekend.  The Blue Devils move to a record of 11-0 on the season.