Eagles Best Region Ace, Topple Hawks

Austin Knox came on in the fifth to shut down the Hawks’ offense and earn the win. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

Win Guarantees at Least Share of Title

WINNSBORO – The Richard Winn Academy Eagles took command of SCISA 2A Region III Tuesday night, getting the best of Erskine College-bound senior Noah Hinzman and the Greenwood Christian Academy Hawks, 6-3. The Eagles now sit atop the region standings, but not without company. In a virtual dead heat for the top spot is Spartanburg Christian, whom the Eagles beat 5-0 on March 31, and against whom the Eagles play their final region matchup of the season on April 22.

At worst, the Eagles are assured of a tie.

Hinzman, who struck out 14 Eagles when the two teams met on March 25, handing RWA its only region loss of the season, 2-1, fanned nine Tuesday night. But the Eagles’ staff was a little better and the batting order took advantage of some rare opportunities against Hinzman in the bottom of the sixth.

With the game knotted at 3, Hampton Caughman led off the bottom of the sixth with a sharp single past shortstop. Conrad Sharpe drew a freebie after being hit by a pitch and Elijah Tucker followed with an RBI single to left to put the Eagles ahead. Patrick Pope then came to the plate and delivered an RBI single to center, driving in Sharpe. Matt Taylor’s bunt attempt came up short, yielding the first out of the inning, but Austin Knox kept the merry-go-round turning with a single to load the bases. Hinzman got some breathing room, striking out Jason Branham, but then hit his second batter of the inning, Blake Pauley, bringing Tucker in from third.

Hinzman was lifted for Alex Owens who ended the RWA rally, but by then the Eagles had the 6-3 final sewn up.

Pope worked 4 innings for the Eagles, giving up 3 runs, all earned, on 6 hits, a walk and one hit batsman. Pope struck out 4 Hawks on the night. Knox came on in the fifth to shut down the Hawks, giving up just 2 hits while striking out a pair to earn the win.

All told, the Eagles touched Hinzman for 11 hits, a pair of walks and 2 hit batsmen.

Knox was 3-for-3 at the plate, with an RBI. Pope went 3-for-4 with 2RBIs and a run.

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