Blue Devils title hopes suffer major blow

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By Goose Lindsay, Sports Editor

Harriman’s hopes of winning the District 3-A regular season championship all but ended earlier this week as Andy Adcox’s Blue Devils suffered a pair of losses to Grace Christian Academy.

Harriman hosted Grace Christian on Monday, but home field didn’t matter as the Rams handcuffed the Blue Devils bats, 4-0. 

Tuesday would see the Blue Devils take a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning at Grace Christian, but the wheels fell off Harriman’s wagon before the inning ended as the Rams picked up eight runs on their way to a 10-3 victory.

Monday’s Game

Grace Christian’s Zack Slagle was the story Monday as the junior pitcher tossed a two-hitter with one walk and 16 strikeouts past the Blue Devils.

Slagle ran into trouble only twice Monday as Harriman put runners in scoring position in only the first and third innings.

Devil leadoff hitter Cody Barnard opened Harriman’s half of the first inning and would steal second, but Slagle used a pair of strikeouts and a ground ball back to the mound to get out of trouble.

Harriman’s best scoring chance came in the third inning as Tyler Dishman used three Ram errors to advance to third base, but Slagle turned up the heat as he struck out the side to get out of the jam.

Harriman’s only other hit of the game came when Chris Works singled with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning.

Despite the lack of offense, the Blue Devils stayed within striking distance for much of the contest thanks to a strong performance from Dishman. Dishman tossed 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Grace Christian scored their first run in the third inning and they scored again in the sixth inning to make the score 2-0. The rams used a two-run homer from Bryson Shelton in the top of the seventh inning to pull away.

Tuesday’s Game

If Harriman is unable to work their way back into the thick of the District 3-A race, the Blue Devils will look back to the bottom of the sixth inning of Tuesday’s game at Grace Christian as a big reason why.

Harriman took a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Rams send 13 hitters to the plate and scored eight runs in rallying for the 10-3 victory.

Harriman scored first Tuesday as Barnard led off the game with a single and he scored when Dishman reached on an error with two outs.

Harriman’s lead didn’t last long, however, as the Rams used a pair of hits and an error in the bottom of the frame to take a 2-1 lead.

Harriman didn’t threaten again until they took the lead in the top of the sixth inning.

Dishman got the inning started with a one-out walk then a pitch hit Ryne Goldston to keep things going. Following the second out of the inning, Devon Franklin walked to load the bases then Trenton Catron singled home two runs to give the Devils the 3-2 lead.

Harriman reloaded the bases when Tyler Manning reached on an error, but the bases would be left full of Devils when Grace Christian used a strikeout to get out of the inning.

As was the case in the first inning, Harriman’s lead would be short-lived. Grace Christian opened the bottom half of the inning with a hit batter and by the time the frame ended, the Rams held a 10-3 lead.

 Barnard (2-3, 1 run) and Catron (2-3, 2 RBIs) had multiple hits on the day for the Blue Devils.