Owls fall to Gastonia in extras, 4-3
Kane Barrow’s shallow bloop single in the tenth inning spoiled Thomas Konrad’s strong outing as Forest City dropped a hard-fought contest with rival Gastonia 4-3 in extra innings Thursday at McNair Field.
Konrad pitched six innings and gave up three hits in the no decision.
“This was a tough,” said pitching coach Chris Torgenson. “Tommy Konrad threw great. We just could not get it done. We’ve got a lot of baseball coming up so we have to put this one behind use."
Pitching dominated the first two frames of the contest as Forest City’s Thomas Konrad and Gastonia’s Conner Gilmore locked horns. The Owls (2-5 second half) did mount a threat in the third.
With two outs, ninth place hitter, Colin Forgey dumped Forest City’s first hit in center and Blake Butler followed with a walk. Kendall Keeton garnered a RBI with a sharp single to left that made the score 1-0.
The Owls looked to add to their lead in the fourth as they loaded the bases with one out, but Forgey lined into an unassisted double play to the second baseman.
Not to be outdone, the Owls also flashed the leather in the fifth.
With Tyler Beckwith at the plate, Carl Wise fielded a ball deep in the hole at third and fired across the diamond to Hunter Bryant for the out.
The Grizzlies mounted a major threat in the sixth, loading the bases with one out. Konrad looked as if he might get out of the jam when he got Gardner-Webb’s Henry Rundio to pop out, but a wild pitch allowed Blake Houston to cross with the tying run. The damage could have been worse had Forgey not made a nice running catch in left to leave the score at 1-1.
The Owls made a bid to retake the lead in the bottom half. Derrick Pitts led off with a double and moved to third on a groundout by Nick McQuail. Gilmore was replaced on the mound by Sam Thole and he did his job, striking out Wise and getting Jeff Revez to line out. As a result, the game was still tied 1-1.
The visitors took the lead in the top of the seventh under controversial circumstances.
Pinch hitter Danny Fragga led off with a single and was sacrificed to second then Chris Robinson singled to put runners on the corners.
One out later, Houston lined a single to center. Matt Naldolski slipped allowing both runners to score.
Owls manager David Tufo contended that Houston missed the first base bag and was ejected. Pitching coach Todd Coffey was also tossed and took the base with him. After the delay, Brecken Williams came on and retired the side.
The Owls wasted little time in tying the score.
Forgey was plunked and two outs later Naldolski singled and took third on a two base throwing error. That miscue allowed Forgey to trot home to cut the deficit to 3-2. Hunter Bryant followed with a sharp drive to center to tie the score.
Williams struck out the side in the eighth and worked a scoreless ninth.
In that ninth, Forgey drew a leadoff walk and stole second with one out. After Keaton struck out Nadolski walked but Pitts popped out to send the game into extra frames.
In the tenth, Jake Padgett walked Houston and he moved to second on a bunt. Houston took third on a wild pitch and scored on a shallow single by Kane Barrow.
The Owls would not go quietly, though as Pitts singled over the first base bag. That’s the only offense the home team could muster falling 4-3.
Forgey led Forest City at the plate going 1-1 with a walk and two runs scored.