Tuesday, May 25, 2010

SPORTS>>Glaude grabs hardware in best outing for Beebe

Leader sportswriter

Griffin Glaude chose the best possible time to have a career game.

The junior right hander and the ace of the Beebe staff improved to 10-2 with a complete-game, 6-2 victory over Monticello as the Badgers claimed their first 5A state championship at Baum Stadium in Fayetteville on Friday.

Glaude’s 11-strikeout, four-hit performance was more than enough to earn him MVP honors, but he also came up big offensively with a two-run double in the top of the sixth that increased Beebe’s lead to 5-0.

Glaude also retired the Billies in order in the second, third and fifth innings.

“They were a good lineup,” Glaude said. “I knew they were going to hit the ball. I just had to go out there and keep battling with them.”

Glaude gave up his first hit in the bottom of the first inning to Monticello leadoff hitter Brandon Matthews and Hunter Lawson reached on a fielder’s choice, but he retired the next eight batters — six with strikeouts.

“Glaude’s one of those kids that he gets stronger as the game goes on,” Beebe coach Mark Crafton said. “He’s got a rubber-band arm. He’s one of the prime reasons why we got to where we are, and we were going to ride on his shoulders until the end. He did an outstanding job.”

Glaude showed poise after Matthews reached on his first-inning single when he grabbed Hunter Lawson’s infield grounder and forced Matthews at second, then struck out Caleb Bryant and Taylor Smith.

“I knew I couldn’t let that one hit get me down, because they have a really good lineup over there,” Glaude said. “I knew they would hit the ball, and I actually surprised myself with the pitches I was throwing and getting the guys out.”

Glaude continued serving up strikeouts in the second and third. He struck out two before giving up a pair of walks in the third, but came through with his third strikeout of the inning, this time against Bryant, Monticello’s No. 3 hitter.

Glaude didn’t know he had 11 strikeouts until he spoke to the media after receiving his MVP award.

“Oh, that’s awesome, I didn’t even know the numbers yet,” Glaude said. “It’s huge. I mean, it kept us in the game. We had said that if we scored six runs in the game, we would win, and that’s what we did and pulled out the victory.”

At the plate, Glaude popped up in the first inning and grounded out in the third before reaching on a walk in the top of the fifth. He was stranded at third, but came up big in the following inning with a long drive that split the left and center fielder and drove in two runs.

“That was quality right there; that was big with runners on,” Crafton said. “He’s done that in the past for us. He came up and got a good hit for us. That double was momentum to carry us into the next few innings.”

Monticello handed Glaude one of his two losses during the regular season, with the other coming against White Hall. But his biggest victories came in the state tournament and especially the championship game.

“I don’t know how he ended up finishing, but he did his job on the mound,” Crafton said. “And we finally gave him some run production. That was probably the difference in the ballgame.”