Freshman McDaniel paces PCA|[03/14/08]

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 14, 2008

A big effort from a freshman pitcher and another good offensive outing helped Porters Chapel Academy complete a two-game sweep of Central Hinds in District 5-A action Thursday night at Pierce Field.

Montana McDaniel, making his second appearance of the season, struck out 11 and walked none in leading the Eagles (5-4, 5-0) to a 10-4 victory over the Cougars. The win comes two days after PCA ace, Matt Cranfield, blanked Central Hinds 7-0 in an 11-strikeout, no-hit performance.

“Can’t say enough about the job Montana did, especially as a freshman. He pitched exceptionally well,” PCA coach Randy Wright said. “He didn’t walk any guys. There was one inning where we didn’t play good defense behind him but a win like this puts us in pretty good shape in the district going into Benton next week.”

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McDaniel got plenty of offensive support as the Eagles banged out nine hits led by Joe Borrello, Clayton Holmes and Gabby Hays with two hits apiece.

“We’re gradually getting better,” said Borrello, who followed up Tuesday’s solo home run effort by driving in three runs Thursday off a sacrifice fly and a two-run single in the sixth. He also doubled and scored a run in the third inning to give PCA a 4-0 lead.

“Just a lot of hard practice,” Borrello said of his three-hit, four-RBI series this week.

McDaniel, now 1-1 on the season, was just trying to keep calm.

“I was kind of nervous. I just tried to do my job. I missed my spots in the one inning (the fourth), but I went back to the fastball and curve and tried to stay on the outside,” said McDaniel, who gave up four runs, just two earned, off seven hits.

The Cougars trimmed a 4-0 Eagle lead to 4-3 after scoring three in the top of the fourth. CHA (2-6, 2-2) scattered two hits around two PCA errors to plate the runs.

The Eagles bounced back with Holmes belting a leadoff double in the bottom of the fourth. He scored on Cranfield’s sac fly to right to make it 5-3.

Matt Greer drove in Chris May in the fifth to up the lead to 6-3. The Eagles then sealed it with a four-run sixth inning. Two dropped balls in the outfield set up a two-run single by Borrello and a RBI double from May to make it 9-3. Hays then drove in Borrello on a RBI groundout to up the lead to 10-3.

Central Hinds got a run in the seventh off R.J. Stoll’s second hit of the game.

PCA returns to action Saturday, playing one game at Belhaven College against Lamar School of Meridian, and then facing Starkville Academy at Millsaps.

“We’re looking forward to playing to big 3A schools on Saturday and hope to use that to get ready for a really good Benton team next week,” Wright said.

Neville 11, Warren Central 6

Jimmie Elliott and Dustin Hardin each had two hits Thursday, but Warren Central fell to Neville (16-1) on the first day of the Ouachita Parish Tournament in Louisiana.

Elliott and Hardin also doubled and Heath Carroll tripled in the loss. Jason Pettway fell to 1-2 on the season.

Warren Central trailed 6-2 going into the fourth inning, but scored four in the fourth to tie the game at 6. Neville added one run in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth. Will Hardy and Ralph Rhymes had three hits each for Neville.