Eagles fall to Riverfield McDaniel’s four homers not enough

Published 12:24 am Saturday, May 8, 2010

When the Porters Chapel Eagles look back on this year’s Class A South State title series, they will remember the great swings by Montana McDaniel and senior Colby Rushing.

But they’ll remember more Riverfield Academy celebrating their first state championship berth. The Eagles will also remember that they were just two outs from playing for another title with a Game 2 victory.

PCA fell 4-3 in Game 2 and lost Game 3 immediately following, 13-6, off a six-run rally despite four home runs from McDaniel on Friday.

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“It’s really tough,” Rushing, who played in his final game at PCA, said. “Everyone has been saying how we’re the comeback kids and maybe it was destiny for us to do it twice. I can’t explain how hard it hurts for the whole team.”

The Eagles were unable to seal the deal in both contests.

PCA led throughout 3-1 in Game 2 off a pair of solo blasts by McDaniel and a RBI double by starting pitcher Matthew Warren.

In the top of the fifth, Logan Moore appeared to have given the Raiders the lead, as he bombed a two-run blast over the PCA emblem on the outfield wall.

But hold everything. The umpires ruled that he missed first base. Runner Kyle Booth still scored, but Warren threw to John Michael Harris for an easy out.

The Raiders finally got to Warren, who intentionally walked Moore with two outs. Jason Jarette blasted a single to center to plate Moore for the tying run and an error allowed the winning run to score.

Riverfield’s Kyle King gave up a single in the bottom of the seventh, but induced a weak tapper to end Game 2.

“We had the upper hand in the series,” first-year PCA coach Jerry Bourne said. “It was a battle all the way, but I can’t say anything about our kids. All the credit goes to Riverfield.”

In Game 3, PCA started out flat as the Raiders jumped off to a 5-0 lead without a single hit in the first inning. The Raiders did all their damage off two costly errors and a passed ball.

PCA was able to whittle down the lead, as Harris flied out to center to plate Rushing in the bottom of the first and McDaniel bombed his third longball, a two-run job, in the bottom of the third.

Down 6-3 in the fifth, the Eagles tied the game off back-to-back jacks by Rushing, a two-run blast over dead center, and McDaniel’s solo shot, his fourth.

“What can you say about that?” Bourne said. “That’s a leader coming up with big hits in big situations for his team.”

But a six-run Riverfield rally in the top of the sixth, ignited by three costly errors, was capped by Logan Moore’s three-run home run.It finally sank the Eagles.

McDaniel finished the series with four home runs and five RBIs. Rushing went a perfect 4-for-4 with three runs scored in Game 3

“I thought we had it in the first game,” McDaniel said. “That is just unreal. I was just on tonight.”