PCA, St. Al take easy wins|[04/03/07]

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 3, 2007

JACKSON – The first time Veritas faced top-ranked Porters Chapel, it needed one of the Eagles’ junior varsity players just to field a full team, then bowed out in a 15-0, 45-minute game.

The Lions put up more of a fight in the rematch Monday, but it still wasn’t much of a game.

Robbie Simms hit a three-run, inside-the-park home run, Cody Ferguson hit a solo shot, and starting pitcher Chris May faced the minimum in four innings of one-hit ball as PCA cruised to a 10-0, mercy-rule shortened win in five innings.

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The first meeting, in the Veritas Tournament in early March, saw the Lions playing without four starters – and only eight players total – and PCA (22-1) had more hits in the first inning (12) than it did in all of Monday afternoon’s game (11).

&#8220They threw a pretty decent pitcher at us. He kept them in the ballgame. They were pretty solid,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. &#8220They were a lot better today. They’ve got no seniors, and they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with in a few years.”

Just not so much this year.

Michael Busby’s sacrifice fly put the Eagles ahead 1-0 in the top of the first, and they blew it open with four more in the second. Matt Cranfield led off with a single and scored on Brady Towne’s RBI triple, then Spencer Pell walked to put two men on and bring Simms to the plate.

Simms hit a liner to Wright that was misjudged by Veritas’ Paul Davis and rolled all the way to the wall. As soon as the ball went over Davis’ head, it was an easy triple for Simms. But as he neared third, he was waved around by Wright and scored easily for an inside-the-park homer and a 4-0 lead.

&#8220I was thinking triple. I didn’t want to turn around and look back at the ball, so I kept my eyes on the catcher and ran as fast as I could,” said Simms, who also had an RBI groundout in the fifth inning and finished 1-for-3 with four RBIs. &#8220I’d rather hit one over the fence. You don’t have to run. It’s a good feeling either way.”

Hayden Hales’ RBI single later in the inning made it 6-0, and the Eagles cruised from there. They added one more in the third and three in the fifth to stretch the lead to 10-0, and May and Cranfield shut down Veritas’ lineup.

Four batters reach base against May (5-0) – one was hit by a pitch, one walked, another singled and a fourth reached on an error – but he still faced the minimum 12 batters in his four-inning stint. He got the Lions to hit into two inning-ending double plays and picked a runner off of first base. Another runner was caught stealing. Cranfield relieved May in the fifth and walked one batter, but didn’t allow him to get past first base.

St. Al 15, Salem 0

Marsh Willis struck out six and allowed only one hit in blanking Salem Monday at Bazinsky Field.

The Flashes (17-5, 7-1) can now look forward to Wednesday night’s clash with archrival Natchez Cathedral at Bazinsky.

Jordan Muirhead keyed an 11-run first inning for St. Al with a single and a double. Pierson Waring and Stephen Evans both had two hits.