RUTLEDGE – The Grainger High School Grizzly baseball team faced the visiting Union County High School Patriots Thursday, April 8. Brady Smith continued his torrid pace on the mound. He fanned 14 Union hitters and allowed only one hit and the Grizzlies slipped past the Patriots 1-0 in extra innings. Smith was nearly untouchable in six innings before turning things over to Trever Johnson and Eli May, who each pitched one inning and had two strikeouts. At the plate, May went 2-for-3 with a double and Dawson Holt had a key hit in the eighth inning.
The pitching staff has been impressive for the Grizzlies so far this season. Heading into last weekend’s slate of games, Brady Smith had only surrendered six hits while striking out 42 opposing batters and recording a 0.00 earned run average. Hunter Smith had 19 K’s and an ERA under 1 at .940, Trever Johnson posted a .636 ERA and Eli May had a respectable 2.17 ERA. The staff had combined for five shutouts and a 1.04 overall ERA.
Grainger continues to have problems with Carter High School as they lost for the second time this season to the Hornets, this time a 6-4 setback Friday, April 9. A two-run homer by the Hornets was the big hit in the first inning for Carter. The Grizzlies trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the first inning and were able to get two of the runs back on Cole Crumpley and Brady Smith’s RBIs. However, the Hornets were able to answer with three additional runs in the second inning. Holt scored on a wild pitch and Sawyer Stout scored on a Ian Dortch single to produce the 6-4 final.
Grizzlies skipper Garrett Yates wanted to get his team back on the field as quickly as possible after the Carter loss and that came on the next day, Saturday, April 10. Grainger shook off any lingering effects of the loss to Carter early on. They scored six runs in the bottom of the first inning and went on to a 9-2 win over the Morristown East High School Hurricanes.
May got the nod on the mound as he pitched four and two-third innings and struck out three batters. May helped himself at the plate as he was 3-for-3. Crumpley came into the game and fanned three Hurricanes batters over the last two and a third innings. East had trouble retiring Dortch all day as he drove in five runs.
Grainger takes on West Greene High School this week in conference action and then travels to Morristown this weekend where they will face Pike County, Kentucky and the Trojans of Morristown West High School.