PCA fans brave bitter cold to see Eagles rip Rebul

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 27, 2002

Becky Curry, dressed for the bitter cold, takes a cup of hot chocolate from concession-stand worker Becky Lofton at the Porters Chapel-Rebul baseball game Tuesday night. Three other local teams canceled games as temperatures were expected to dip into the 20s, so PCA was the only game in town. (The Vicksburg Post/C. TODD SHERMAN)

[2/27/02]Players and fans were thankful Porters Chapel Academy didn’t play two Tuesday night.

Braving temperatures that dropped faster than hot chocolate packets at the concession stand, the Eagles (2-0) dismantled Rebul, 15-2, in a game that was mercifully shortened by the mercy rule.

“We’ve been practicing since the end of October and we want to play,” said PCA coach Randy Wright, whose team scored 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth to end the game. “The field is dry and there is no reason we shouldn’t have played tonight.

“Nothing was going to stop us unless a flood came.”

About 65 people sat on the Pierce Field hill along the first-base line, enduring a steady wind that made the 36 degrees feel more like 19.

Vicksburg High and St. Aloysius’ baseball teams and Warren Central’s softball team postponed their games because of the cold weather.

“I could never get warm,” PCA pitcher Andrew Embry said. “My muscles never would loosen up.”

Embry threw the first two innings. He allowed one hit and struck out four in earning the win.

Rebul, which was led by Rodney Mahaley’s fourth-inning home run, loaded the bases in the second, but Embry got Christian Hales to ground to first.

“It’s kind of cold, but it’s not an excuse,” Rebul (0-1) coach John Baker said. “We are really young.”

T.J. Smith paced the Eagles’ offense with two singles and three RBIs, while Chase Towne and Josh Rush each had a single, double and two RBIs. Ryan Hoben and Embry each had RBI singles and Humphrey Barlow hit a double.

The slow-starting Eagles led 3-0 after the second inning and added one more in the third.

Mahaley’s one-out blast in the top of the fourth brought the Raiders to within 4-1.

“We came out slow, but I don’t know if that has anything to do with the cold,” Wright said. “It was a combination of coming off a big win and having to bounce back and play today.”

Porters Chapel sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the fourth. Rush and Towne each had two-RBI doubles and Smith had a game-winning two-RBI single to highlight the 11-run fourth.

The Eagles were 15-for-15 on stolen bases.

“I’m glad we got to play them, and I’m glad we got a win,” Embry said. “A game like that, though, is just not fun.”