Eagles clobber Cougars

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 13, 2002

[03/12/02]Porters Chapel Academy staved off a steady rain Monday afternoon in the opening game of its spring break tournament.

Then they held off Central Hinds.

Joseph Ivey pitched a complete game, allowing four hits and striking out seven in a 7-3 win over the Academy-AAA Cougars.

Ivey allowed two runs in the top of the first inning, then held Central Hinds scoreless until the seventh as the Eagles improved to 4-3.

“He gave up those two runs in the first inning, then settled in nicely and shut them down,” said PCA coach Randy Wright, whose team will play Greenville Christian Wednesday at 6 p.m. “For the most part, we’ve been good defensively, now we need the pitchers to get up there and throw strikes and give us a chance to win.”

All of today’s games were pushed back to Wednesday.

Ryan Hoben’s two-RBI single in the bottom of the second off losing pitcher Matt Sykes tied the game, 2-2.

Hoben led the Eagles with a single, double and two RBIs, while Chase Towne had a home run and two RBIs and Humphrey Barlow had a single, double and and RBI.

Towne’s blast in the bottom of the third gave Porters Chapel a 3-2 lead.

A steady rain that picked up intensity throughout the game seemed to have little effect on PCA, which added two more runs in the fourth for a 5-2 lead on a Barlow two-RBI double.

Central Hinds had its best chance at a comeback in the fifth with the bases loaded and one out. Ivey struck out the Cougars’ Zach Riley, then got Sykes to line out to first base.

“We battled out of that situation,” Wright said.

“Joseph Ivey sucked it up and Andrew Embry made a nice play at first.”

Hoben led off the sixth with a double and courtesy runner Gerald Mims scored when Embry got to second on an error.

Embry scored the Eagles’ final run on a Towne RBI flyout.

Central Hinds scored one in the top of the seventh on a Dustin Messina double, but Ivey got Martin Long to fly out and struck out Riley to end the game.

Wright said Greenville Christian will provide one of the stiffest tests of the young season.

“We had such a good year last year, we couldn’t get anyone to play us this year that wasn’t any good,” said Wright, whose team will also play unbeaten Canton on Thursday at noon.

” … We didn’t have a choice but to play some of the big boys, so we’ll just have to suck it up and get after it.”