GROVE - Chris Mercer didn’t know what to expect when his Miami Wardogs battled Grove Monday in a Verdigris Valley Conference game at Jim Beauchamp Field.
After all, the Dogs (6-6) had been idle for a week when weather wiped out the Mannford Tournament.
But he was very pleased following a 9-0 victory in a game that saw senior right-hander A.J. Gambill strike out nine and yield only two hits.
“It was a little of not knowing what to expect, but I also was thinking a break might help us,” Mercer said. “We’d been pressing pretty hard.”
Grove (6-6) had only one other base runner in a game that saw Gambill throw 81 pitches - 53 for strikes.
Gambill walked Kody Stevenson in the first, but struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
The Runners’ only hits were a leadoff double by Kaden Livermore in the second and a one-out single by Benny Steffenson in the fifth.
“A.J. threw really well,“ Mercer said. “That was probably the best game he’s thrown over six innings.”
The Wardogs broke out to a 3-0 lead in the second on a two-run double by Cole Young and a sacrifice fly by Ty Mercer.
They tacked on an unearned run in the fifth, then broke the game open with four runs in the top of the sixth.
Ty Mercer delivered a bases-loaded double with a gapper to left-center field, then he scored on a two-bagger by Tyler Perry.
“We finally hit with runners in scoring position,” Chris Mercer said.
The Dogs’ eight hit attack included six doubles: two by Young and one each by Ty Mercer, Perry and Gambill. Young also had a single.
Matt Walker chipped in with a pair of singles.