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HILLSVILLE –– Garrett Nelson made sure the only threat Carroll County faced Wednesday came from Mother Nature.
Under menacing skies that produced a spittle of rain here and there in the middle innings, Grayson County could produce very little against the Cavalier right-hander as Carroll shut out the Blue Devils 9-0 in a nondistrict game at Bill Worrell Field.
Other than a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning, Nelson allowed just one Blue Devil to reach second base and struck out a career-best 13 batters against just one walk.
“Garrett pitched a great game,” Cavalier coach Joe Tompkins said. “He was getting the low strike call and he was able to stay down there for the most part.”
Grayson County (1-6) managed five hits on the day.
“We never could get to him,” Blue Devils coach Mike Worrell said “His change-up was fooling us all day long.”
Neither team managed much until the Cavaliers (5-4) pushed five runs across in the home half of the fourth. Jordan Worrell and Ryan Gravley each drove in a run with an infield single and Reese Edwards later shot a three-run double into the left-center gap for a 5-0 Cavalier lead.
“It took us a while to get the bats going,” said Tompkins. “We got a couple of big two-out hits, and fortunately we were able to take advantage of that and keep the inning going.”
Nelson faced his only real trouble spot in the next half-inning when Grayson filled the bases with a fielder’s choice, an error and a walk, but a lazy fly ball to right ended the threat.
The Cavaliers added two runs in each the fifth and sixth to pull away. Aaron Hooven and Isaac Sumner singled with one out, Hooven scoring on a wild pitch, and Worrell singled up the middle to score Sumner for a 7-0 lead.
Edwards doubled with one out in the sixth and Hooven was hit by a pitch. With runners on the corners, courtesy runner Jake Dillon scored on a pickle play, and Sumner’s pop single over short brought in Hooven.
Edwards and Sumner led Carroll’s 13-hit attack with three hits each and Edwards had three RBIs. Worrell was 2-for-3 with two RBIs and Gravley had a pair of hits.