HENDERSONVILLE The Gallatin High School baseball team blew a late lead but rallied in extra innings for a 5-4, nine-inning victory over Wilson Central on Friday afternoon at Drakes Creek Park.
“It’s huge,” Green Wave junior Andy Denning said. “It’s a big confidence-builder. Now, we knew we can beat quality teams. It’s just one (game) at a time.”
Gallatin junior Jordan Mason tripled into right-centerfield to lead off the ninth inning and scored on Denning’s single down the third-base line.
Three batters later, classmate Bailey Russell singled to drive in junior DeeAndre Brown.
Three singles and a walk pulled the Wildcats within a run in the bottom of the ninth, bringing junior Billy Campbell on in relief of Carlos Hernandez (3-1) with no outs. Campbell earned the save by striking out the first batter he faced before inducing a ground ball back to the pitcher’s mound that resulted in a game-ending double play.
It was Campbell’s third save of the season.
“That’s pressure,” Green Wave head coach Mark Wilson said. “We gave (Campbell) the game ball for that reason.”
Denning added, “It’s definitely nerve-wracking. You have to have confidence you’re going to make a play.”
Gallatin (17-9) was one out away from victory when Wildcat junior Chase Ford doubled in the tying run in the bottom of the seventh.
Wave junior Bailey Russell singled in a third-inning run, but two walks and a passed ball helped Wilson Central scored two runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Denning hit a solo home run in the top of the fifth, and classmate Nathan Kernell scored on a sixth-inning wild pitch to give his squad a 3-2 lead.
Reach Craig Harris at email@example.com or at 615-575-7138. Follow him on Twitter @HarrisGNESports.
Gallatin 001 011 002 – 5 9 1
Wilson Central 000 200 11 – 4 11 1
James Rockwell, Carlos Hernandez (8), Billy Campbell (9) and Bailey Russell; Andrew Franklin, Aaron Hubbell (6), Tyler Higdon (8), Jacob Davis (9) and Chase Ford. WP – Hernandez (3-1). LP – Davis. Save – Campbell (3). Home runs: Gallatin – Andy Denning (1). Records: Gallatin 17-9.