PCA’s comeback comes up just short in Game 1 loss to Newton Academy

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

A late rally by Porter’s Chapel Academy came up short, and now it’ll need an even bigger one to keep its season alive.

The Eagles chopped a six-run deficit to one in the top of the seventh inning, but left the bases loaded and lost 7-6 to Newton Academy in Game 1 of their first-round MAIS Class 3A baseball playoff series on Tuesday.

PCA (18-11) will now need to beat Newton (14-9) twice on Thursday to advance. The teams will play Game 2 at 5:30 p.m. at PCA, and Game 3 will be played immediately afterward if necessary.

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PCA took a 1-0 lead with an unearned run in the first inning of Game 1, but Newton took control by scoring six runs in the third and another in the fourth. Cooper Savell hit an RBI double for the Generals, and an error and a hit batter with the bases loaded brought in three runs.

PCA’s comeback started in the top of the sixth inning when John Wyatt Massey hit a solo home run to center field, and then it kicked into gear in the seventh.

Three consecutive walks started the Eagles’ last-ditch rally, before Chase Hearn hit an RBI single to cut it to 7-3. A run-scoring ground out and a two-run single by Gavin Pugh cut it to 7-6, then two more walks reloaded the bases with two outs.

Newton pitcher Steven Duke, who had started the game and threw six effective innings, returned to the mound to squash the rally. He struck out Conley Johnston at the end of a seven-pitch at-bat to save it for the Generals.

Duke finished with eight strikeouts. He pitched 5 2/3 innings before giving way to Marshall Wright, and then got the final out as well.

Massey and Taylor Labarre scored two runs each for PCA, and Pugh was 1-for-4 with two RBIs. The Eagles drew 10 walks in the game, including six in the seventh inning.

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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