Gainesville pulls away from Heritage on diamond

aGainesville’s baseball team got a contribution from just about everyone in Monday’s win over Heritage. Ten different players drove in a run, scored a run or both in a 12-5 victory in Region 8-AAAAA play at Danny Blue Field.

Gainesville (18-5, 12-2) defeated Heritage for the second time in four days, and is 4-0 in the series since the teams became region foes in 2013, though the previous three wins were by a combined 27-1.

Heritage (17-8, 11-5) stayed with the visitors from Hall County for much of the game and was down just 6-5 after Justin Roberson (sacrifice fly) and Tyler Holcombe (double) drove in fifth-inning runs against starter and winning pitcher Michael Curry.

Domenic Bazzani had come on in relief of Holcombe in the fifth and allowed an unearned run, but things got much worse for the left-handed Bazzani in the sixth. He walked four in the frame, including two with the bases loaded, and also forced in a run with his second balk of the night as Gainesville sent 12 batters to the plate to got some breathing room at 12-5.

Gainesville stranded two in the top of the second when Holcombe struck out Anthony Carrera and Fedrick Cardona to leave runners at first and second. Holcombe wasn’t as lucky an inning later.

Drew Wright dropped down a perfect bunt base hit to start the frame, then stole second. Sims Griffith followed with a double that carried into the gap in left-center field and scored Wright with the first run of the night.

Holcombe caught Luke Maddox looking at strike three, but during the at bat, Holcombe’s wild pitch chased home Griffith for a two-run cushion.

Curry ripped a 1-1 pitch that just got over the wall in left-center field and put the Red Elephants up 3-0.

Holcombe walked three in the fourth, all of which came back to hurt the right-hander and help Gainesville extend its cushion.

Curry allowed 12 baserunners, including 10 hits, but after leaving up 6-5, Griffith didn’t allow a run and struck out three over the final 2 1/3 innings.

Brandon Sewell, who from the No. 6 spot in the batting order saw a total of 35 pitches in five plate appearances, and Fedrick Cardona reached on walks with Cardona scooting home on a wild pitch and Maddox drawing a bases loaded walk to make it a 5-0 game.

Heritage put an end to Gainesville’s shut out bid and pulled to within 5-3 in the bottom of the fourth. The first four batters had hits, including Holcombe’s run-scoring single and a pinch hit, two-run double from Jalen Jackson.