Grim leads Peake past Pointers
CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — After Chesapeake dropped its first three games in the Ohio Valley Conference, it suddenly seems the Panthers have turned a corner.
Chesapeake rallied from a 4-0 deficit to take an 8-4 victory over rival South Point at the Panthers’ home field Wednesday, giving the Panthers their second OVC win in the last three games.
The Panthers won against Gallia Academy on April 10 and dropped a hard-fought contest to second-place Rock Hill. Chesapeake improved its record to 2-10 overall and 2-5 in the OVC with the win over the Pointers, who are third in the OVC.
Head coach Justin Davis, though, felt the Panthers had taken a step back by falling behind 4-0 to South Point.
“A bright spot today was we did go down 4-0 and we kept fighting and made it 4-2 then we went up 5-4 and then we added on,” Davis said. “That’s the first time all year we’ve been able to extend the lead.”
Travis Grim pitched into the seventh inning, earning the win for the Panthers. However, it appeared he would not make it out of the first inning.
Grim, a sophomore making just his third start of the year, gave up a leadoff single to Drew Smith, walked Drake McClure and followed that up with a single by Brody Blackwell then a walk to Ben Walls. Three passed balls allowed Smith, McClure and Blackwell to score for a 3-0 lead.
Grim rebounded and struck out the fifth, sixth and seventh hitters to get out of the half inning, but it took him 33 pitches to do so. After two quick outs in the top of the second, Smith singled again, stole second, stole third and then scored on a single by McClure.
Grim was nearly untouchable after that.
He allowed only a leadoff single in the top of the third before striking out the side. Smith singled again with two outs in the fourth then went to third on a two-base error while the Panthers were attempting to throw out McClure.
Grim escaped the inning when Blackwell grounded to shortstop and got the forceout on McClure at second base.
South Point managed just one more hit the rest of the way and never advanced another runner past second.
“Travis Grim pitched an unbelievable game,” Davis said. “He went to the pitch limit — 125 pitches is all your allowed to throw. That was the difference for us.”
The Pointers’ five-through-nine hitters were a combined 0 for 15 against Grim with two walks and 10 strikeouts.
Grim was relieved by Trent Dearth with one out in the seventh and he retired the final two batters to close the game for the jubilant Panthers.
Grim was nearly as effective at the plate, going 2 for 3 with two singles and a walk as the cleanup hitter for Chesapeake.
South Point head coach Larry Goodwin was not pleased with the loss and declined comment other than, “It was a bad day.”
The Pointers dropped to 7-6 overall on the year and 4-4 in the OVC.
Coming into the game Wednesday, South Point had a one-game lead over Ironton for third place in the OVC behind Fairland and Rock Hill.
Chesapeake will get a chance to climb further in the standings when it hosts undefeated Fairland on Thursday.