Gross leads Bishop Kelley past Pryor

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - BY MIKE BROWN

— Ben Gross has been Tulsa Bishop Kelley’s short-re­lief man all sea­son.

On Sat­ur­day, the ju­nior left-han­der learned the mean­ing of long re­lief.

Gross spelled starter Jack Grif­fin in the sec­ond in­ning and pitched into the sev­enth, al­low­ing only one run and help­ing the Comets turn back Pryor, 7-2, for the 5A state base­ball ti­tle be­fore 1,000 spec­ta­tors at ORU’s J.L. John­son Sta­dium.

“I thought I’d be com­ing in a lit­tle later, but this is the state tour­na­ment and you do what you have to do,” Gross said.

Gross al­lowed only one run and four hits over 5 in­nings, rais­ing his record to 5-1. On Fri­day, he pitched the fi­nal two outs in a 2-1 win over Clare­more for his fourth save of the sea­son.

“Ben’s been just a clutch guy all sea­son and he came through again to­day,” Kelley pitch­ing coach Den­nis Kee­ley said. “He plays big in the big games.”

Ryan Glenn re­lieved Gross with the bases loaded and one out in the sev­enth and got Pryor’s dan­ger­ous Drew Miller on a fly to shal­low cen­ter. Then, catcher Parker Row­land ended the game by pick­ing off a run­ner at first base.

“I’m glad Parker had the con­fi­dence to make that throw in that sit­u­a­tion,” Comets se­nior short­stop Ryan Gen­dron said with a chuckle.

Gen­dron, the Ok­la­homa State Univer­sity signee, sin­gled home two runs in the fifth in­ning and drove in an­other in the sixth with a bases-loaded walk.

Kelley (30-5) cap­tured its sixth state ti­tle but the first as a head coach for 58-year-old Brian Beg­nel in his 36th coach­ing sea­son.

"It's a great feel­ing," Beg­nel said. "It's un­be­liev­able that all of our hard work since Dec. 1 fi­nally paid off."

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