Cardinals End Eagles’ Win Streak

Second baseman Corey Davis makes the play on the pop fly hit short into the outfield. Shortstop Cameron Cooper and center fielder Sidney Edenfield rush in to back up the play.

After rattling off four consecutive wins in six days, the Richard Winn Academy baseball squad bumped up against a revenge-minded Cardinal Newman team Monday night, falling 13-7 on the road.

The Eagles pulled a 10-8 walk-off win over the Cardinals back on March 8 on an eighth-inning two-run shot by Austin Knox, but Monday night was a different tale, as the Cards used a six-run third inning to sink the Eagles’ hopes for a series sweep.

Elijah Tucker took the loss for the Eagles, working just two and a third innings. The Cards peppered Tucker with six hits, plating nine runs in the brief outing. Tucker struck out two while issuing three walks. Blake Pauley came on in the third and worked two and two-thirds, giving up three runs on four hits, a walk, two hit batsmen, a strikeout and two balks. Jason Branham closed things out for the Academy, giving up one un-earned run on two hits and a strikeout.

Garrett McNerney got the start for the Cardinals, going two-plus innings and giving up six runs on four hits, three walks and five strikeouts. Chris Kolp came on in the third and worked five innings for the win. Kolp gave up just one run on four hits and two strikeouts.

The Eagles opened up an early 3-0 lead in the top of the first, but the Cards answered back with three of their own in the bottom half. Cardinal Newman tacked on a pair in the bottom of the second, and the Eagles went up 6-5 in the top half of the third. But in the bottom half, the Cardinals banged out six big runs to take the lead for the final time.

Austin Knox went 2-for-4 at the plate for the Eagles, bashing a double and a triple, a pair of RBIs and scoring twice. Tucker and Corey Davis were each 1-for-2, Davis with a double and two runs scored and Tucker with a stolen base and an RBI. Branham and Matt Taylor each went 1-for-4 with three RBIs between them, while Sidney Edenfield went 1-for-3.

The Eagles fared much better late last week, pounding Class 2A public school Columbia High 19-7 on March 21 in the Capital City. Knox got the win for the Academy, throwing three innings and giving up four runs, all but one of which was earned. Knox allowed five hits, a pair of walks and fanned four Capitals. Branham worked two innings of relief, giving up three un-earned runs on one hit, two strikeouts and two hit batsmen.

The Capitals went up 3-2 after one inning and stayed on the heels of the Eagles, who plated three in the top of the third and fourth innings. Up 8-6 going into the fifth, the Eagle offense exploded for 11 runs against the Capitals’ bullpen. Columbia starter Terrell Blocker threw 94 pitches through four innings and was replaced in the fifth by Brian Richburg. Richburg was largely ineffective, giving up 10 runs (seven earned) while retiring just one batter. Jonathan McBee finished out the frame, giving up one more Eagle run. The Caps scored one in the bottom of the fifth, but it was far too little to stave off the 10-run mercy rule.

Patrick Pope went 4-for-5 for the Eagles, with a double, and RBI and three runs scored. Matt Taylor was 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs. Knox went 2-for-4 as well with a sacrifice fly and an RBI. Davis went 1-for-3 with two stolen bags, a pair of walks, an RBI and four runs scored. Cameron Cooper went 1-for-3 with two RBIs. Tucker was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and Edenfield belted a double and two RBIs.

On March 22, the Eagles eked out a win against a very talented Providence Athletic Club, 5-3. The team of home-schooled Panthers had just racked up impressive wins over Heathwood Hall and Cardinal Newman and had suffered a narrow 4-2 loss to undefeated Hammond coming into Richard Winn.

Pope faced 27 batters in the complete-game win for the Eagles, giving up just four hits, a walk and striking out five. Only two of Pope’s three runs were earned.

Josh Hannah worked three-plus innings for the Panthers, giving up two runs on three hits, four walks and two strikeouts. James Reed came on in the fourth and worked three innings in the losing effort. Reed gave up three runs on three hits, three walks and two strikeouts.

The game was knotted at 3-all going into the sixth when the Eagles managed to push across two runs for the win. Davis went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI. Tucker was 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs, and Knox went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

The Eagles are now 7-3 overall and began region play last night (March 28) against Spartanburg Day School. Over spring break, the Eagles will travel to Winthrop University April 4 to face St. Mary’s High School, which is on a spring barnstorming tour of the South. Game time is TBA.

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