A key match up here with the Colts was destined to have playoff implications as both teams advanced to the post season a year ago. James Logan also has a rich history of success with their baseball program and is very well coached. Last year’s meeting saw the Gaels go on the road to James Logan High School winning by a score of 9-4, so revenge was definitely on the mind of the Colts. On the mound for the Gaels this time was junior left handed pitcher, Nolan Long. The Gaels 3rd different starting pitcher in 3 games. Long was dominant in his performance throwing 5.2 innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, and 7 strikeouts.
The real test of the game came in the top of the 6th inning with the score still tied at 0. Long walked the lead-off hitter, who promptly took 2nd and 3rd base on wild pitches. With the go-ahead run on 3rd the Gaels brought their infield in to try and cut off the run at the plate. The Gaels got exactly what it was looking for with a ground ball to 2nd baseman Elijah Lee. Lee fielded the ball, looked the runner back at 3rd base, and tossed the ball to first baseman Alex Gaela for the first out of the inning. The strategy continued to pay off as Coach Ed decided to keep the infield in and go after the next hitter. The option to intentionally walk the hitter and set up a double play situation was shut down due to the late innings and tied score. The next play would be pivotal in the Gaels young season as the Logan hitter connected on a very hard hit ground ball between 3rd base and shortstop. The runner at 3rd base took off for home on the crack of the bat. Dublin shortstop, Gabriel Chamberlain, had just enough time to take one step to his backhand, scoop the ball, and deliver a strong throw to Koby Seely at home plate who tagged out the runner for the 2nd out of the inning. Everyone on the Gaels side, coaches, players, and fans, erupted with cheer after the huge play.
Pushing the infield back to its normal positioning with a runner on first base and two outs, Long now looked to get out of the inning unscathed. The Colts however were not finished applying pressure as the runner at 1st base took 2nd on a wild pitch, giving the Colts the winning run (once again) in scoring position. Continuing to play the situation, the Gaels coaching staff decided to pitch around the Colts cleanup hitter and allow him the free base. Now, runners on first and second base, Nolan Long would exit the game giving way to junior right handed pitcher, Elijah Lee. Lee, no stranger to pitching in big games and tough situations, began his varsity career on the mound a year ago as a sophomore in a bases loaded and no outs situation. The coaching staff leaned heavily on the, now junior, to get them out of the jam. As Lee entered the game on the mound, the Gaels replaced him at 2nd base by moving over 3rd baseman Ethan Liao and replaced Liao at 3rd base with senior Micheal Cool. As the saying in baseball goes, “the ball always finds the new guy” and on the second pitch from Lee, the Colts batter hit a ground ball directly at Cool who, like he’s done a million times in practice, made the play and threw out the runner at first base. At this point the momentum had completely shifted to the Gaels and everyone could feel it.
Leading off the bottom of the 6th for the Gaels was senior Alex Gaela. Gaela lined a single to right field giving the Gaels the go-ahead run on first base. Seely was then called out on strikes (very questionable strike 3 call which was expressed to the umpires by all in attendance) which brought Eric Morales to the plate. After fouling off the first pitch, Morales smashed a double down the left field line, giving the Gaels runners on 2nd and 3rd. Now with the Colts in a similar situation, they intentionally walked Gaels pinch hitter Zach Lydon, to set up a force out at home situation. The Colts decided to bring their infield in, much like Dublin did in the previous inning, to try and cut off the go-ahead run at the plate. Coach Ed then looked to another pinch hitter, this time senior Scott Grier, who smashed a 2-1 curveball to left field which scored both Gaela and Morales giving the Gaels a 2-0 lead.
In the top half of the 7th, Lee finished off the Colts by setting them down in order with 1 line out and 2 strikeouts. Lee gets the win on the mound,1 hit each from Eric Morales, Scott Grier, Alex Gaela, and Ethan Liao and the Gaels prevail with the 2-0 win and improve their overall record to 3-0!
Player Of The Game – Scott Grier (game winning pinch hit 2RBI single)
Dublin Wins 2-0! Record 3-0