Gators baseball trumps Trojans

By Jake McMillian

jacob@msgr.com

 

March 27 was a day that had been circled on calendars for a long time.

Just one opponent, an old foe, stood between the Gatewood Gators and spring break. The John Milledge Trojans arrived at Walter C. Rocker complex with a spotless record in region play. They left that evening with a blemish; the Gators accomplished an enormous 6-3 region victory over their historic rival.

Dylan Humphries’ steady production all season on the mound continued with a gutsy performance. Humphries did not have his best stuff by any means, but the junior pitcher consistently delivered key outs to escape each jam. In 5 2/3 innings of work, he allowed 11 hits but only surrendered three runs while striking out four. Senior Brayden Hill relieved Humphries and earned the save with a scoreless 1 1/3 innings.

Gatewood fell to an early 1-0 deficit in the first inning, but the Gators did not trail for long; all of their offensive damage came in an explosive two-inning span. The Gators manufactured two runs in the second inning to claim the lead before opening the game with a four-run third inning.

 In desperate need of run production, the Trojans could not deliver despite constant threats to the Gatewood lead. However, JMA finally cracked into the lead when a two-run blast in the top of the fifth inning cut the Gators’ advantage to just three. Humphries and Hill effectively silenced the Trojans’ momentum as the Gators clinched a much-needed region victory.

“That was a huge win for us, and we really need to build off of it,” Hill said. “Our effort [Tuesday] put us in a good position to win region; we have the potential to beat Westfield at home as well as JMA and Augusta Prep on the road. We have to find a way to keep this momentum going through spring break and into a back-loaded second half of the season.”

Hill was not only a force for the Gators defensively but was also productive at the plate. He and fellow senior Drew Haley and junior Tony Rudolph each finished the day 2-for-3 with two hits. Rudolph also managed an RBI double on the day.

Gatewood will enjoy a brief, one-week hiatus from baseball for the school’s allotted spring break vacation. Gator baseball returns on April 13 when Gatewood travels to Dublin to face the Trinity Crusaders.

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