PCA’s ‘Comeback Kids’ writing playoff sequel

Published 12:28 pm Monday, May 3, 2010

Things weren’t looking good for Porters Chapel.

It trailed by four runs and had done little offensively through four innings. Ahead lay the unsavory prospect of a do-or-die elimination game with a pitching staff stretched to its limit by fatigue and injuries. To escape the jam, the Eagles needed a comeback and fast.

Porters Chapel vs. Riverfield

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

MAIS Class A South State finals

Game 1: Tuesday, 7 p.m., at Riverfield

Game 2: Thursday, 4 p.m., at Porters Chapel

Game 3: Thursday, 6:30 p.m., at PCA (if necessary)

So, basically, they were right in their comfort zone.

When PCA scored seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings to beat Calvary Christian in Game 2 of a second-round MAIS Class A playoff series, it marked the seventh time in its last 10 playoff games — and second this postseason — that it scored the winning run in the sixth inning or later.

“That’s the mark of a championship team. That when you’re down, you’re not out. There’s never a sense of defeat with these guys,” PCA coach Jerry Bourne said.

The ability to come from behind has been a potent weapon for PCA. It has won 10 consecutive playoff games dating to last year’s championship run. Although there are five new starters in the lineup this season, center fielder Colby Rushing said the newcomers seem to have inherited the same never-say-die attitude that the veterans have shown.

“Last year we had the nickname ‘Comeback Kids’ and there’s some carry over. That’s how we play at Porters Chapel,” Rushing said. “Our heads don’t get down. That’s what we do a good job with. We’ve got some new players this year and they’re the same way. The young kids have done a good job taking what we’ve told them and using it.”

The sweep of Calvary marked the halfway point in PCA’s quest for a second consecutive Class A championship. PCA will face Riverfield in the South State finals this week. The best-of-three series begins Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Rayville, La., with Games 2 and 3 in Vicksburg on Thursday at 4 p.m.

It’s a remarkable spot to be in for a team that didn’t win more than three games in a row before its current six-game winning streak. The turning point, Rushing said, was a 15-1 loss to Trinity on April 5. That served as a wake-up call to the Eagles that they needed to pick up the pace if they wanted to play deep into May.

“They helped us out because we got drummed. But we played our worst game,” Rushing said.

Trinity may have helped out PCA in the regular season, but didn’t do any favors for it in the playoffs. The Saints beat Riverfield in Game 1 of their second-round series last week, then lost 17-11 and 11-3 in Games 2 and 3. That allowed Riverfield, which boasts a 25-2 record, to advance to the semifinals.

Pitcher Kyle King threw 11 innings, including a complete game in Game 2, for Riverfield in the doubleheader.