Brookwood beats Grayson 7-6 in error-filled game

Photo by Brandon Brigman

Photo by Brandon Brigman

SNELLVILLE -- Both Brookwood and Grayson were plagued by errors throughout their Region 8-AAAAA baseball clash Friday night.

However, the host Broncos did a better job of limiting the damage on their miscues, and then bouncing back from them.

And they took advantage when the Rams' fifth error of the night kept the bottom of the seventh alive as Robert Borkhuis' two-out RBI single lifted Brookwood to a 7-6 victory at the Dave Hunter Complex.

In all, the two teams combined for seven errors and 10 unearned runs, including all but one of Brookwood's (6-7, 2-1).

And boots at costly times led to each team letting two-run leads slip away, including Brookwood twice.

"That's been happening to us," Broncos coach Rick Howard said of his team's two errors on the night. "But (Friday), we answered. That's what we've been working on. Errors are going to happen. That's part of the game. But it's big if you can bounce back from them."

Both teams had chances to rebound from costly errors, and the Broncos did so first after an error scored one run and extended the top of the fourth for Drew Sexton's RBI triple, which put Grayson (4-10, 1-2) in front 4-2.

A pair of errors opened the door in the bottom of the fifth and the Broncos cashed in on RBI singles by Chad Ikerd and Lucas Sims sandwiched around Trey Martin's RBI double to vault Brookwood into the lead at 5-4.

It looked like the lead would stand, especially after Nick Moore's RBI double in the bottom of the sixth made the score 6-4.

However, an error in the top of the seventh scored Joey LaRocca, who had singled to lead off the inning, to give Grayson new life at 6-5.

And the Rams took advantage with another fortunate break.

Clay Ardeeser hit a liner that looked like it would be handled by Martin, but the Brookwood centerfielder slipped while running in for it, and the ball sailed to the wall for an RBI triple that tied the game 6-6.

Kyle Streicher then sent a bouncer to third that took a bad hop off the glove of a lunging Nick Moore.

Sims was there to back it up to keep Ardeeser at third, but Streicher had an infield hit and stole second to put runners on second and third with still only one out.

However, Seth Schutter (2-0) bore down and struck out back-to-back hitters to help Brookwood escape with the game still tied.

"I just tried to stay as positive as I could," the junior right-hander said. "I just looked for that next opportunity to get an out. I knew I could do it."

That work was rewarded with two outs in the bottom of the seventh, but not until one last Grayson error when it looked like the game might be headed to extra innings.

Trey Hagey raced all the way to second after his routine pop to second was dropped, which brought Borkhuis to the plate after Tremayne Toorie was intentionally walked.

The junior second baseman launched an 0-1 offering from JoJo Cruz (3-2) into the gap in left-center, allowing Hagey to cruise home with the winning run -- a disappointing end to a disappointing game for Grayson.

"That was frustrating because to this night, we'd been pitching well and playing solid defense," Rams coach Seth Rhine said.

Rams starter Taylor Allum actually pitched well, scattering five hits and five runs -- all unearned -- over five innings in a no decision. Grayson also got two hits each from Sexton and Streicher.

Borkhuis and Martin led the Brookwood offense with two hits and an RBI apiece, while Michael Gouge drove in a pair of runs.