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Sometimes that whole hit it where they ain’t thing can be overrated.
Galax made the most of a little on Friday, managing four runs on just one hit and riding a solid performance by sophomore lefthander Logan Beamer to a 4-2 Mountain Empire District win over Narrows at Felts Park.
“It was a very well-played ballgame by both teams,” said Galax coach Bobby Parnell. “Their pitcher settled in and threw strikes, and that curveball of his was a nasty thing. But I was proud of Logan. He did what he’s done all year. He threw strikes and got batters out. He’s not overpowering, but he throws strikes, and we played defense behind him.”
Narrows starter Will Patteson was nearly unhittable in the latter innings, but his inability to find the strike zone in the early going was his undoing. The Maroon Tide’s one hit – a looping single to shallow center by Bryant Cox in the third – factored only minimally in the Tide scoring.
Galax (6-7 overall, 2-1 district) pushed three runs across without benefit of a hit in the bottom of the second as two walks and an error filled the bases for Cody Spencer, whose squeeze bunt plated Chandler Quesenberry with the game’s first run. A walk to Daniel Larrowe and a pitch to the leg of Stew Merdian – both with the bases loaded – brought the other two runs home.
Both of Narrows’ two singles off of Beamer came immediately following Galax’s three-run rally. No. 9 hitter Courtland Caldwell singled to right and was followed by two walks to load the bases for Tyler Evans, who singled to right to drive in two runs.
Basically, that was it for the Green Wave (5-3-1, 1-2). Beamer allowed just three baserunners over the final four innings, all on walks, and one was erased attempting to steal third with one out in the fifth.
Galax added a single run in the bottom of the third when Quesenberry walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch. It was donuts for the Tide from that point on as only one Galax batter reached base the final three innings.
Beamer’s pitch count was in the 90s after six innings, but Parnell didn’t hesitate to send him back out for the seventh to finish what he started.
“He said he wanted the ball, and he’s the kind of kid that if he wants it, we’ll give it to him,” Parnell said. “I was proud of him today.”
Wins over Narrows the past few years have come to be expected, but Friday’s was a key one against a much-improved Green Wave team that is capable of shaking up the district race with an upset or two. The win also prevented the Tide from falling to 1-2 in the league with MED leader Grayson already sitting at 4-0.
“It was a very good win for us,” Parnell said. “We really needed this one today. Narrows is up there in the region in [the points standings], next week we’ve got Graham in a double header up there, and they gave Grayson a run for their money yesterday, so that will be a couple of big games up there, too.”