Graders drop heartbreaker to Monarchs, 6-5

FLAT ROCK, Mich. — Galion’s losing skid is now at four consecutive games after the Graders dropped a 6-5 heartbreaker to the Lake Erie Monarchs on Thursday evening at Flat Rock Field.

It marked the third evening in a row that Galion lost by two runs or less.

Galion (4-10) held a 3-0 lead in the third inning after pushing two runs home in the second frame and another in the third. However, the Monarchs (6-10) scored a solo run in the bottom of the third and then tied the game at three in the home half of the fourth.

The Graders regained the lead at 4-3 in the top of the fifth, but the home side rallied again, plating two runs in the seventh to grab a 5-4 edge. Galion tied the game in the top of the eighth, but Lake Erie scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the bottom of the inning.

Jacob Britt led the Monarchs offense, going 3-for-4 and driving in a pair of runs. Mark Skonieczny finished 2-for-4 and scored twice. Jake Shepski and Dazon Cole each had two hits and scored a run. Jason Gasser doubled and scored a run. Aaron Aucker drew two walks and scored a run.

Monarchs reliever Jeremy Kravetz (1-2) earned the win after working 3-1/3 innings. He gave up one run on three hits, and had a strikeout and a walk.

Jordan Kesson picked up his second save of 2015 after pitching a scoreless ninth inning. Galion’s Hunter Clanin recorded a basehit off of Kesson, but the Graders were unable to capitalize after Clanin moved to second on an error. Kesson had one strikeout.

The Graders chased Lake Erie starter Alex Wagner after five innings. Galion hitters rapped seven hits and scored four runs on Wagner. He finished with four walks and two strikeouts.

Clanin went 3-for-4, scored two runs and drove in a run to lead the Graders. Alexander Malinsky went 2-for-4 with a double and scored a run. Tyler Ocker finished 1-for-3 with two RBI and scored a run.

Colton Carney went 1-for-4 and recorded his team-leading 10th RBI of the season. Mark Delas walked and scored a run. Brandon Wright had two hits.

Galion reliver Brody Basilone (0-2) took the loss. He worked 3-2/3 innings and gave up three runs on six hits. Basilone struck out five batters and walked one.

Trent Downs started for the Graders and pitched 4-1/3 innings. He surrendered three runs on six hits and recorded four walks and three strikeouts.

Galion and Lake Erie will play again on Friday at James D. Heddleson Field in Heise Park. First pitch is set for 7:05 p.m.

The Graders will play host to the Xenia Scouts on Saturday at 7:05 p.m.

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