LaGrange gets dramatic road win over Columbus

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com

COLUMBUS – The LaGrange Grangers returned the favor.

On Thursday, Columbus visited LaGrange and came away with a 4-2 victory in a Region 1-AAAAA game.

A day later, those same two teams were playing again, and this time Columbus was the home team.

It was another close one, with LaGrange hanging on for a 6-5 victory to even its region record at 1-1.

Trailing by one, the Blue Devils had the bases loaded with one out in the bottom of the seventh, and Jake Howard was on the mound for the Grangers.

Howard got a groundball, and LaGrange turned a double play to end the threat, and the game.

“I was proud to see them come back,” LaGrange head coach David Smart said. “We did feel like we played fairly well last night, and had a chance to win late and didn’t pull it out. And then you have to turn around and go on the road to their place. They have an outstanding club. You kind of felt like the deck was stacked against you. But they came out and fought.”

Ben Anderson got the start for LaGrange, and he pitched the first six innings to get the win.

Howard, who threw two scoreless innings in Thursday’s game, was called upon to finish it off, and he made it happen with some help from the defense.

LaGrange took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning.

David Sweat and Howard reached on errors to begin the game, and Ben Anderson and Cole Freeman both had hits later in the inning.

Columbus answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning on a grand slam by Gage Dempsey to take a 3-2 lead.

The Grangers came right back with three runs in the top of the second to reclaim the lead, this time for good.

Jake Farrar had a two-run single in the second, and Howard was hit with the bases loaded to bring in another run.

Columbus scored a run in the bottom of the third, but it was shut out the rest of the way by Anderson and Howard.

Farrar and Anderson each had two hits and two RBIs for LaGrange.

LaGrange will look to move above .500 in the region when it visits Shaw on Tuesday.

OF NOTE: For a look back at the two dramatic games against Columbus, check out Monday’s sports section.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports