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Grizzlies surge to victory in Greenway opener

Showing both poise and power, the Ashland High baseball team climbed out of an early two-run hole then pitched its way through a dangerous situation late to pull out a 9-6 nonleague victory over Kellis High School of Glendale, Arizona in the first day of the Greenway Festival Monday in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Grizzlies, who improved to 3-0 in their nonleague schedule, belted three doubles and a triple in a four-run third to erase a 2-0 deficit and tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh that proved crucial.

“It was just that kind of day — dry air, beautiful day,” Ashland coach Charlie Hall said. “The kids were pumped. We talked about playing playoff-caliber baseball against out-of-state teams.”

Kellis (6-3) surged back to within striking distance in the seventh after Jordan Williams smashed a two-run triple, but Ashland reliever Caleb Bell struck out Nate Young looking to end the threat and clinch the game.

Bell also wiggled his way out of another jam in the sixth, snaring a comebacker with the bases loaded and two out.

Ashland starter Nick Sanderson pitched 5 2/3 innings to pick up his second win for the Grizzlies, and also went 2-for-5 with an RBI double during the Grizzlies’ third-inning surge.

Also for Ashland, Peyton Fuller was 2-for-4 with a triple and scored twice, Aaron Scott was 2-for-2 with two doubles and two RBIs and leadoff hitter TarQuin Daley tripled.

Jordan Flores had two hits for the Cougars, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.

Kellis took an early lead on Jonathan Ornelas' line drive home run in the first.

“Our kids did a good job of not panicking after that home run,” Hall said. “We came back and battled back on offense.”

The Grizzlies play their second of three Greenway Festival games today against Meridian High of Idaho.

Ashland 004 110 3 – 9 10 1

Kellis 110 001 3 – 6 7 0

Sanderson, Bell (6) and Hamik; Stogden and Flores. W – Sanderson (2-0). L – Stogden. 2B – A: A. Scott 2, Bell, Carroll, Sanderson, Hamik; K: Young. 3B – A: Daley, Fuller. HR – K: Ornelas.