OXFORD — The Choccolocco Monsters fell 11-6 to the Gainesville Gol’Diggers in a home game Friday night. After some early scoring for Choccolocco, a rally in the seventh inning gave Gainesville the momentum needed for the win.
“They had done a nice job of putting up zeros after we had pressed,” Monsters head coach Steve Gillispie said. “We threatened quite a bit. They did a nice job and they were getting off better swings. I just told them [the team], it’s disappointing but it’s not discouraging because there were a lot of good things. We had plenty of opportunities to win, we had plenty of opportunities to shut them down, we just didn’t make some pitches when we had to and made a couple of mistakes when we didn’t need to.”
The scoring began for Choccolocco when Brennan McCullough, the former Oxford High School standout, grounded out to short, scoring Brandon Prince from third base.
Brant Deerman, the former Piedmont Bulldog, got the scoring going again for the Monsters in the bottom of the second inning with a groundout to first, scoring Dominic Scavone from third base. Nate Lloyd scored later in the inning after he was caught in a rundown attempting to steal third base. A throwing error by the Gol’Diggers led to the ball getting away from third baseman Clay Alberson and rolling into the Gainesville dugout. After the first two innings, the Monsters led 3-0.
McCullough singled to center field in the bottom of the fourth to lead off a big inning for the Monsters. Tyler Waugh followed McCullough with another Choccolocco single, this time to right field. Scavone scored McCullough with his single to right field.
JJ Rapp bunted down the third-base line for an infield single to load the bases with none out. Deerman singled to right after a full count at-bat to score two more runs, and the Monsters ended the fourth with a 6-0 lead.
Michael Brueser kicked off the Gainesville comeback in the top of the fifth inning with a single to center field with zero outs. Trippe Moore got a base hit after the Brueser single to add more base runners for the Gol’Diggers. A passed ball scored Bruser from third. Trippe Moore stole third after Brueser scored. Brady Moore then knocked in Trippe Moore for another run with his single to third. After the fifth inning the score was 6-2 Monsters.
Parker Brosius walked in the top of the sixth. Brosius eventually scored when an Alberson single to right drove him in. This cut the Monsters’ lead to 6-3 after six due to nothing doing for Choccolocco in the bottom half of the inning.
Gainesville scored seven runs in the top half of the seventh to bust the game open. Brady Moore doubled into center to score one run cutting the Monsters’ lead to 6-4. Will Mangurian pinch hit with two out and two runners on. Mangurian hit a three-run homer over the right-field wall to gain a 7-6 lead.
Two more runners reached base before John Anderson sent another three-run home run into left center. The Gol’Diggers took a 10-6 lead which held until the top of the ninth when another run was added to extend the advantage for Gainesville.
Jake Beaver singled to center to lead things off for the Gol’Diggers in the top half of the ninth. Beaver then stole second to get into scoring position. Jackson Mayo hit a ground ball to Monsters’ second baseman Deerman. A throwing error led to Mayo being safe at first and Beaver scoring the final run of the game.
“Lots of baseball left,” Gillispie said. “We’re 2-3, we’d rather be 3-2. Actually we would rather be 5-0. We haven't done enough of some things we needed to do to be 5-0 or 3-2 or we would be.”