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After jumping out to a quick 6-0 lead, Grafton (4-3) had to ward off an upset-minded Smithfield on Monday for its 16-7 win.
The Clippers put together a seven-run seventh inning to pull away from the Packers, but not before facing a scare in the middle innings.
Grafton pitcher Evan Sperling started off the game well, throwing three scoreless innings while the Clipper offense built a 6-0 lead.
The game began to change as Smithfield roughed up Sperling for five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning, cutting Grafton’s lead to 6-5.
Justin Bowers relieved Sperling after the fourth inning, then gave up two hits and the game-tying run. With two outs in the fifth inning, Ricks Dearing took the mound for the Clippers and worked them out of the jam leaving the game tied at six runs.
Dearing pitched well for the remainder of the game, allowing three hits and one run over 2 1/3 innings.
Leading 9-7 in the top of the seventh inning, Grafton reeled off seven runs in the inning to put the game well out of reach.
Grafton will play its second road game in as many days as the Clippers take on Bruton at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Grafton: 312;003;7 — 16 17 2
Smithfield: 000;511;0 — 7 9 2
WP: Evan Sperling
LP: Jakob Ryan
Grafton: Ricks Dearing (3-4, 4 RBIs), Evan Sperling (3-5, 3 RBIs), DJ Dobbins (1-3, 3 RBIs)
Smithfield: Bryce Nicholas (1-4, 2 RBIs), Dillon Wright (2-3, 2 RBIs)
Hampton Roads Academy Falls to Isle of Wight Academy
The Hampton Roads Academy (3-4) baseball team fell to Isle of Wight Academy 6-3 at home Monday.
Trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning, the Navigators were able to plate one run before the game came to a close.
Christian Rivera, Chris Leavey and Erik Harris drove in runs for Hampton Roads Academy in the loss.
The Navigators will look to rebound 4:30 p.m. Tuesday at home against Norfolk Christian.
IWA: 012010;2 — 6 6 2
HRA: 100;001;1 — 3 6 4
LP: Connor Pittman
IWA: Mintz (R, 2 hits, RBI), Robertson (3 R, 2 hits), Robertson (1 hit, RBI), Sproul (RBI), Wonders (RBI)
HRA: Hunter Hickman (R, 2 hits), Christian Rivera (RBI), Chris Leavey (2 hits, RBI), Erik Harris (RBI), Chase Bartol (R, 1 hit)