The Gainesville High School baseball team defeated P.K. Yonge in their first regular season game on Monday by a score of 6-3. Although they lost by three runs, P.K. Yonge nearly mounted a comeback in the 7th inning.
The Hurricanes entered the final inning with a five-run lead, but P.K. Yonge started the inning with 2 walks and a triple. This forced head coach Adrian Ramos to take out relief pitcher Nate Kemph. Coach Ramos looked to relief pitcher Josh Morison to secure the final three outs and hold onto the Hurricanes’ lead.
Morison was able to get the first two batters out but after two wild pitches and a walk, P.K. Yonge brought the tying run to the plate with two outs in the 7th inning. With the game on the line, Morison struck out the final batter, ensuring the Hurricanes’ victory.
Pitchers Can Hit Too
It was a great night for the pitchers. Hurricanes’ starting pitcher Tyler Guarino was dominant on the mound. He allowed just 1 hit and two walks through five innings. Guarino led off on offense, hitting a single in the Hurricanes’ first at-bat. Later in the inning, clean-up hitter and relief pitcher Josh Morison drove Guarino in for the Hurricanes’ first run.
In the 3rd inning, right fielder and relief pitcher Nate Kemph hit a two-run home run to give the Hurricanes a 3-0 lead. In the 6th inning, Kemph hit another bomb. This time it was a three-run homer that gave the Hurricanes a 5-run lead with only one inning left. Hurricanes’ pitchers accounted for all six runs driven in by the team.
After an electrifying offensive performance and scoreless 6th inning relief appearance, Kemph looked to secure the Hurricanes’ victory by recording the final three outs. However, the P.K. Yonge offense got the best of him and the first three batters he faced all got on base. Coach Ramos turned to Morison to finish off P.K. Yonge.
There were no easy outs for Morison. Every P.K. Yonge batter fought to stay alive. The first batter Morison faced took three consecutive balls before Morison found his command and struck him out. The next batter also took three balls before Morison fought back to strike him out.
Morison walked the next batter, meaning the tying run for P.K. Yonge came to the plate. P.K. Yonge was one home run away from changing the game. Morison ended the potential comeback, striking out the last batter for his third strikeout of the inning.
Coach Ramos stressed that many different players are important to the team’s success.
“It’s a team effort,” Ramos said. “If someone can’t finish it off, hopefully the next guy can step in and do what’s required to shut the door.”