GRANITE CITY — So far this season, Fridays have been good to the Granite City Warriors.
The Warriors have played five Friday games and won all of them, including an 11-5 win over the Civic Memorial Eagles on Friday at Babe Champion Field.
“We have to schedule more games on Friday,” Granite City coach Scott Smallie said. “We have a doubleheader next week. Hopefully, that works out for us.”
With the win over the Eagles, Granite City improved to 7-13 with 14 regular season games remaining. The Warriors have four Friday games left, including a doubleheader against Chatham Glenwood on May 1 at home. Their next game will be Monday at Mater Dei.
“We’ve got to keep playing the game how it supposed to be played,” Granite City senior pitcher Sam Dean said. “Hopefully, we’ll come out with a couple of more Ws.”
Civic Memorial dropped to 9-13. The Eagles are 9-8 after starting their season with five straight losses.
“We didn’t play very well,” Civic Memorial coach Gary Bruening said. “We didn’t throw the ball very well, we didn’t hit it very well and we didn’t field it very well. We talked after the game that it wasn’t one of our better performances.”
Dean picked up the victory on the mound, giving up four runs, striking out three and walking five in 4.1 innings of work. At the plate, he got a RBI single and scored two runs.
“Sam hasn’t thrown a lot, but he comes out today and throws five-plus solid innings,” Smallie said. “He did exactly what we wanted him to do and needed him to do.”
Also for Granite City, senior center D.J. Miller had two hits, two runs scored and a RBI, junior right fielder Gabe Jarman had two hits with two runs scored and junior left fielder Sam Watson had a double and scored two runs. The Warriors had 11 hits in the game.
“They hit the ball off of us,” Bruening said. “Give credit to them. They played much better than we did.”
The Warriors also had Friday victories over Marquette Catholic High, Dupo and Cahokia, all of them were at home. On March 20, Granite City began its season with a doubleheader sweep over Marquette. The next week, the Warriors beat Dupo 7-2 to improve to 3-2, which was the last time Granite City was over the .500 mark. Last week, the Warriors beat Cahokia 11-2.
On Friday, Granite City came back from a 2-0 deficit to pull off the win over the Eagles.
The Warriors scored five runs in the bottom of the second and four more in the third to take a 9-2 lead. Granite City added a run in the fourth and another in the fifth.
Junior third baseman Collin Barrett began the five-run rally in the bottom of the second with a two-out single that scored Watson, who walked. Miller was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, forcing junior second baseman Jordan James — who reached first on a fielding error — to score to tie the game at 2-2.
The Warriors took a 4-2 lead after Barrett and Dean — who walked — scored on a CM throwing error.
Miller scored on a double steal to extend the lead to 5-2.
“Collin gets that big hit and I think everybody took a big breath and it kind of gets the monkey off of our back,” Smallie said. “All of the sudden, we’re all zoning in trying to get that big hit after him. It was a big job and a big game from him today. It was a big hit for him to get us going and get us some runs that we finally deserved to score.”
The Warriors got RBI singles from Dean and Miller and a two-run single by senior designated hitter Bruce Drennan in the third. Watson got a RBI double in the fourth and and James got a RBI single in the fifth.
Sophomore Brandon Hampton went 2 for 2 with a run scored and two RBIs for Civic Memorial, which is scheduled to play Roxana at noon on Saturday at Busch Stadium. He gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead with a two-out, two-run single to right field in the top of the second.