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Carroll County's Garrett Nelson recorded a career-high 13 strikeouts Wednesday in the Cavaliers' 9-0 win over Grayson County.
Garrett Nelson made sure there would be no Grayson County comeback this time, recording a career-high 13 strikeouts April 4 in a five-hit shutout as Carroll County defeated the Blue Devils 9-0 in Hillsville.
Six days after Grayson County scored seven runs in the sixth inning to rally for a 9-8 win over the Cavs, Nelson said Carroll County (5-4) was champing at the bit to get a second chance at the Blue Devils.
“We’ve been wanting this one real bad,” Nelson said.
Certainly, the senior pitcher was ready to do his part. Keeping Grayson County hitters off-balance all day, Nelson was in full command in the early innings. Striking out the side in the second inning, Nelson then whiffed two more Blue Devils each in the third and fourth innings.
“I was just on. All my pitchers were working and I felt like I could throw strikes,” Nelson said. “I felt really good on the mound.”
The only real jam he faced came in the fifth inning with the Cavaliers up 5-0. After allowing a leadoff single to Johnny Warren, Nelson retired the next two batters. With two outs, Dylan Isom reached on an error and Lucas Rudy walked to load the bases. Nelson ended the threat, however, coaxing a pop fly from Spencer Roberts for the third out.
After allowing a leadoff single to Max Rodgers in the sixth, Nelson then struck out the next three batters to shut the Blue Devils down again. He gave up a one-out single to Austin Anders in the seventh before getting Isom to pop out to first and fanning Rudy for the final out, completing a 105-pitch shutout.
“I’ve went 105 pitches before, but it’s the most I’ve thrown this season,” Nelson said.
The Cavaliers also went scoreless for the first three innings, but found life as dark clouds rolled in from a passing storm. During a light rain shower, Carroll struck for five runs in the fourth inning to take control. Isaac Sumner started the big frame with a one-out double to left. He would score with two outs as Jordan Worrell reached on an error for a 1-0 lead.
Although the storm threatened to delay or even postpone the game, Carroll kept plugging away. Cody Beamer followed with a single to right and Logan Hodges drew a walk to load the bases. Ryan Gravley’s single to the deepest part of the infield scored Worrell and put the Cavs up 2-0. Reece Edwards then delivered the biggest blow, blasting a three-run double to left center to put the Cavs up 5-0 just before he was thrown out at third trying to stretch out a triple.
“Cody Beamer came up with a big hit with two outs to keep the inning alive,” Carroll County head coach Joe Tompkins said. “It took us a while to get going, but once the bats got going everybody picked it up.”
Carroll tacked on two more runs in the fifth as Aaron Hooven and Sumner delivered back-to-back singles with one out. Hooven would score on a wild pitch, while Sumner crossed home plate on Worrell’s RBI single to left for a 7-0 advantage.
The Cavs added two more insurance runs in the sixth as Edwards ripped his second double of the game. Courtesy runner Jake Dillon later scored after Hooven was hit by a pitch and got into a pickle situation. Dillon scored and Hooven avoided getting out, allowing Hooven to score later in the inning on Sumner’s run-scoring single for a 9-0 lead.
Edwards and Sumner both went 3-for-4 to lead the Cavs with Edwards driving in three runs and Sumner scoring twice and driving in one. Gravley went 2-for-4 in the win with a run, while Worrell was 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI.
Grayson 000 000 0 - 0 5 1
Carroll 000 522 x - 9 12 1
Cornett, Isom (4), Rogders (5) and Frost (GC); Nelson and Edwards (CC). WP – Nelson. LP – Isom. 2B – Sumner, Edwards 2.