PELLA – Colton Gillespie collected the first of three consecutive hits in the seventh inning for the Albia Blue Demons, setting up a game-winning rally in a thrilling 4-3 victory over Central Decatur in the Class 2A district tournament opener at Pella Christian High School.
Gillespie, who drove in Albia's first run in the second inning, singled in the seventh before Gage Oddo reached second running for Gillespie on single by Eli Smith. Throckmorton, who came in earlier in the game to run for Jackson Pence, stepped up and delivered a go-ahead RBI single to put the Blue Demons ahead for good.
"I just pulled Wyatt up for the last South Central Conference game against Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont to throw," Albia head baseball coach Brad DeMoss said. "Boy, did he do more than just pitch for us. He came in and took the first pitch he's seen to the opposite field, driving in the winning run.
"He's been hitting the cover off the ball in ninth grade and junior varsity this season. Now, in his first varsity at-bat, he comes up big."
Gillespie brought in Sam Shepherd in the second inning to match an opening-inning run scored by the Cardinals on an RBI hit by T.J. Fallis, scoring Champ Walker. Hunter DeMoss put Albia on top in the third inning, driving in Garin Grinstead to put the Blue Demons on top 2-1.
Central Decatur (17-11) regained the lead in the fourth inning on a squeeze bunt by Jaxson Cornett, plating Devin Adams with the tying run before Keaton Adams scored on a wild pitch. Pence tied the game in the sixth inning with an RBI single, bringing in Smith.
Tein Thiravong picked up the win on the mound for Albia, pitching into the seventh inning striking out 11 batters while collected two hits at the plate for the Blue Demons. Grinstead picked up the save, getting an assist defensively as Fallis was picked off second base representing the tying run.
Albia (13-16) heads to Centerville on Tuesday night to face the Big Reds at Pat Daugherty Field in the Class 2A district semifinals. The winner will face either Interstate 35 or Pella Christian next Saturday night at 7 p.m.