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Galax outlasts Buffaloes

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Twice rallying from three runs down, the Tide won in the eighth on a bases-loaded hit batsman.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

Three hours, 18 runs, 10 errors and seven pitchers weren’t enough to get the nondistrict game between Galax and Floyd County finished on time. A pitch in the ribs was all it took. Brock Cox absorbed a Matt Hollandsworth fastball in the side with the bases loaded, forcing in the winning run in the bottom of the eighth inning Wednesday as the Maroon Tide edged the Buffaloes 10-9 at Felts Park. Each team had wasted a three-run lead, Floyd doing so twice, as regulation ended with a 9-9 deadlock. Michael Bond had taken the mound for Galax in the top of the seventh and walked Floyd’s leadoff batter, then went to a 3-0 count on the next batter before getting two strikeouts and a ground ball out. Galax nearly ended the game in regulation in the home seventh. An error and an Eddie Hanks double had Tide runners on second and third when Travis Cockerham lofted a one-out fly ball to center, but the Buffaloes’ Riley St.Pierre made the catch and fired a strike to the plate that barely beat Jacob Woodel, the double play keeping Floyd alive for one more inning. Bond went 1-2-3 in the top of the eighth, but Hollandsworth lost the strike zone in the bottom half, walking the bases loaded before plunking Cox. It was an anticlimactic finish to what had been a back-and-forth affair as Galax (1-0) built a three-run lead and twice had to rally from three runs down. The Maroon Tide batted around in the bottom of the first, scoring three times thanks to three walks, three Floyd errors and just two hits, one of them a Bond RBI single for the game’s first run. Floyd County (0-1) was ahead by three by the middle of the fifth. Hollandsworth rapped a two-run single in the third, a wild pitch and a ground-out put Floyd on top 4-3 in the fourth, and the Buffaloes extended their lead to 6-3 on a run-scoring ground-out and a Russell Calhoun RBI single in the fifth. Galax knotted the score with a three-run rally in the bottom of the fifth, starting with a Cockerham double to right and a Bond single off the leg of Floyd pitcher Cole Manning. Travis Garvey laced a single to left, driving both runners home, and later scored on a wild pitch for a 6-6 game. The lead didn’t last as Galax was immediately faced with another three-run deficit in the sixth. The Tide’s lone error preceded a walk and a single to fill the bases, and Hollandsworth grounded into a fielder’s choice to score Eli Overstreet. Austin Poff followed with a two-run single and Galax was behind 9-6. The Tide caught the Buffaloes as quickly as they had let them go, scoring three runs in the sixth, including two on Floyd’s ninth error of the afternoon. Garvey led Galax’s eight-hit attack with a 3-for-4, three-RBI day while Cockerham and Bond added two hits each. Bond also earned the win on the mound by working the final two innings, allowing no hits while striking out three and walking one. Hollandsworth and Poff combined for five hits and five RBIs for Floyd County.     Floyd County......002  223  00–– 9  10  9 Galax..................300  033  01––10   8  1

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Poff, Manning (2), Hollandsworth (6) and Van Blerk. Cockerham, Garvey (4), Cox (6), Bond (7) and Woodel. WP – Bond. LP – Hollandsworth, E –– Poff, Manning, Carr 3, Titus, VanBlerk, Hanks, Overstreet, Calhoun. DP – Floyd County 1 (F-8-2). 2B – Poff, Garvey, VanBlerk, Cockerham, Hanks. SB – Woodel, Cox, Overstreet, Titus 2, Hollandsworth, Bond 2. CS – Bond. Sac. – Sawyer. LOB – Floyd County 7, Galax 12.

None out when winning run scored.