Gladiators & Jaguars “Pitch in for a cure!” — Lady Gladiators improve to 7-1

Image: There is, “Hope,” as Italy’s JV baseball team prepares to duel with Hubbard.

There is, “Hope,” as Italy’s JV baseball team prepares to duel with Hubbard. (Barry Byers)

Italy — The Italy JV Gladiators and the Hubbard Jaguars joined forces last Friday to, “Pitch in for a cure!” Both teams adorned pink shirts and wristbands to honor mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts, cousins, nieces, grandmas and friends who are worth fighting for. Each side sported their pink shirts during the pre-game warmups as part of a fundraising co-op between the two schools.

Donations were also collected at the entrance to Loyd Davidson Field by Karen Mathiowetz, a cancer survivor and proud IHS fan, and Birdie Bell, a big fan of Italy’s students as well. Jessica Simon, the fiance of Italy’s head baseball coach, Josh Ward, was instrumental in organizing the event which included an easter egg hunt later in the evening.

Hubbard pieced together a JV team to take on Italy’s JV since the Jaguars have all their players combined on the varsity squad this season. In a non-district contest, both schools came together to better their skills and continue the fight against cancer.

Bailey Walton started on the mound for Italy with teammate John Escamilla behind the plate. Italy held their ground early with Walton pitching strong against the Jaguars. However, Hubbard built a 5-2 lead midway thru the contest despite the best efforts of Italy’s shortstop, Marvin Cox.

Making a game of it, Italy’s Zain Byers hit a high fly ball to centerfield that resulted in an RBI triple. Cody Boyd crossed the plate to close the gap 5-3. Moments later, Byers stole home to pull Italy within 1 run of the Jaguars, 5-4. Soon after, Chace McGinnis was in position to tie the game with a lead at third base. Unfortunately, Cox grounded out forcing Italy to wait for another chance.

In the next inning, Byers would add an RBI single in to score Kyle Fortenberry from third base and tie the game 5-5. That would be as close as the JV Gladiators could get to a win with Hubbard reheating up on offense. The Jags’ make shift JV squad finished strong and got the win, 12-5.

Hopefully, when all is said and done….and cured, Cancer will be the loser with a bit of help from the Italy JV Gladiators and the Hubbard Jaguars who both pitched in to help find a cure!

The varsity Gladiators and remaining varsity Jaguars wore pink shirts as well, while preparing for their matchup later in the evening. Needless to say, all the pink really brought out the gold paint at Loyd Davidson Field. The Gladiators overcame a slow start to overtake the Jags 23-13 but Italy’s district record remains 3-4.

Lady Gladiators Softball vs Axtell:
In a district game for the Lady Gladiators and a rematch against the Axtell Lady Longhorns, Italy continues their solid season after a 14-3 victory in Axtell. The win improves the Lady Gladiators district record to 7-1.

The Lady Gladiators will take on Grandview at 6:00 p.m. tonight at home as will the JV and varsity Gladiators. The JV boys game will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Yay Italy! Boo Cancer!