Owls vs Gastonia
Jul. 10, 2014 @ 11:10 AM
FOREST CITY —
In front of a sparse crowd of 611 fans Wednesday night at McNair Field, Nick Nietzel and Jared Cheek engaged in a pitcher’s duel. When Nietzel left the game in the sixth inning, Gastonia broke through for two runs and they two more runs in the ninth to pull away for a 5-1 win over Forest City.
Forest City’s lone (20-14) run came in the fourth inning on Conner Clancey’s fourth homer of the season.
“Cheek is one of the best pitcher’s in the league,” said Owls manager Andrew Ciencin. “Having said that, we should have made adjustments and we didn’t.”
In the games early going, Forest City pitcher Neitzel and Gastonia hurler Jared Cheek locked horns in a pitcher’s duel. Through the first three innings, the teams garnered a combined three hits.
Gastonia mounted a threat in the fourth as Joe Koehler walked as did Zade Deaton. But Neitzel settled down and struck out Tyler Beckwith looking to leave the game scoreless.
It did not stay that way for long however as cleanup hitter Conner Clancey took a 1-1 pitch over the leftfield wall for a solo homerun and a 1-0 Owls lead.
Travis Bess made a bid to tie the game in the top of the fifth as he tripled to left center field Bess came home on a sacrifice fly by Anthony Dimino to retie the game at 1-1. Forest City looked to go back in front in their next at bat, loading the bases with two out. But Clancey struck out to end the threat.
Eric Birkland took over on the mound for Neitzel on the mound in the sixth and promptly gave up a two run double to Ronald Thompson as the Grizzlies a 3-1 lead.
In the seventh, Gardner- Webb product Mitch Warner sat Gastonia down in order, including a striking out college teammate Henry Rundio to end the inning He worked another perfect inning in the eighth, but the Owls still trailed 3-1
Rundio redeemed himself in the ninth with a two run single down the right field line to give the Gastonia a 5-1 lead.
Bradley Jones walked in the Owls final at bat, but could not advance past first as Forest City fell 5-1
The Owls return home Friday as they host Columbia as part of a doubleheader first pitch is set for 6pm.
Gastonia: 000 012 002 5 9 2
Forest City: 000 100 000 1 4 0
WP: J. Cheek (4-2)
LP: E. Birklund (2-4)
HR: C. Clancey (4)