PCA shakes off rust to rout Park Place

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, March 21, 2012

PEARL — Upon returning to the field following an unexpectedly long spring break, Porters Chapel Academy didn’t waste a lot of time getting back into the swing of things.

The Eagles scored four runs in the top of the first inning, five more in the fourth, and rode a solid pitching performance from Talbot Buys to an 11-1, run-rule shortened victory over Park Place on Tuesday night.

PCA (5-2, 5-0 District 5-A) won for the fourth time in five games and remained undefeated in district play, despite playing for the first time since March 6. Its last three games were rained out, then there was an extra week off for spring break.

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“When you’re off that long, you expect a little rust. We had a real great scrimmage yesterday and hit for about an hour Sunday, and I came away real impressed and felt better about the approach we were taking. It looked like it carried over pretty well today,” PCA coach Wade Patrick said.

Buys showed some of the effects from the long layoff, but worked his way back into form by the end. He worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the first and gave up just one unearned run in five innings pitched. He finished with 12 strikeouts, and allowed two hits and three walks.

Buys also helped his own cause by going 2-for-3 with a pair of singles and an RBI.

“Some of it was (the layoff),“ Buys said of the shaky start. “Some of it was I was dropping my elbow or not releasing in front of me. I adjusted and ended up strong.”

PCA had the lead on Park Place (7-3, 0-3) just two batters into the game and never trailed.

Sam Kirk led off the game with a walk, went from first to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a bloop double by Jonah Masterson. Buys brought in Masterson with his RBI single, and the Eagles added two more runs on an RBI triple from Tate Chapman and an RBI groundout by Jacob Smithey to jump out to a 4-0 lead.

“We maybe lost the feel for it, but after that first inning, we all got back on the same page and got back to playing like we needed to,” Buys said.

Park Place got a run back in the third when T.J. Watkins reached on a dropped third strike and eventually scored on a single by Kasey Fillingame, but the Crusaders didn’t do much else at the plate. Buys retired seven of the last eight batters after Fillingame’s hit, and recorded eight of the last 10 outs via strikeout.

PCA put it out of reach with a five-run rally in the fourth inning, which was keyed by two errors by Park Place and a two-run single by Sam Staggs. In the fifth inning, Kirk had an RBI single and later scored on a wild pitch to make it 11-1, and the 10-run mercy rule ended the game in the bottom half.

Bogue Chitto 5, St. Aloysius 4

Matt Mims went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Neal Ricks was 2-for-3 with two runs scored, but St. Aloysius (4-10) lost its second straight one-run game.

Bogue Chitto jumped out to a 4-0 lead after two innings. Colton McClendon drove in a run with an RBI single in the first inning, and brought in another during a three-run second when he was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded.

St. Al rallied for three runs in the top of the third. Matthew Foley had an RBI double and Mims followed with an RBI single. Foley scored on a passed ball to cut it to 4-3.

Shiloh Martin led off the third inning with a home run for Bogue Chitto to push the lead back to two runs. St. Al got an unearned run in the sixth to make it 5-4 and had the tying run on base in the seventh, but Josh Eargle hit into a double play to end the game.

St. Al will play Bogue Chitto again Friday night at 7 at Bazinsky Field.