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Embry-led PCA tops WC Juniors

[07/11/01] Porters Chapel and the Warren Central Juniors used two different styles of baseball to score a lot of runs Tuesday night. WC pecked away, manufacturing runs and taking advantage of situations, while PCA got big hits that led to big innings.

In the end, PCA’s relentless assault won out.

The Eagles scored in every inning but the first, hit seven doubles, and had seven different players drive in runs in a 13-8 win over their crosstown foes.

“It was a tooth-and-nail ballgame the whole way. We hit, they hit. They’d get ahead and we’d come back, then we’d get ahead and they’d come back,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. “We got hits when it was necessary to win the ballgame, and I think it’s a confidence builder for us to beat a team like Warren Central.”

Andrew Embry went 2-for-4 with two doubles and three RBIs, and also pitched three innings of scoreless, hitless relief to get the win. Aaron Curry went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and three runs scored, and Joseph Ivey added two hits and three RBIs for PCA.

Otis Stamps and Vaughn Mims each had two singles and an RBI for WC, and Kyle Gordon, John Rice Pettway and Will Mendrop each drove in runs, but the Vikings stranded 10 runners eight of them in scoring position.

“We played a good game and saw some good things, but when it comes down to it they outhit us,” WC coach Randy Broome said. “All summer we’ve been getting that big hit, and we never could get that tonight.”

The teams traded the lead six times in the first four innings. Finally, PCA took a 9-8 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Embry reached on an error and scored on Humphrey Barlow’s single to left, then pulled away with four runs in the sixth.

Back-to-back doubles off the left field wall by Embry and T.J. Smith highlighted the inning. Embry’s brought in two runs, but he thought he had more.

“I started my home run trot,” he said with a smile.

The insurance runs proved to be valuable. WC loaded the bases with two outs in the top of the seventh on three straight strikeouts when the pitches in the dirt bounced away from PCA catcher Ryan Hoben. Finally, Embry got Vaughn Mims to ground to short to end the threat.

“Going from a right-hander to a left-hander, I think that was the difference,” said Embry, who relieved Hoben after the fourth inning and allowed just one walk while striking out five. “It’s hard to adjust that first at-bat. Luckily we were deep enough into the game that they didn’t have time to adjust.”

WC took a 3-0 lead in the first inning without hitting a ball out of the infield the Vikings got two infield singles, a hit batsman, a walk and an error but only held it until the bottom of the second as PCA scored three runs to tie it.

WC retook the lead in the third when starting pitcher Greg Carroll walked and eventually scored with the help of two straight wild pitches, but the Eagles answered with three more runs in the bottom of the inning.

Curry doubled in the tying run and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Hoben. Ivey singled home Wes Massey with the go-ahead run.

WC finally put together its own big inning in the fourth, batting around and scoring four runs to make it 8-6. Stamps and Mendrop each had RBI singles in the inning, and Pettway brought in another run with a bases-loaded walk.

That was all the Vikings could muster, however, and PCA scored the last seven runs of the game. Curry hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth and Ivey doubled in a run to tie it at 8-8 before Barlow’s single in the sixth gave PCA the lead for good.

“We fought hard the whole game,” Embry said. “It wasn’t easy. It wasn’t a cakewalk.”