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The season opener between Galax and Floyd County two weeks ago was an exercise in efficiency, with just an hour and 51 minutes needed to complete Galax’s tidy 3-1 win.
Floyd County batted for what seemed like at least that much time in a single half-inning in the two teams’ rematch Monday, while Galax’s final turn at bat never did end.
Floyd County took a 14-10 lead into the bottom of the seventh but never could find the second out, much less the third, as the Maroon Tide rallied for five last-gasp runs to take a 15-14 nondistrict win at Felts Park.
By the time Chase Garvey pulled an RBI single through the right side to drive in Nick Davis with the winning run, Galax and Floyd had combined for 29 runs, 29 hits, 13 walks, eight errors and five pitching changes, all peppered throughout a marathon two hours and 47 minutes.
Each team seemed to be out of contention on more than one occasion, but then in games like Monday’s when two teams take turns abusing each other’s pitching, nobody is every truly out of it. The Maroon Tide (2-4) led by four runs entering the fifth inning, trailed by four entering the sixth and remained four runs back headed into its final turn at bat. Eight Galax batters later, Floyd had managed to record but one out and the Tide has hustled five runs across.
With two men on base, Chandler Quesenberry looped an RBI single over first base before two Floyd County errors accounted for three Galax runs. Caleb Spurlin barely beat out an infield single to put runners on the corners, setting up Garvey, who capped a 4-for-4 day with a sharp grounder into left.
The Buffaloes (3-4) broke a scoreless tie with three runs in the top of the third, only to give up five unearned runs in the bottom half of the inning. A two-out fly ball to center was dropped to keep the inning alive for Bryant Cox, who delivered a two-run double. Four consecutive singles followed, with Spurlin, Garvey and Caleb Pack each driving in a run as the Tide seized a 5-3 lead.
Quesenberry drilled a two-run homer in the fourth to boost Galax’s lead to 7-3, but Floyd County sent 14 batters to the plate and went through four Tide pitchers in the top of the fifth to put nine runs on the board for a 12-7 lead. Two runs scored on a misplayed grounder and the Buffaloes added a trio of two-run singles before Galax finally got out of the frame.
Floyd County went ahead by six runs in the top of the sixth on a Dustin Faulkner RBI double and a sacrifice fly from Brandon Gearhart. Galax commenced its comeback with two runs in the home half of the sixth on back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Davis and Spurlin.
Galax’s fifth pitcher of the day, Pack recorded the only 1-2-3 inning by either club in the top of the seventh, earning the win with the Tide’s ensuing rally.
In addition to Garvey’s big day, Quesenberry and Spurlin had three hits each while Alex Larrowe, Alex Zipprich and Davis added two apiece as Galax banged out 18 hits in all.
Gearhart and Kuchenbuch had three hits and two RBIs each for the Buffaloes.