The weather conditions were near perfect for Saturday afternoon games at Madison. Columbus East split a pair, beating Madison 12-0 in five innings and falling to Floyd Central 13-10.
East got on the scoreboard first against the Highlanders when junior William Anderson hit a two-run double in the first inning to make it 2-0. For the next couple of innings, however, it was all Floyd Central.
The Highlanders started connecting against senior Peyton Gray, who gave up five hits and five runs and was pulled from the mound after 1-1/3 innings pitched. It left Olympians coach Jon Gratz in a state of confusion.
“Honestly, I don’t what happened to Peyton today,” Gratz said. “You do have to credit Floyd Central, though, as they are an outstanding team. They have been one of the best hitting teams in the state the last two years. They also capitalized on our mistakes we made, as well.”
“I have a feeling (Gray’s) arm was just tired after that first inning and only going on three days’ rest, so I don’t think he was 100 percent out there,” catcher Christian Wichman said.
Those critical mistakes Gratz was talking about happened in the third inning when East made two errors early that allowed a couple more run to score. With runners on first and third, Floyd Central’s Trey Fulton smacked a three-run homer to center field to give the Highlanders a 10-2 lead after three innings.
In the fifth inning, the Olympians started showing signs of life. After scoring three runs on a couple of walks and a fielding error by Floyd Central, the bases were loaded for sophomore Takahiro Yamada. Yamada was hit by the pitch for the second time in the game to force in another run. Yamada was also hit by pitch on his left elbow in the second inning.
Anderson came up to the plate and hit a two-run single bring East within 11-10 after five innings.
“We got real patient at the plate, and it led to us getting good pitches to hit,” Gratz said.
Floyd Central would seal the deal, though, in the seventh inning when it scored an additional two runs.
“I was proud that these never gave up in the game after being so far behind early,” Gratz said. “They could have just rolled over but they were fighting the whole way and made it a great game.”
Cam Curry threw a one-hit shutout and smacked a two-run homer in the opening win against Madison. Wichman and Sam Claycamp also homered for East.