03/23/10 — Wayne Christian handles Wayne Country Day

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Wayne Christian handles Wayne Country Day

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on March 23, 2010 1:46 PM

Aggressive and eager to snap a two-game skid, Wayne Christian benefited from uncharacteristic Wayne Country Day errors on a chilly Monday afternoon.

The Eagles parlayed eight errors into numerous unearned runs and rolled to a 13-3, non-conference victory. It was the Chargers' first loss in five outings this season.

"I think today they played with a little more intensity ... really looked like they wanted to win," said Wayne Christian coach Doug Johnson. "That's good because we've been playing tough competition, and we've sort of been down. Today, they got up at the right moments and played to their capabilities."

Freshman southpaw Gregory Johnson and senior right-hander Stephen Gallagher combined on a four-hitter, and held WCDS scoreless after the first inning. Johnson retired 10 of the final 12 batters he faced and collected three strikeouts.

Gallagher faced four batters in the mercy rule-shortened contest.

"I was a little bit leery about that," said coach Johnson of starting his son. "But my senior (Gallagher) said he didn't want to start any more because he didn't have it mentally. They got the little things done (on the mound), so that was big."

The state-ranked Chargers bolted to a 3-0 lead during their first at-bat. The Eagles (4-2 overall) kicked the ball around defensively in the infield and Gregory Johnson yielded a two-RBI single to Tucker Pearson.

WCDS put just four runners aboard during the next four innings.

Johnson effectively mixed his pitches and speeds, and constantly jammed batters on the inside part of the plate. The Chargers (4-1) got back-to-back hits from Cole Davis and Hil Tanner in the third inning, but Davis was gunned down at the plate.

Tanner was left stranded at third base.

"I think they just lost focus," said WCDS coach Michael Taylor, whose team committed eight errors on the day. "They got down and they were too anxious at the plate. We were swinging at his pitches and any time you do that, you're not going to have success."

Wayne Christian pulled within 3-2 after one inning, and broke the game open in the third and fourth innings. The Eagles pushed across eight runs (three earned) on eight hits, and capitalized on four Charger miscues including a third-strike passed ball.

Sophomore Chandler Harrell (two RBI), Gallagher (two RBI), lead-off man Travis Thomas and Chase Darden each delivered key hits during that stretch. Thomas and freshman second baseman Dylan Smith (three RBI) paced the Eagles' offense with two hits apiece.

Eight of nine starters recorded at least one hit against three WCDS hurlers -- losing pitcher Davis, and relievers Cody Neal and Tyson Pearson.

"I don't know if the guys felt like since we got three in the first, it's going to be easy and we got lackadaisical," said Taylor. "Errors are contagious. When you do that over and over again, you get into trouble and that's what happened tonight. We gave them extra outs and they gained confidence.

"It was just an ugly, ugly embarrassing game for us today. They were hungry for a win. We were not hungry for a win."