The Grove Ridgerunners have been busy in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Grove played four games in the Gulf Coast Classic and went 1-3 in the tournament.
Tullahoma 6, Grove 5
Grove started the tournament against a difficult team from Tennessee. Tullahoma scored first, followed by Grove scoring in the top of the third to tie the game.
Tullahoma scored another run in the bottom of the third, and and four more in the bottom of the fifth. Grove scored two runs in the top of the sixth and another two in the top of the seventh, but it wasn't quite enough. Tullahoma would take the 6-5 win.
"[Tullahoma] was nationally ranked last year and had the Gatorade player of the Year and three draft picks, so pretty tough program. They went 3-1 in our pool. We played well, just made some mistakes," said Grove head coach Donny Pennington.
American Christian 11, Grove 0
American Christian Academy of Alabama was next on the schedule for Grove. American Christian scored three runs in the bottom of the first and an impressive eight runs in the bottom of the third.
The game ended in the top of the fifth.
"[American Christian Academy] has five D-1 signees on their team and so they were pretty good and they beat us pretty handily," said Pennington.
Grove 8, Heritage Christian Academy 1
The Ridgerunners got their first win against Heritage Christian Academy. Chase Kreutz, Dillan Miller and Toby Cearley each scored two runs, while Hayes Pavatt and John Downs each had one.
Cade Coble pitched all seven innings, throwing 105 pitches. Coble allowed no hits, one run, walked four batters and earned six Ks.
Lee 15, Grove 4
Grove drew first blood, when Cearley scored after stealing third and home in the bottom of the second.
In the top of the third, Lee scored one run, loaded the bases and hit a home run.
Lee added four more runs to the board in the top of the fourth.
The Ridgerunners got back on the board with a run from Miller and one from Cearley in the bottom of the fourth.
In the top of the fifth, Lee scored seven runs, to which Grove answered with a run from Zane Knox. The game was called in the bottom of the fifth.
"We just didn't play real well. It's probably the worst we've played. Maybe a little lag from being here all week and not being in their own beds. But we just didn't play real well," said Pennington.
Pennington's reason for picking the Gulf Coast Classic was to show his athletes another level of play.
"I wanted our kids to see the level of competition that we need to get to, that we need to raise the bar on where we are and I wanted them to see better competition," said Pennington.
Despite the tournament ending early, Pennington was pleased with the trip.
"It was a great time. Of the twenty-four boys that we brought, fourteen of them had never been to the beach and the fort was awesome, the kids had a great time. They did really well and were very respectful and very thankful we could take this trip," said Pennington.
Grove will host Miami at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 21.