Gracer Walks Off To Earn Win

Brandon Hall
North Carolina Director of Scouting


Northwest Cabarrus Edges Cox Mill Late

Cox Mill 0            Northwest Cabarrus 1

Game Recap:
A thrilling South Piedmont 3A Conference matchup between visiting Cox Mill and home standing Northwest Cabarrus came down to the last pitch. Michael Gracer worked a bases loaded walk, scoring the games only run and giving the Trojans the walk-off win.

Gracer earned the win on the mound as well, working all 7 innings, giving up 7 hits, walking 1 and striking out 10. The sophomore righty attacked the zone throwing 66% of his 90 pitches for strikes. Throughout the night he worked in and out of some trouble, coming up with key strikeouts to end each of the Chargers' threats.

Cox Mill countered on the mound with sophomore left-hander Cale Oehler. Oehler kept the Trojan offense at bay for most of the night, wildly effective, working into the 7th, striking out 5 and walking 6. Oehler only let up 3 hits, but was charged with the loss.

Northwest threatened in the bottom of the 1st with two hits to start the game. Oehler punched the next two hitters out with elevated fastballs at 74 mph before walking the bases loaded and inducing a fly ball to end the inning.

Oehler would keep the Trojans at bay for the rest of the evening, scattering the walks and allowing the Charger defense to do most of the work. In the 7th, Oehler issued back to back walks with one out and no body on base. A pitching change was made where Cole Pletcher walked to load the bases for the Trojans.  Gracer followed with a walk to end the game with the 1-0 score.

Cox Mill's best chance on the night came in the top of the 6th. Shortstop Chandler Riley led off with a triple to center field. Gracer went to work to control the damage, getting a strikeout and inducing a weak ground ball, but with Riley at 3B, the ground ball was mishandled leaving runners on the corners. After a steal of 2B, Gracer intentionally walked Cole Stoker to load the bases with one out. Gracer attacked Bailey Gentile, the next Charger up, striking him out on 3 pitches. The third pitch bounced away from catcher Andrew Raffaldt, causing Riley to break for home where Raffaldt recovered to get back to the plate and easily tag out Riley, leaving the game tied at 0-0.

For Cox Mill Riley was the leading hitter, with two knocks. Northwest Cabarrus had three hitters each with one hit apiece.

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