Garrettsville, OH- On a warm and sunny Saturday morning at James A. Garfield High School, the Garfield G-MEN hosted the Newton Falls Tigers in a Mahoning Valley Conference baseball matchup. Owen Gazda was on the mound for the Tigers opposed by Garfield's ace Eric Geddes.
Newton Falls got off to a fast start in the top of the 1st aided by a couple of G-MEN defensive errors. The Tigers put together four straight hits by Cameron Huff, Ethan Powell, Trevor Ruscoe and Holden Hanzel off of Geddes to start the game. He was able to settle down and strike out Brian Litz and Jesse Chitwood with the bases loaded to end the inning. The G-MEN were able to get one back in the bottom half on a Geddes RBI single. Tigers led 3-1 after one.
Geddes set the Tigers down 1-2-3 in the top of the 2nd including a pair of strikeouts.
Garfield got the bats going as they scored three times off of Gazda with run scoring singles by Jackson Sommer and Vinnie Grandizio. 4 hits and 3 runs in the inning gave them the lead at 4-3 after two.
The third inning was a repeat of the second as Geddes set the Tigers down again 1-2-3. Trevor Ruscoe entered the game on the mound for Newton Falls in inning three. The G-MEN again put up a three spot on RBI singles by Ian Hunt and Brandyn Bugucki followed by a sacrifice fly by Jackson Sommer to round out the scoring. Garfield led 7-3 after three.
The Tigers started the 4th with an infield single by Carter Rapczak, who stole second base but was stranded there after two strikeouts and a fly out to end the threat. Ruscoe was able to hold the G-MEN scoreless in his second inning of work keeping the deficit at 7-3 after four.
After getting the first out to open the top of the 5th, Geddes allowed a single by Ruscoe but was helped out by his defense as they turned a 6-4-3 double play to end the top of the inning. The Tigers changed pitchers again as Alex Pennington took the mound. Garfield had their biggest inning of the game in the bottom half as they scored 5 runs on RBI singles by Geddes, Vinnie Grandizio, Tyler Lutz, Carter Bates and Ian Hunt to round it out. Garfield built a 12-3 lead after five.
Newton Falls was able to string a few hits together and scored a run on an error at third base before Geddes logged his 9th strikeout of the day to end the top of the sixth. Jackson Sommer led off the bottom half with a double, Garfield's fist extra base hit of the game. After stealing third he was able to score on a Tyler Bacskowski pinch hit single. He stole 2nd base and score the winning run via the 10-run rule on a Leo Grandizio single. The G-MEN prevailed 14-4.
Eric Geddes was solid on the mound and at the plate as he went the distance striking out 9 and allowing only 1 walk. At the plate he helped his cause going 3/4 with 2 RBI. Vinnie and Leo Grandizio each had a pair of hits and RBI's. Ian Hunt also chipped in 2 hits and 2 RBI's.
Trevor Ruscoe and Carter Rapczak each had 2 hits for the Tigers.
The G-MEN move to 9-2 on the season.
I talked with Garfield coach Mike Paes and Eric Geddes after the game.