Grays vs. Hornets 7/27

Gate City Grays catcher Braeden Leiby tries to tag out a Hyrum Hornets’ runner at home plate in the fourth inning during the first of two games Saturday night at Halliwell Park in Pocatello.

POCATELLO — A gorgeous evening, a full house, an early lead — it was all going so well for the Gate City Grays Saturday against the Hyrum Hornets until, very suddenly, it wasn’t.

The Hornets sent 15 batters to the plate and scored 11 runs in a nightmare fourth inning for the home team, and went on to win 17-5 in six innings in the first game of a doubleheader at Halliwell Park.

Anthony Panullo staked Grays starter Dillon Bodily to a 2-0 lead, doubling home KC Qualls and Hayden Foltz in the bottom of the first, and Bodily cruised through the first three innings, giving up just one walk and one hit, an infield single.

His early effectiveness made the deluge in the fourth all the more shocking.

The first five Hornets’ batters in the inning all reached base, making the score 4-2 before Bodily recorded the first out of the inning by getting his opposite number, Jaxon Burbank, to fly out to center.

He wouldn’t get another, giving up three more singles and a walk before Spencer Persky finally replaced him.

The reliever didn’t fare much better, giving up a bases-clearing double on his second pitch of the game, but finally settled down by getting ground outs from Dax Purser and Burbank — who made two of the three Hornets’ outs in the inning — to bring the slaughter to a close.

The barrage turned the game into a laugher, and the Hornets tacked on six more runs off Persky in the top of the sixth.

Gate City (16-14, 12-8 Northern Utah League) pushed across a few consolation runs in the bottom half of the frame on a two-run double by Ben Ditton.

He scored when the throw home on Nick Winters’ fly to right went through the catchers’ legs, but Burbank went on to finish his complete game a batter later, getting Trent Cooper to fly to right.

Panullo was the bright spot for the Grays, going 3 for 3 with a double and driving in two.

In the second game, it was Gate City’s offense doing the damage, as the Grays won 18-9 and salvaged a doubleheader split to close the regular season. Hayden Foltz was the star, going 4 for 5 in the nightcap.

HYRUM 17, GATE CITY 5

Hyrum 000 (11)06 — 17 13 2

Gate City 200 003 — 5 8 4

Hyrum — WP: Burbank. 2B: Christenson, Purser, Peterson, Lieshman.

Gate City — LP: Bodily. 2B: Panullo, Ditton.