Johnson’s double keys late rally for 5-3 win over Montgomery Co.

Published 11:35 pm Friday, April 28, 2017

The George Rogers Clark High School baseball team was knotted up, 2-2, with Montgomery County on the road Friday night when JJ Johnson stepped to the play with runners on the corners and no outs in the top of the seventh inning.

Johnson drove an 0-1 pitch deep to left field, hitting the fence for a double and giving the Cardinals the lead for good. GRC went on to win, 5-3.

“That was humongous,” GRC coach Matt Ginter said. “We thought the ball was out of here. It hit right there in the middle of the fence. Huge double for that kid.”

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The inning was set up by some good at bats and even better execution by the Cardinals.

They had gone punch for punch with the Indians through the first six. GRC’s Jake Ware and Montgomery’s  Hayden Chism had limited the two offenses to just a pair of runs apiece.

But Caden Easterling smacked a 2-0 pitch from Chism to the wall in right for a lead-off double.

Ethan Neal laid down an excellent bunt to put runners on the corners, setting up Johnson’s big hit.

“We didn’t execute very well in the first couple innings, which is a sign of a good, strong team that we came back at the end and executed when we needed to,” Ginter said.

After Johnson’s double gave the Cardinals the lead, they added another when Jaxson Davis doubled down the right field line to make it 5-2.

Ware was excellent through the first six innings — he struck out seven and allowed just two earned runs on four hits in the game — but two Indians reached to start the bottom of the seventh.

Alex Back relieved Ware and struck out the first batter he faced. He induced a groundball for the second out then surrendered a bloop hit to Elijah Mohr that pushed Montgomery’s third run across.

Luke Fuller popped out to shortstop Brady Crowe to end the threat and the game.

Tyler Walton had a two-hit day, driving in a run in the fourth inning. He was also hit by a pitch.

Cameron Dove also had two hits and scored twice. He had a pair of stolen bases.

GRC improves its record 14-4 to while Montgomery falls to 8-12. The Cardinals continue 40th District play Monday when they weclome Bourbon County to Cardinal Field at 5:30 p.m.