PCA struggles mightily in loss to Riverfield

Published 7:31 pm Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Since they’ve been eliminated from the playoffs, the day-to-day goals of Porter’s Chapel Academy’s baseball team have obviously shifted.

First and foremost is doing well and having some fun, and generally having a lot fewer days like they had on Tuesday.

Tristan Middleton doubled, drove in three runs and scored three more, and Bailyn Sorensen threw a four-inning no-hitter as Riverfield Academy routed the Eagles 17-0 in a matinee at Sports Force Parks on the Mississippi.

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“We had no energy from the first pitch. There was no enthusiasm. It was almost like we didn’t want to be here. That was the most disappointing thing,” PCA coach Wade Patrick said. “Baseball is a fun sport and that’s where you’re supposed to be able to come and relax and get your mind off of things. For whatever reason we were not in it from the first pitch.”

PCA (7-10, 3-5 District 3-AAA) has not been terrible this year, but has also not been very consistent. It has lost four of its last five games and was eliminated from playoff contention about three weeks ago.

Even by those standards, though, Tuesday’s game was ugly and got that way in a hurry.

Five walks and a two-run double by Middleton highlighted a five-run Riverfield rally in the top of the first inning, and the Raiders were never threatened. They really blew it open with seven runs in the third — Ty Skeldon hit a two-run single — and tacked on five more in the fourth to win the game via the mercy rule in four innings.

Sorensen only walked one batter, and two others reached on errors. He struck out five.

By contrast, PCA starter Wade Dickard allowed six hits, six walks and eight runs in 2 1/3 innings.

“Wade struggled a little bit with his control, but he just hadn’t been out there. We threw him out there to see because he’s thrown some big games for us before, but we just struggled with control the first inning,” Patrick said. “Then the wheels really fell off the third and fourth inning. Errors and walks don’t usually lead to good things for you.”

PCA still has a few chances to end the season on a positive note. It has three games left, all at home, Thursday against Benton Academy, Monday vs. Park Place and next Tuesday against Cathedral.

Because of a forecast for stormy weather and the fact it likely won’t change either team’s playoff status, the rematch between PCA and Riverfield has been canceled unless it must be played to settle playoff tiebreakers. That game had been scheduled for Saturday afternoon.

Riverfield (17-0, 9-0) has clinched the District 3-AAA title.

Patrick said the message for the last week of the regular season remains the same as it’s been for the past few.

“Let’s just play. Have fun and play. I didn’t think we had fun today. The last thing I told them before we hit the field was play hard and have fun, and I don’t know that we did either one today,” Patrick said. “The playoffs are out of reach, but that shouldn’t affect how hard you play. You respect the game enough to come out and play hard, and that’s what we’re trying to teach them. Hopefully we’ll come out Thursday and it’ll be a new day.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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