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Timely hitting propels Raiders

Grose goes distance as Mount Ayr takes down Southwest Valley

Connor Eaton fights off a pitch during Tuesday's game against Southwest Valley. Eaton entered Tuesday with a .368 batting average, the second best on Mount Ayr behind teammate Cayden Lambert.
Connor Eaton fights off a pitch during Tuesday's game against Southwest Valley. Eaton entered Tuesday with a .368 batting average, the second best on Mount Ayr behind teammate Cayden Lambert.

CORNING – Mount Ayr was able to hang onto the lead over Southwest Valley Tuesday night, winning 6-3 over the Timberwolves.

Southwest Valley jumped out to an early lead in the first inning, getting on Mount Ayr’s Isaac Grose with two runs.

Walks from Brendan Knapp and Aiden Gaule put two on for Evan Davis, who brought them in with a double down the left field line.

Davis came up again in the fourth inning, singling to start the inning. He came around to score on a Raiders throwing error to make it 3-0.

That was all the Timberwovles could get as Grose settled in on the mound the rest of the way en route to the win.

Grose’s complete game for the Raiders included six strikeouts, three walks and his first winning decision of the season.

“He did a great job on the mound,” said Mount Ayr co-head coach Chris Elwood. “Luckily, he was able to come away with the victory.”

With Grose making his season debut last week at Nodaway Valley, Southwest Valley head coach Stoney Gaule expected not only Mount Ayr to be tough, but Grose to be hard on the Timberwolves also.

“I expected them to be tough,” said Stoney Gaule. “Isaac Grose pitched a heck of a game. I figured he would. He’s a tough pitcher and he looked really good. ... I’ve got to tip my hat to Mount Ayr and Isaac.”

For Southwest Valley, its day on the mound included three arms in Aiden Gaule, Tyler Pearson and Brendan Knapp.

Gaule pitched 4 1/3 innings, exiting with the bases loaded. Tyler Pearson pitched one inning and Knapp pitched 1 2/3 innings.

“I had to be careful about who we used and how we used them,” said Stoney Gaule. “Aiden, we had agreed we only were taking him to the 65 (pitch) mark. Tyler came in and did a good job in a bad situation. That’s just how it goes.”

The trio of pitchers held Mount Ayr back, limiting its chances to even the score with two hits entering the fifth inning.

The fifth inning is where it changed for both sides as back-to-back singles from Briar Knapp and Dawson Swank and a walk from Kolben Klommhaus turned into an opportunity for the Raiders to pull the game back.

The Timberwolves went to the bullpen with the bases loaded and Keelan Klommhaus unloaded on a pitch from Pearson to score two.

Keelan Klommhaus finished the day with a 1-for-3 line, scoring and walking once. He had two RBIs.

A pickoff attempt at second base went wide following the single, bringing in Kolben Klommhaus from third to even the score at 3-3.

The Timberwolves eventually got out of the inning, but were unable to keep the difference at one as the Raiders added two more in the seventh off the bat of Briar Knapp.

Knapp finished Tuesday 3-3 at the plate, swiping two bags and scoring once.

A quiet bottom of the seventh ended the night for the Timberwolves, going down 1-2-3.

“We just couldn’t get the bats going there at the end,” said Stoney Gaule. “... Hopefully, we hit really well in batting practice and that translates into the game (later in the week).”

Timely hitting was paramount for the Raiders as hits with runners on dropped several times to score runs.

“We were down 3-0 and the guys kept a positive attitude. Isaac kept throwing really well and we played solid defense behind him and we knew we’d eventually get a few runs,” said Mount Ayr co-head coach Chris Elwood.

Elwood mentioned cleaning up a lineup that was over swinging and getting under the ball in its first at-bats helped a Raiders lineup that was hitting .339 entering Tuesday night take and expand on the lead.

“Very pleased with the victory,” said Elwood. “Southwest Valley is a very tough team and its pitchers threw well. There weren’t many hits in the game ... We’re just happy to come away with the victory.”

With the win Mount Ayr improves to 4-3, winning its second straight. Southwest Valley falls to 3-4, its second straight loss.

UP NEXT – Southwest Valley will hit the field again today (Wednesday), hosting Clarinda at 7:30 p.m. Mount Ayr gets back into it Thursday against Lenox at 5:30 p.m. in Lenox.

Mount Ayr 6, Southwest Valley 3

 R  H  E

MA  000  040  2  —  6  7  1

SWV  200  100  0  —  3  3  4

MA: Isaac Grose 6K 3BB and Kolben Klommhaus. SWV: Aiden Gaule 3K, Tyler Pearson (5), Brendan Knapp (6) 1K and Scotty Adcock. W — Grose (1-1). L - Gaule (0-2). HR — none. 3B — none. 2B — SWV: Evan Davis. RBI — MA: Keelan Klommhaus (2), Briar Knapp (2) SWV: Davis (2).

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