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Gary Steele wins in final inning
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In Tuesday night’s most heated battle of will and determination, Gary Steele Karate versus Game Xchange came right down to the wire on Dottie West Field.
In the fourth inning, the two teams were locked in a 5-5 tie when Gary Steele rallied and scored not one, but two runs to take the lead and eventually the win by a final score of 7-5.
Game Xchange had the last at-bat and could not pull off the comeback after going three up, three down to end the game after five hard-fought innings.
In the final at-bat for Gary Steele Karate, Kendall Patrick smashed a double to the deepest part of the outfield and it was followed by Joey Rasori who also blasted a double that scored Patrick from second base and Gary Steele had taken control of the lead at 6-5. A single and a walk by Austin Connors and Eli Cantrell had the bases loaded up. That is when Jalen Mart hit a towering pop fly and scored Rasori from third for a 7-5 lead just before the third out.
In the final at-bat for Game Xchange, they were in the middle of the lineup and they went three up, three down at the wrong time and Gary Steele went on to victory.
In the top of the first, Gary Steele Karate led the game off with a monstrous hit by Mart that he turned into a triple. Jake Jones scored Mart from third base off a single and Gary Steele took an early 1-0 lead.
It must have lit a fire under Game Xchange and after the initial lead-off out Game Xchange posted three runs for a 3-1 lead and it started with John Garrett who returned the favor and crushed a triple of his own. Chance Hunter followed the triple with a walk, Hunter stole second base shortly after. Jathen Cagle singled and Garrett and Hunter scored from second and third base for a 2-1 lead. Bryson Elrod singled and scored Cagle for a 3-1 Game Xchange lead.
In the top of the second, Rance McBride drew a walk and he then stole second and third bases shortly thereafter. Cullen Lopez also drew a walk and he stole second base after he reached first. With two outs and two on base, Mart drew a walk to load the bases for Gary Steele Karate. By the time the dust settled and the third out was reached Gary Steele scored three runs to reclaim the lead 4-3.
Game Xchange did not produce in the bottom of the second and Gary Steele Karate retired the side in order and the score remained 4-3.
In the bottom of the third, Garrett hit a line-drive single to lead the inning off followed with a walk by Hunter. Garrett stole third base and just a couple of pitches later Hunter stole second base. Cagle and Elrod singled and the two previous batters, Garrett and Hunter, scored to snatch the lead back at 5-4.
In the top of the fifth, Eli Cantrell was hit by a pitch for the first runner of the inning. He wasted no time and stole second base. Mart and Jones walked and with the bases loaded and two outs, Cantrell pulled off the unthinkable, he stole home to tie the game at 5-5.