Faith Christian conquers Liberty Academy
Published in Sports on April 7, 2006 1:59 PM
T.J. Sasser tossed a two-hitter and went 3-for-4 at the plate Thursday afternoon to lead Faith Christian Academy to an 11-1 non-conference victory over Liberty Academy of Durham.
The Conquerors began the season with six straight conference games before facing off against the Patriots.
The win improved Faith's record to 5-2 overall and 4-2 in the North Carolina Christian Athletic 2-A league.
Faith was cruising along with a somewhat precarious 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the fifth behind Sasser's pitching, great defense and some nifty baserunning. But any hope Liberty had of coming back was squashed when the Conquerors ended the game by ringing up eight runs on eight hits in the home half of the fifth as the 10-run mercy rule took effect.
Sasser had two hits in the big inning and shortstop Josh Brannan unloaded a double to the right center field wall, knocking in the first run of the inning.
Faith head coach Jerry Brannan was pleased -- but not surprised -- by the eight run fifth.
"We seem to have a break out inning in just about every game we play -- I was happy with the team effort today," the coach said.
Eight of nine Conqueror batters notched hits and all nine scored runs in the balanced attack.
Faith scored two runs in the opening inning on a hit by Sasser, a walk, a hit batter, and two stolen bases. The Conquerors stole five bases in the first four innings and had six for the game.
"We don't usually steal like that but we saw something today and took advantage of it," coach Brannan said.
Liberty scored its only run in the third and could have pushed more runs across except for some heads-up play by Faith. Nathan Kokobun led off the inning for the Patriots with a walk. Kokobun tried to steal second but was out when catcher Rusty Winders threw a perfect strike to second base.
After a Patriot hit and walk, Faith turned a double play to end the Liberty threat. The Conquerors added a run of their own in the third without the benefit of a base hit.
After two outs, Winders reached base on an error. He moved to second on a throwing error by the pitcher, stole third base and was caught in a rundown between third and home plate. Winders eluded the tag and crossed home plate to give Faith a 3-1 lead.
Liberty pitcher Isaac Cayton held the Conquerors to only one earned run until the bottom fell out in the last inning when Faith sent 11 batters to the plate. After Cayton gave up six hits and a walk, Liberty brought in Andrew Bronowsky to pitch and try to end the Conquerors rally. He faced only two batters, giving up two hits with Taylor Stockton's single to right ending the game.
Faith will host Victory Academy from Elizabeth City in a doubleheader starting at 3:30 p.m. this afternoon. The loss dropped Liberty's record to 3-2.
Liberty 001 00 -- 1 2 2
Faith 201 08 -- 11 10 1
Leading hitters -- Liberty -- Daniel Kokobun 1-3 run; Daniel Coghill 1-2. Faith -- T.J. Sasser 3-4, 3 runs, 2RBI; Taylor Stocks 1-4, run, RBI; Josh Brannan 1-3, 2B, run, RBI; Rusty Winders 1-3, 2 runs, RBI; John Spencer 1-2, run, RBI; Allen Darby 1-3; Jeremy Sandlin 1-3. run, RBI; Jay Hinson 1-3, run, RBI; Matthew Lambert 0-2, run.
IP H R ER BB SO
I. Cayton (L) 42/3 8 10 8 3 2
A. Branowsky 0 2 1 1 0 0
T. Sasser (W) 5 2 1 1 2 2
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