Sunday, March 15, 2015

Varsity Baseball Defeats Faith Christian

           The Varsity Baseball team traveled to Rocky Mount to face Faith Christian School on Thursday, March 12, 2015. The Crusaders won the family easily by a score of 5-0. HCA was led by a phenomenal performance from pitcher Joseph Phaneuf, who threw a dominant 6.2 innings. Phaneuf struggled a bit in the second inning, but catcher Evan Hardison bailed his pitcher out by throwing out two FCS base runners attempting to steal second base. After a swift first two innings, HCA took a 1-0 lead after Luke Quinn hit a double then scored on a throwing era. In the fifth inning, Davis Jones pinched hit for Justin Smith. The junior drew a walk and stole second base. Jones then stole third base and scored on a wild throw, making the score 2-0. Later in the inning, Mike Smith drew a walk with two outs and advanced to second on a passed ball. Phaneuf then came up to bat and hit a double to deep right-center field, driving in Smith to make the score 3-0.

           After scoring twice in the fifth, the Crusaders failed to put any numbers up on the board in the sixth inning. Heading into the top of the seventh and final inning, HCA led 3-0. The FCS offense had been stifled by Phaneuf the entire game, but Coach Winifred Johnson encouraged his boys to add some insurance runs before sending his senior pitcher back out to attempt to capture the complete game shutout. So the Crusader’s started the top of the seventh off with a base hit from Spencer Cooke, who then stole second. Quinn then came to bat and hit an RBI double, making the score 4-0. With Quinn on second, Mike Smith stepped to the plate and hit a double to deep center field, driving in Quinn. HCA headed into the bottom of the seventh inning with a 5-0 lead over FCS.

            Phaneuf took the mound looking to finish the complete game, but unfortunately got into a bases loaded jam with two outs. Coach Johnson decided to pull Phaneuf from the game due to fatigue and a high pitch count. Sophomore Chance Bryant came in to close the game for the Crusaders. Bryant struck out the final FCS batter on five pitches, impressing everyone in attendance with how well he kept his composure in such a big pressure situation. The Varsity Baseball team is now 2-0 heading into the second week of the season. HCA returns to action on Monday, March 16 at The Epiphany School. The Crusaders then play again the very next day at Freedom Christian in a rematch of the season opener. Both of these games are set to begin at 4:00. HCA will finish the week off with a home game vs. Clinton High School at 5:30 on Thursday (March 19th).

 STATISTICS (HCA @ Faith Christian) –
S. Cooke: 2-4, 1 run, 3 SB
 L. Quinn: 2-4, 2 runs, 1 RBI
M. Smith: 2-3, 1 run, 1 RBI, 1 BB
J. Phaneuf: 1-2, 1 RBI, 1 BB
N. Casteen: 0-4
B. Prestage: 1-4, 1 SB
E. Hardison: 0-4
J. Register: 1-4
J. Smith: 0-1, 1 BB
D. Jones: 0-1, 1 run, 1 SB, 1 BB
Chance Bryant: 1 SB
HCA BATTING TOTALS: 30 AB, 5 runs, 9 hits, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 11 SO
Win – J. Phaneuf (1-0) 6.2 IP, 3 hits, 4 BB, 8 SO (105 pitches)
C. Bryant (0-0) 0.1 IP, 0 hits, 0 BB, 1 SO (5 pitches)

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