PCA weathers slow start, hammers UCS

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 2, 2004

Porters Chapel Academy third baseman Chip Lofton chases down University Christian’s Zach Collette, center, in the third inning of the Eagles’ 11-1 win on Monday. Looking on is PCA catcher Rob Quimby. (Melanie Duncan ThortisThe Vicksburg Post)

[3/2/04]Porters Chapel Academy had a series of errors, baserunning mistakes, and other assorted blunders Monday afternoon against University Christian.

Luckily, the Eagles got it all out of their system early.

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Humphrey Barlow went 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Josh Gain and Michael Shinn drove in two runs apiece as PCA (3-0) overcame a sluggish start to claim an 11-1 win. Gain homered for the second time in three games, and the Eagles had five extra-base hits.

Freshman Michael Busby allowed one hit in five innings to pick up the win in his first varsity start. He walked two and hit three batters, but struck out six and didn’t allow an earned run.

“I guess we’re a team that just doesn’t get real fired up. … We’re just kind of acting like we’re going through the motions,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. “But we’re 3-0, we played a great game, got a bunch of big hits today, pitched well, and for the most part played great defense. I’m pleased with the way we’re executing and the way we’re playing and hitting the ball and doing everything. We just don’t seem to have a lot of fire.”

PCA ran itself out of two early scoring chances, and allowed the Flames (0-2) to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning when first baseman Justin Boler misplayed a two-out grounder.

The Eagles got the run back in the bottom of the inning on Shinn’s RBI single, then pulled things together in the third.

In the top of the inning, the Flames had two runners on and one out when catcher Rob Quimby made a snap throw to third to catch University Christian’s Zach Colette in a rundown. After Colette was finally tagged out, shortstop Chip Lofton caught Sully Clemmer off second and he, too, was tagged out after a short rundown.

“It was something we were going to try and take advantage of,” University Christian coach Larry Wesson said. “They called the right play and we called the wrong one, that was all it was.”

In the bottom of the inning, PCA’s bats broke out of their slump.

The first three batters reached base one was thrown out stealing before Barlow knocked in two runs with a single to put the Eagles ahead 3-1. Barlow advanced to third with a pair of errors on his hit, and Gain flied out to short center.

University Christian couldn’t get the final out to escape the jam, though. Ryan Hoben drew a walk and Rob Quimby followed with an RBI double. Shinn then singled in a run and Chip Lofton doubled off the wall in right center to make it 6-1.

Two more walks, including one to Busby with the bases loaded, capped the rally. In all, the Eagles scored four of their six runs in the inning with two outs.

Gain added a two-run homer in the fourth inning, and the Eagles finished the game by the 10-run rule on RBI singles by Boler and Barlow in the fifth.

“We were just dead at first, but we came around with the sticks. It was just awesome. We got the key hits in the two-out situations, and that just really helped us out,” said Shinn, who was 2-for-3. “There’s pressure on you, but you want to do something to help the team out. We just came through.”