Eagles finally split with Russell

Published 12:09 am Sunday, April 1, 2012

The game that wouldn’t die finally ended on Saturday with a diving catch by PCA right fielder Cody Zimmerman.

The second game in the series seemed like it didn’t want to go either. PCA defeated Russell Christian 14-12 in the continuation of Tuesday’s twice-delayed game and lost in the second game, 21-12, that seemed to last nearly as long.

The two teams squared off at Warren Central’s Viking Field, the third different field for one game, with Jonah Masterson standing on third and PCA leading 13-11. Sam Staggs gave the Eagles some much-needed breathing room with a RBI single.

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Talbot Buys, who threw an arm-wringing 140 pitches on Tuesday in the start at Russell, took the hill and allowed a triple and a run off a 4-3 putout before Zimmerman’s grab completed the unusual save.

In the second game, nine errors, six walks and six hit batsmen added up to a district loss for PCA (6-4, 6-1 District 5-A).

“I’m not unhappy with the loss,” PCA coach Wade Patrick said. “But what I am unhappy with is all of the hit batters, walks and errors. You just can’t do that and expect to win.”

Staggs, who started the second game, didn’t last past the second inning, when the Warriors put nine runs on the board. Reliever Booth Buys, an eighth-grader took the mound in relief of Staggs, but lasted just 2⁄3 of an inning. Reliever Logan Pickering got two outs to finish out the third, but Russell had a 9-3 lead that it wouldn’t relinquish.

PCA rallied in the bottom of the frame to cut the deficit to 9-7 with RBI singles by Masterson, Staggs and Tate Chapman, but it’d be as close as the Eagles could get.

Russell (10-5, 5-1) slammed the door shut with a five-run rampage in the third.

Masterson, Chapman and Talbot Buys paced PCA with three hits apiece. Chapman paced the RBI column with three, while Talbot Buys and Masterson added two apiece.

Staggs was tagged with the loss, finishing just 11⁄3 of an inning and tagged for seven runs, five earned.

Pickering was more effective, pitching four solid innings and allowing only one earned run with three strikeouts.

Russell got most of its offense from the bottom of the order, as batters 6-9 drove in nine runs. Josh McQueen led the Warriors with a two-RBI single and a sacrifice fly. Daniel Harris, Andrew Culpepper and Jacob Russell had two RBIs apiece.

Camryn Lee earned the win for Russell with a complete-game effort, striking out five despite giving up nine runs and 12 hits.