Eagles Bounced from Postseason

 

RWA catcher Austin Knox makes the throw down to first. (Photo/Martha Ladd)

WINNSBORO – After bouncing back from a 7-0 shutout in game 1 to earn a split on the road at St. Matthews, the Richard Winn Academy Eagles baseball squad saw their 2014 playoff run come to an end Saturday as they fell to Calhoun Academy 11-1 at home.

Robert Lewis hurled 6 strong innings for the Cavaliers, giving up just the single run on back-to-back doubles by Cameron Cooper and Elijah Tucker in the second inning. That cut the Calhoun lead to 2-1, but the Cavs pulled away with a pair of runs in the top of the third and three runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Calhoun tacked on one more in the top of the seventh. Lewis gave up only three hits and walked three while striking out five. Zane Gray finished things off for the Cavs, giving up a hit, two walks and striking out two and hitting one batter.

Cooper took the loss for the Eagles, giving up 5 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks in 3 and a third innings. Only one of Cooper’s runs was earned. Tucker came on in the fourth and gave up 5 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks in 1 and a third innings work. Only two of Tucker’s runs were earned. Blake Pauley faced four batters in one and a third innings, striking out all four. Jason Branham closed things out for the Eagles, giving up 1 run on 2 hits and a walk. The Eagle defense committed four errors on the afternoon.

Richard Winn earned the return to Winnsboro by scrapping back from a 1-0 series deficit Friday to take game 2 by a 3-2 margin. Patrick Pope led the Eagles to the game 2 win on the mound while some late-inning heroics lifted Richard Winn over the Cavs.

Cooper delivered a 2-out RBI single off Calhoun’s Wyatt Rucker into right field in the top of the seventh, sending Matt Taylor around third and bearing down on home plate. As the throw came in from right, on time and on target, Taylor leapt over the tag by Cavalier catcher Jackson Fleming and landed on home plate. The controversial hop over the sweeping tag drew the ire of the home crowd as well as the Calhoun staff, but the run stayed on the board to give the Eagles a 3-2 lead.

“He was doing the right thing, because if he had run into the catcher he could have been ejected,” RWA head coach Al Berry said. “He has to do everything to avoid the tag in high school baseball. And I think he did a pretty good job there.”

Pope retired the Cavs in order in the bottom half to seal the win, in spite of his unsteadiness in the previous frame. Calhoun, down 2-0, sent seven men to the plate in the sixth. A pair of costly errors and some timely hitting pushed 2 runs across, knotting the contest and shifting the momentum into the home dugout. But with the lead regained in the seventh, Berry sent his senior back to the hill to finish the deal.

“He’s a senior,” Berry said of his starter. “I have three guys here who have played four years with me since I’ve been at Richard Winn. So he deserved an opportunity to do that.”

The Eagles were facing certain elimination in the SCISA Class 2A state playoffs after suffering a 7-0 drubbing in game 1. McGee had a no-hitter working into the sixth and had faced only one batter above the minimum, having plunked Austin Knox with 2 outs in the first. Richard Winn cobbled together a pair of hits in the top of the sixth, but left the bases loaded after McGee recovered his composure. McGee threw but 70 pitches in the complete-game win while his RWA counterpart, Knox, was not as sharp. The RWA ace was touched up for 8 hits and 7 runs, all but three of which were earned.

“We didn’t play very well the first game,” Berry said. “Austin didn’t pitch very well. We knew that Calhoun Academy is well-coached, fundamental team.”

Game 1

RWA – 0 0 0  0 0 0  0 – 0 2 8

Cal – 3 0 1  0 3 0  x – 7 8 0

Pitching: Cal—T. McGee (W), 7IP, 2H, 0R, 1BB, 5K, 1HB, TBF-25, 70P, 21B, 49S. RW—A. Knox (L), 4.2IP, 8H, 7R, 4ER, 1BB, 4K, 1HB, TBF-28, 93P, 28B, 65S; B. Pauley, 1.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 1K, 1HB, TBF-5, 17P, 7B, 10S.

Hitting: 2B—E. Tucker (RW), Ryan Sandifer (Cal)(2). LOB: RW—4, Cal—8.

Time of Game: 1:25

Game 2

RWA – 1 0 0  0 1 0  1 – 3 8 2

Cal – 0 0 0  0 0 2  0 – 2 4 2

Pitching: RW—P. Pope (W), 7IP, 4H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 7K, 1HB, TBF-28, 93P, 30B, 63S. Cal—W. Rucker (L), 6.2IP, 8H, 3R, 1ER, 0BB, 2K, 2HB, TBF-31, 84P, 18B, 66S; Z. Gray, 0.1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K, TBF-1, 2P, 0B, 2S.

Hitting: 2B—M. Taylor, E. Tucker (RW).

Time of Game: 1:20

Game 3

Cal – 2 0 2  3 3 0  1 – 11 9 1

RWA – 0 1 0  0 0 0  0  1 4 4

Pitching: Cal—R. Lewis (W), 6IP, 1R, 1ER, 3H, 3BB, 5K; Z. Gray 1IP, 0R, 1H, 2BB, 2K, 1HB. RWA—C. Cooper (L), 3.1IP, 5R, 1ER, 3H, 4BB; E. Tucker, 1.1IP, 5R, 2ER, 4H, 2BB, 1K; B. Pauley, 1.1IP, 0R, 0H, 4K; J. Branham, 1IP, 1R, 1ER, 2H, 1BB.

Hitting: 2B—C. Cooper, E. Tucker (RW).

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