PCA routs Veritas in three innings|[03/13/07]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 13, 2007

JACKSON – On Veritas’ best day, a win over Porters Chapel on the baseball diamond is a dream.

Playing with eight players just made it tougher.

PCA (10-0) batted around twice in the first inning, when it scored all of its runs, and invoked the rarely-used three-inning mercy rule in a 15-0 obliteration of Veritas that lasted only 45 minutes.

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Despite getting only two at-bats, every PCA starter except pitcher Hayden Hales reached base at least twice. Hales had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat, then ripped an RBI double his second time up. He was about to use a wooden bat in his third trip to the plate, leading off the second inning, but was recalled for a pinch-hitter.

&#8220It’s good for everybody to hit the ball and get their batting averages up. That was the shortest baseball game I’ve ever played, though,” said PCA’s Matt Cranfield, who went 2-for-3 with a three-run homer, and also struck out three of the six batters he faced in two innings of perfect relief.

Cranfield, coming off elbow surgery in the offseason, needed less than 20 pitches from his 25-pitch limit to make it through his stint on the mound.

Veritas (2-6) coach Jeff Thigpen said he knew before the game started that it would be a slaughter. Three of his players were out sick, four more were on vacation, and one other failed to show up. Four of the eight missing players were starters.

That left Thigpen with what amounted to less than a junior high team to face last year’s MPSA Class A champions. Because of the no-show, the Lions only had eight men in the lineup. Several PCA reserves rotated in and out of right field to give Veritas a full team.

&#8220With a team like (PCA) you can’t have anybody out when you play them, and then even if you have everybody you’d better make some great plays to stay with them,” Thigpen said. &#8220I knew going in it was going to be bad. I just told them to go out and have fun.

&#8220It’s spring break, we’ll play baseball, and get back to normal next week.”

PCA 7, Carroll 2

Porters Chapel had a little tougher test in its first game of the Veritas tournament, but used six walks in the first inning to jump to a 5-0 lead and

never looked back. Hayden Hales had two hits for the Eagles, including an RBI single that was their only hit of the first inning.

Cole Smith added a solo homer, Brady Towne tripled and Michael Busby doubled. Robbie Simms threw six innings to earn the win. He struck out seven and scattered six hits and six walks. The game was ended by the tournament’s two-hour time limit.