PCA takes two more from district rival|[4/6/05]

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 6, 2005

For a brief moment Tuesday afternoon, it looked like Porters Chapel was in trouble.

The Eagles were leaving runners on base at an alarming rate, letting Tri-County stick around and making their coach more frustrated by the minute. Then they got their act together and do what they do best – decimate district opponents.

PCA scored three runs in the bottom of the fifth to blow open a close game and beat Tri-County 8-3 in the first game of a doubleheader. Moose Carney went 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs for PCA.

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In the nightcap, Michael Busby had 17 strikeouts in six innings and helped his own cause by going 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and four runs scored as PCA completed the sweep with a 13-3 win.

The two wins ran PCA’s district winning streak to 42 games. The Eagles (14-4, 4-0 District 4-A) can clinch their fifth straight district championship by beating Sharkey-Issaquena and Veritas next week – two teams they’ve already beaten this season by the mercy rule.

“That’s something we take pride in. I don’t ever fail to mention it to them,” PCA coach Randy Wright said of the winning streak, which stretches to the beginning of the 2002 season. “We don’t want to overlook Sharkey and Veritas, but we feel like today goes a long way in helping us win a district championship.”

PCA jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first game against Tri-County (5-6, 2-2) on Tuesday, then ran into a wall.

Moose Carney hit a two-run homer in the first and Hayden Hales delivered a two-run single in the second, but the Eagles stranded 10 runners in the first four innings. In the first and fourth, they left the bases loaded.

That allowed Tri-County to stay close, and the Rebels closed the gap with two runs in the third inning. Using a series of slow rollers and choppers, Tri-County strung together four straight hits, including RBI singles from Brentley Davis and Drew Posey.

“All hits count in baseball,” Tri-County coach Joe Goolsby said with a smile. “Whether it’s a shot or dribblers, they all count as hits.”

The Rebels added another run in the fifth on an RBI single from Justin Allard, cutting it to 4-3, before Hales got a strikeout to end the inning.

That was when PCA stopped fooling around and put Tri-County away.

Three straight two-out RBI singles by Carney, Hales and Dan Ivey stretched PCA’s lead to 7-3. Judd Mims added an RBI double in the bottom of the sixth to make it 8-3, and Hales retired seven of the last eight batters he faced to slam the door on the Rebels.

“I’m disappointed we left so many men on base, but we did have a couple of innings where we got the hits and scored some two-out runs,” said Wright, whose team scored six of its eight runs with two outs.

The second game had little drama, thanks to Busby.

He struck out the first seven batters of the game and retired 12 of the first 14 men he faced. The only two who reached were in the first inning, when a pair of third strikes got by the catcher. It’s the second time this season Busby has struck out five batters in one inning.

The game was scoreless until the third, when PCA scored four runs. They added five more in the fifth to blow the game open, and eventually won it by the mercy rule in the bottom of the sixth.

Chris Mixon went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs for PCA in game two, while Ivey had an RBI double. Brentley Davis had a two-run double for Tri-County, and Matt Voss also had a double.