By Robert Carter
The North Jefferson News
After a baseball marathon that saw Gardendale travel 150 miles round trip and play four games in a span of 23 hours, the Rockets finally ran out of fuel.
Gardendale defeated Albertville 8-3 in the first game of a tri-series at Guntersville Friday night. Then in the nightcap, starter Conner McCain and Reliever Chase Handley teamed up to pitch a five-inning no-hitter, as the Rockets smashed Guntersville 10-0.
Gardendale looked none the worse for wear the next morning in the first game of its doubleheader with Shades Valley, routing the Mounties 13-3 in six innings. Jeffrey Lankford was 2-for-4 with a two-run double, Bobby Williams was 3-for-3 with an RBI, and Andrew Busby had a two-run hit.
David Roberts went the distance on the mound, giving up six hits and striking out five with no walks.
But the wheels came off for the Rockets in the closer, as Busby — who caught all three previous games — was shelled on the mound in the 10-2 loss. He allowed five runs and seven hits in four innings. Williams finished up and gave up a pair of homers, a pinch-hit shot by Brian Steigleder to lead off the sixth inning and a three-run blast by Nathan Blanchard in the seventh.
Austin Vaughn came off the bench to drive in a run in the seventh for the Rockets.
“We were out of gas,” Rockets coach Pat Keedy said. “We made them pay for mistakes in the first game, and they made us pay in the second.
Ramsay 8, Fultondale 3
Daniel Farrell hit two doubles and drove home two runs, but it wasn’t enough for the Wildcats on Monday.
Brandon Bailey had a two-run triple for the Rams.
Wesley Horn took the loss on the mound.
By Robert Carter