Italy — The Italy Gladiators made fairly quick work of the visiting Grand Prairie Advantage Academy Eagles on Friday after winning via the run rule, 12-2 in the top of the fifth-inning.
It was the second time Italy has run ruled GPAA in district play with the Gladiators blowing out the Eagles during their first meeting, 24-1.
Tyler Anderson started off on the mound for Italy with Tyler Vencill starting the game at catcher. Levi McBride closed the game out from the mound with John Escamilla finishing up the game as catcher after switching with Vencill.
Gladiator fans Andi Windham and her daughter Cassi Windham were tracking strikeouts behind the plate with home made “K” signs with Italy’s pitching staff really making a name for themselves this season. Anderson, a senior, gets plenty of help from their three-headed sophomore mound monster of Ryan Connor, Ty Windham and Levi McBride who have simply been getting the job done when called on.
Against the Eagles, Kevin Roldan started out covering first-base but later switched with fellow senior Bailey Walton. Zain Byers played second-base, Ty Windham was the shortstop and John Byers covered third where he made a diving tag late in the contest. Fortenberry, Boyd and McBride handled the outfield chores but Grand Prairie’s offensive was not very demanding.
Italy pulled away midway thru the contest when Junior Kyle Fortenberry, known around these parts as “Catfish,” casted his bat at a pitch outside and unreeled a liner into right field. Grand Prairie struggled with the relay allowing Fortenberry to scamper all the way home for a 2 run inside-the-park-homer. Fellow junior, John Byers also scored as a result of Fortenberry’s long-ball effort.
Senior speedster Eric Carson, Vencill, Cody Boyd, Zain Byers, Bailey Walton, Anderson, McBride, Roldan, Escamilla and John Byers put up another strong offense performance with the Gladiators on a hitting tear as of late. Italy’s overall on base percentage per player is high across the board which has made it difficult for anyone in the district to alter their destiny.
Ty Windham nearly ended the game with a inside-the-park homerun but held up at third-base, settling for a triple. However, McBride followed up with a game winning RBI to score Windham and end the game with Italy on top.
The Gladiators improve to 6-0 in district and remain alone in 1st place of the standings.
The card for Tuesday’s upcoming games:
- 4:30pm — Italy Baseball: JV vs Wortham
- 5:30pm — Italy Softball: V vs Avalon (district)
- 7:00pm — Italy Baseball: Varsity vs Avalon (district)