Eagles win playoff opener|Prep baseball playoffs

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Porters Chapel had Game 1 of its playoff series with Heidelberg won. When that didn’t work out, the Eagles went out and won it again.

After Heidelberg tied it with two unearned runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, PCA scored twice in the eighth to beat the Rebels 7-5 in a wild playoff opener on Tuesday.

Sacrifice flies by John Michael Harris and Matthew Warren put PCA ahead for good. The Eagles rallied from an early 3-0 deficit, wasted a two-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, then bounced back again to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series.

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Game 2 and, if necessary, Game 3, will be Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at PCA. It had originally been scheduled for Friday but was moved up because of the threat of rain.

“This tells us as a team that even when we’re down we’re not out. It’s an incentive to battle hard every inning,” PCA coach Jerry Bourne said. “To win like we did tonight is huge for our ballclub. This is momentum we can ride for a while.”

PCA (14-10) batted around in the third inning and tied the game after falling behind 3-0 early. In the fourth, Colby Rushing walked and eventually scored on a wild pitch to put the Eagles ahead. They added another run in the top of the seventh to take a 5-3 lead. Heidelberg had a comeback of its own at the ready, though. Timmy Fries’ RBI single made it a one-run game. Then, with two outs, PCA pitcher Montana McDaniel got Owen Tuminello to chase a high fastball for strike three — only to have the ball tip off the glove of catcher Reed Gordon. Heidelberg’s Austin Wilson scored the tying run and the game went to extra innings.

In the eighth, Rushing singled and McDaniel doubled. The back-to-back sacrifice flies by Harris and Warren put the Eagles back in front and McDaniel slammed the door in the bottom of the inning.

McDaniel pitched a complete game, the second time this season he has gone eight innings. He allowed eight hits and four walks, struck out 12 and threw a tidy 117 pitches.