Home sweet home: Spartans get NICL West home victory

Grundy Center's Garret Weldon points two fingers in the air in celebration after scoring the winning run for the Spartans' 5-4 victory over Gladbrook-Reinbeck last Friday. (Jake Ryder/The Grundy Register)

GRUNDY CENTER – Garret Weldon admitted his slide into home last Friday wasn't pretty.


But in the moment, it felt beautiful for Weldon and the Grundy Center baseball team.


Weldon scored from first in a wild seventh-inning play to help the Spartans knock off Gladbrook-Reinbeck by a 5-4 final score.


G-R salvaged a split with an 8-2 win in the nightcap, but the conference win, the first one for Grundy Center at home since a June 27, 2016 triumph against G-R, was plenty sweet for the Spartans.


Weldon rose to his knees after sliding safely across home and pointed two fingers to the sky in celebration.


"He's a very sincere kid," Grundy coach Pat Brown said. "When he shows emotion, it's true emotion. I'm happy for him and the rest of the guys to get a home win. … Fitting that it was on little league night tonight to have a bunch of little kids here watching."


Before the celebration, the game-winning play itself was just fundamental small ball.


Weldon had reached base to start the half-inning, and Sawyer Bowen got the signal to lay down the bunt.


Bowen's bunt was well-placed, but hardly looked like a game-winner.


When the throw to first went high, Weldon was off to the races.


"I figured, 'I'll move him to second, I'll take it,'" Bowen said. "But I knew Garret was going to get to third and then he just kept running."


Brown gave Weldon the green light the whole way.


"I'll send it," Weldon said of his thought process. "I saw the catcher wasn't in position so I knew I had a chance to get home."


Bowen added: "Every now and then we have a good play like that and that just really gets us going, gets everyone happy in the dugout and encouraging us out there on the field and it really helps us a lot."


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Photos: G-R vs. Grundy Center baseball (View photos as thumbnails)