Eagles look to avenge Game 1 loss

Cam Bass makes the throw from third. | Photos: Donny Knight

ST. GEORGE – The first game of the SCISA 1A state baseball championship was short, but not sweet for Richard Winn Academy.

Defending 1A state champion Dorchester rode the breaking balls of the swift-working Landon Way Monday night. Within an hour and 18 minutes, the left-handed pitcher 1-hit the Eagles in a 4-0 shutout at Dorchester.

“He was hitting his spots and threw a lot of strikes,” RWA Paul Brigman said. “We’ve had trouble during the year with guys throwing good breaking stuff. He had a good curve ball that he was using tonight and we just weren’t adjusting that well.”

The Eagles (19-6-1) play host to the Raiders (19-4) tonight in the second game of the best-of-3 series. Should Richard Winn even the series with a victory, the deciding game will be played at Calhoun Academy in St. Matthews Friday night.

“They didn’t win anything [last night], that’s the way we have to look at it,” Brigman said about the Raiders’ win. “We’ll have our opportunity to defend our home field [tonight] and we’ll take our chances. If we get to Friday, we’ll have our ace (Zack Taylor) back up again.”

The only Eagle batter to get to Way Monday night was Luke Martin, who led off the fourth inning with a single into leftfield. The hit elated the bench and the Richard Winn crowd, but Way shook the hit off and struck out Dru Caldwell, got Brandon Miller to hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice, and Taylor to end the inning on a flyout to right.

Way worked six full innings and needed to throw only 71 pitches to set up closer Noah Byron, who started the seventh and made quick work of three Eagles batters to seal the win.

Zack Taylor worked five innings on the mound for the Eagles. | Donny Knight

With Taylor on the mound, the Eagles felt the short, swift sting of the Dorchester Academy bats early on.

 

Chase Way led off the game with a single and moved to third base by the time Ben Stokes delivered him home on a 1-out single.

With the Raiders up 1-0 with one out, Ben Singleton took first when Taylor hit him with a pitch to put runners at first and second for Andrew Faulling. Faulling hit into a 4-6 fielder’s choice that got Singleton out but moved Stokes to third.

Stokes broke for home shortly afterward and scored the Raiders’ second run before Faulling was tagged out going for second to retire the side.

Dorchester Academy got a run in the third and another run in the fourth, but the Eagles’ infield worked to stop the bleeding.

The Raiders had runners at second and third with one out in the third inning, but when Faulling hit into a fielder’s choice again, the infield passed the ball around from first base to home, back to first base, to third base and finally back to home in an effort hold the runners. Stokes scored his second run of the game on that play, but Taylor struck out Byron to end the inning.

Dorchester loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning. Hunter Hartzog scored the final run of the game when he crossed the plate on Will Carvalho’s fielding error on a Wyatt Judy bouncer up the middle.

Taylor rose again to strike out Stokes and Singletary—and catcher Austin Lancaster ended the inning when he tagged Rhett Mizzell coming home from third on a dropped third strike.

The Eagles found no means of breaking back into the game, but look to turn the tables on the Raiders tonight.

“It’s one of those things in which they’re supposed to defend their home field,” Brigman said about the Dorchester Academy win. “We have that opportunity [tonight] as well.”

The Eagles will host Dorchester for Game 2 tonight. First pitch is set for 6:30.

Richard Winn Dorchester Academy

RWA – 0-0-0-0-0-0-0 – 0, 1, 1

DA – 2-0-1-1-0-0-X – 4, 9, 0

WP: Landon Way LP: Zack Taylor

Hitters: Dorchester – Ben Stokes 2-3. Hunter Hartzog 2-3. RWA – Luke Martin 1-3.