Urban takes the wild path 

It wasn’t the typical, final at-bat home run that baseball purists dramatize all the time, but Urban’s unlikely method still resulted in a well-earned win nonetheless.

Urban’s Jordan Graham scored on a wild pitch thrown by Stuart Hall pitcher Ben Costa in the top of the seventh to cap off a four-run rally, giving the Blues an 8-7 victory over the Knights in both teams’ Bay Counties League West opener at Crocker Amazon Field No. 2.

The decisive run for Graham, Urban’s leadoff batter, was his third of the game, and teammates Justin Wolf and Anders Eddy combined for seven hits for the Blues, who trailed 7-4 in the fourth inning.

The Blues (3-2, 1-0) jumped on Stuart Hall ace Kris Suzuki for two runs in top of the first inning, but the Knights (5-2, 0-1) rallied to take a 5-3 lead in the third inning, courtesy of home runs from Costa (a solo shot to center field) and Andy Lofholm (a three-run blast to left field).

Urban still trailed 7-4 until the top of the sixth inning, when the Blues tied it up. Eddy had an RBI single in the inning, knocking in Wolf from second. Nate Smith followed Eddy with an RBI fielder’s choice and then advanced home after Ian Paratore reached on a Stuart Hall error.

Paratore, a sophomore, took over for Blues starter Huck Kwong on the mound in the third inning and threw four innings of two-hit, two-run ball (one earned) to garner the win. Paratore capped off his solid performance by striking out Daniel Gudino with two outs and runners on first and third in the bottom of the seventh.

"Ian’s only a sophomore, but he’s turning into a leader for this team," Urban coach Thomas Jacquez said. "He came in and pitched with confidence and really carried the team. Our guys play with a lot of pride, and it showed out there in the way they battled back."

University 16, Crystal Springs Uplands 4

HILLSBOROUGH — Johnny Williams allowed his first earned run of the season, but the junior did more than enough with his bat to make up for it. Williams gave up one earned run in three innings and went 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBIs, leading the Red Devils to a Bay Counties League West win over the Gryphons (2-3, 1-2). University (5-1-1, 3-0) has a team ERA of just 1.20 this year.

R.J. Halperin, Michael Kremer and Zach Matthay each had multi-hit games for the Red Devils, who led 12-4 after three innings.

— Staff report

ACADEMIC ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION

ISA 10, O’Connell 6

Jerwin Leyson struck out seven in five-plus innings and drove in two key runs as the Cobras (4-3, 3-3) beat the host Boilermakers (1-5). Leyson, who walked six, put ISA up 6-2 with his fourth-inning single.

— Staff report

Lowell 12, Mission 0

Gaston Guibert allowed just a leadoff double in four strong innings as the Cardinals (8-5, 6-1) cruised past the Bears. Guibert saw only two other runners reach base — one on a first-inning error and the other on a second-inning walk.

— Staff report

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Will Reisman

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