The Garaway Pirates got a couple of wins this past week, one a key contest with Sandy Valley that helped the Pirates remain within two games of league-leading Hiland in Inter-Valley Conference play.
On April 24, the Pirates turned back Chippewa 12-2 in a five-inning affair.
The Pirates got on the scoreboard in the second when Derek Briggs drew a two-out walk, advanced on Micah VanFossen’s single, stole third and scored on an error.
Garaway tacked on another single tally in the third when BJ Schwartz singled, moved along on a passed ball, went to third on Quinn Miller’s single and scored on an RBI ground-out by Ryan Aleshire.
It wasn’t until the fourth that the Pirates put the offense into high gear.
Ben Koshmider and Peyton Miller both singled leading off the inning, and Schwartz singled in a run. A walk to Trey Hershberger was followed by a two-run single off the bat of Quinn Miller, and Briggs and VanFossen later hit run-scoring singles to make it 8-0 Pirates.
Garaway then put it away with a four-run fifth inning that saw Schwartz get plunked, Trey Hershberger draw a walk and Quinn Miller spank his third straight single to produce a run. Ian Hershberger then cleaned house with a triple and scored on a Briggs single to complete the scoring.
With the offense now banging on all cylinders, Schwartz was doing his thing on the mound, rolling through the Chipps offense with ease. He allowed single tallies in the first and fourth, allowing just one walk while striking out one and scattering seven hits.
Quinn Miller crushed out three hits, scored a pair and drove home three, while Schwartz, Briggs and VanFossen all collected two hits, with Schwartz scoring three times atop the Pirates line-up. Aleshire and Ian Hershberger each drove home two runs in the win.
Two nights later, Garaway faced a stiffer challenge in Inter-Valley Conference foe Sandy Valley, and while it was a much tighter game, the end result turned into another Pirates win.
After both teams charged out of the gate with two runs apiece in the first inning, Cardinal starter Cameron Woods and Pirates’ pitcher Trey Hershberger settled in and started throwing out zeroes.
Sandy Valley scored two runs in the top of the first inning courtesy of only a lead-off single. Hershberger struggled with his control, giving up a pair of walks and hitting a batter, and an error helped ignite the Cardinals’ two-run inning.
Garaway’s answer came swiftly in the bottom of the inning. With one out Hershberger singled and Quinn Miller reached on an error, allowing Hershberger to race to third. Woods then committed a balk, scoring a run, and Aleshire was hit by a pitch. Ian Hershberger then singled in Miller to tie the score at 2-2.
Through the next four innings Garaway put just one runner on base, Ian Hershberger drawing a walk off of woods in the fourth. That proved to be a colossal base runner. Hershberger was sacrificed to second by Briggs, took third on a ground-out and scored when Woods balked in his second run of the game, giving the Pirates what would become the eventual game-winning run.
Sandy Valley kept pecking away at Trey Hershberger and the Pirates, but the Garaway righty never let a runner past second base, despite having someone on base in every inning from the second to the sixth inning.
Clinging to the one-run lead, Garaway erupted for three runs in the bottom of the sixth to get a little bit of cushion. Quinn Miller was hit by a pitch to begin the inning, stole second and strode home when Aleshire whacked a double to the wall in center. Trevor Donaldson pinch ran, and he came around to score on Ian Hershberger’s single. After Briggs hit a comeback to the mound for the first out of the inning, VanFossen came through with a single that plated pinch-runner Gary Miller to make it 6-2.
The four-run cushion took some of the pressure off, but it really paid off because reliever Josh Yoder got in a bit of a fix in the top of the seventh before working himself out of it to preserve the win. Nelson Mozden began the seventh for Sandy Valley with a single, and Yoder recorded two outs before giving up a single to Woods and a walk to load the bases. However, he was able to escape the danger with a strikeout to end the threat, and the game.
Mozden had two of the Cardinals’ seven hits, while Woods went a strong six innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits, walking one without recording a strikeout.
Garaway was able to overcome four more errors, a nasty trait that has come back to bite them some this season. Trey Hershberger twirled a fantastic six-inning stint, scattering five hits with one strikeout and two walks. Yoder allowed two hits and a walk and struck out a pair in his inning of work.
At the dish, Ian Hershberger banged out two more hits, VanFossen drove home a pair of runs and Quinn Miller scored twice for the Pirates.
Garaway now stands at 13-5 on the campaign. The Pirates are being paced offensively by Quinn Miller and Ian Hershberger, who are batting .426 and .413 respectively. Aleshire has driven in 19 runs to lead the team, followed in RBI by Ian Hershberger and VanFossen, who both have driven in 16, while Quinn Miller had knocked home 15. Quinn Miller also leads the team in hits with 26 and runs scored with 25, while Schwartz and Trey Hershberger have both scored 17 times. On the bases, Quinn Miller had reeled off a dozen stolen bases, while Trey Hershberger has pilfered seven bags.
Trey Hershberger currently stands at 4-1 on the mound, while Peyton Miller is 3-1, Schwartz is 3-3 and Yoder is 2-0. Yoder has converted all three of his save opportunities to pace the team in saves, while Briggs has recorded two. Peyton Miller is sporting a sensational 0.32 earned run average, Yoder’s sits solidly at 1.81 and Trey Hershberger’s is a solid 2.65.