ST. MATTHEWS — Richard Winn’s baseball team played in two pitcher’s duels against Calhoun Academy in the teams’ doubleheader opener to the SCISA playoffs.
In the first game, the Eagles scratched across one run on five hits. That one run was not enough support of starter Patrick Pope. He did not give up an earned run but thanks to four Eagle errors, Calhoun scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the first inning.
The junior pitched a complete game, walking one and hitting two batters while striking out four. He did not give up an earned run. Pope helped himself at the plate, scoring the Eagles lone run in the fourth inning. Pope singled to lead off the frame and reached second on a Corey Davis sacrifice.
From there heavy hitting Austin Knox doubled to score Pope. In addition to Pope with two hits, Knox was 2-3 with a double and an RBI and Elijah Tucker was 1-3 with a double.
The Eagles made it interesting late. Knox led off the final inning with a single. Then John Coleman came on to pinch run. He stole a base and looked to be on his way to score when Elijah Tucker ripped a double to the gap. Coleman had to wait to be sure the ball got down and by then the coaches chose not to send him.
With no outs in the inning and runners on second and third, it appeared the Eagles were in the driver’s seat. Matt Taylor hit a ball hard to the hot corner but the line drive was right at the third baseman for the first out. Sidney Edenfield went down on strikes for the second out after working a full count on the Calhoun pitcher.
That left the late game heroics to junior Jason Branham, but his attempt to drive a ground ball through the infield resulted in a ground out to first base that ended the game.
The second game of the doubleheader ended 2-1 as well. Calhoun’s Austin Knox got the ball and held Calhoun to just three hits. Calhoun also stranded five runners on base but the home team scored first in the nightcap, plating a run in the second inning.
Elijah Tucker put a charge into the Eagles faithful in the fourth inning when he led off with a home run, for his only hit of the game. The game was tied at one until the bottom of the sixth inning. The lead off batter singled and then was sacrificed to second. The next Calhoun hitter grounded out to first base, advancing the lead runner to third. With a runner on third and two outs, Calhoun got the clutch single it needed to take a 2-1 lead.
Though RWA had its share of base runners with Edenfield and Matt Taylor both going 2-3 with a steal a piece and Cameron Cooper adding a hit for RWA, the Eagles just could not string hits together to manufacture another run and wound up losing 2-1 to end their season.
Coach Al Berry said he was proud of this group and how they battled all year and were a hard working bunch. These teams were evenly matched but tonight was Calhoun Academy’s night, so you tip your cap to them, he said.