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Lethargic Eagles too strong for Greenville

Randy Wright learned a little about his ninth-ranked Porters Chapel Academy Eagles on Friday afternoon.

Even when they play uninspired baseball, they are still good enough to win.

Ryan Hoben tossed a three-hit shutout as PCA (17-2, 8-0 Conference 5A) beat conference rival Greenville Christian, 5-0, in the first game of a doubleheader. The Eagles won the second game as well, 6-5.

“We kind of came out and went through the motions today,” Wright said. “The sign of a good team, though, is being able to win ballgames even when you don’t play well.”

Rob Thornton mixed a curveball and fastballs from several different arm angles and had PCA hitters off-balance all game long. The Greenville Christian righty scattered seven hits and struck out six.

Wes Massey had a pair of singles, while Andrew Embry had an RBI single and Humphrey Barlow belted a solo home run in the fifth inning for the final PCA run.

Greenville, meanwhile, couldn’t string anything together against Hoben. He struck out nine and the Saints stranded two runners each at second and third base.

“Hoben and our defense won the game for us,” Wright said. “That’s the bottom line.”

Chase Towne got the Eagles on the board in the first by scoring on the first of Greenville’s three errors. The Eagles added a run in the second and two in the third for a 4-0 lead.

Aaron Curry had an RBI groundout and Embry an RBI single in the third. Barlow’s home run in the fifth gave PCA a 5-0 lead.

In the nightcap, Josh Rush scored on a Hoben single in the bottom of the seventh inning as the Eagles stayed perfect in the conference.

Embry pitched a complete game to earn the win, but PCA allowed a run in the top of the seventh inning before winning the game in the bottom of the seventh.

The Eagles were playing their fifth game of the week and Wright said that may have played a part in the lethargic effort.

“It’s a little trying on us,” Wright said. “We’re a little worn out and hopefully we can get through today and take a couple days off.”

PCA will play University Christian on Monday.