03/27/07 — Conquerors crush Berean Christian

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Conquerors crush Berean Christian

By Rob Craig
Published in Sports on March 27, 2007 2:51 PM

Oh what could have been.

Faith Christian pitcher Jay Henson had retired eight of the nine Berean Christian hitters he had faced on strikeouts and was staring at a possible perfect game when coach Walter Sloan pulled the hurler from the game.

The move wasn't made because of performance or injury, but because of a state rule limiting the number of innings Henson could throw. This past Friday, he had thrown 32/3 innings and had reached his limit.

In the end, the move mattered little as the Conquerors dominated the Bulldogs 18-2 in five-innings on Monday afternoon.

"I wanted to go longer," said Henson. "I was pretty mad when he took me out of the game. Still though, it's a good win for us."

It was a win that was decided early on as Faith Christian dominated the overmatched Bulldogs.

The Conquerors came up in the bottom of the first and immediately began hitting opposing pitcher Jimmy Burkholz.

With two runners on and one out, Henson strolled to the plate and lined a single that scored Rusty Winders and brought another run home when catcher Arles Scott airmailed a throw to third.

"We adjusted our lineup today," said Sloan. "We're figuring out the boys and where their strength is. Putting Jay Henson at clean-up was a good move for us because we had a couple of men on base early and he helped us out."

Phillip Hardy followed with an RBI single to make it 3-0 Faith Christian.

Burkholz, who would struggle with his control during his two innings of work, unleashed two of his 10 wild pitches to Sialas Delinger allowing him to walk and Hardy to score.

Delinger would go on to walk three times in four at-bats and score three runs.

The Conquerors would score three more times in the inning -- thanks in part to three more Berean Christian errors -- to go up 7-0.

The weak defense of Berean Christian would allow another big inning for Faith Christian in the bottom of the second. Hardy hit a pop-up behind the mound that fell in between three infielders.

The play would open the door for five more runs to cross the plate, coming on RBIs from Nick Gurley, Jeremy Sandlin, Taylor Stocks and Winders, to give the Conquerors a commanding 12-0 advantage.

With the early lead, Henson was cruising.

Using a curveball that absolutely baffled the Bulldog batters, Henson (2-0) would strike out all three hitters he faced in both the second and third innings.

"Jay pitched strong today," said Sloan. "He's got that nice little curve that just drops."

The pitch is one Henson takes a lot of pride in.

"I practice it a lot and try to throw it for strikes as best I can," he said.

Faith Christian would continue to hit the ball around against new pitcher Greg Adams in the third inning. Two-out RBI hits by Gurley, Sandlin, and Stocks led to four more runs and a 16-0 lead.

Berean Christian took away a minor victory when Van Dues led off the fourth inning with a single off of new pitcher T.J. Sasser to break up the perfect game.

Sasser finished by allowing one earned run while striking out six in his two innings of work.

For the game, nine different Conquerors tallied hits led by Stocks, Sasser and Hardy who each had two hits. Sandlin and Gurley both finished 1-for-3 with two RBIs.

With the win, Faith Christian improves to 3-0 and next prepares for a difficult road doubleheader on Friday against Falls Road. The perfect start has Henson and his teammates hoping for a big year.

"Coach has been working us hard and he's got us playing very well so we'll do really well and hopefully win it all this year," Henson said.

Berean 000 02 -- 2 3 7

Faith 754 2x -- 18 12 1

Leading Hitters -- Berean Christian -- Joey Johnson 1-2, R; Jimmy Burkholz 1-2, RBI, R. Faith Christian -- Taylor Stocks 2-4, 2 RBI, R; T.J. Sasser 2-4, R; Phillip Hardy 2-4, RBI, 3 R; Matt Lambert 1-1, 3 R; Nick Gurley 1-3, 2 RBI, R; Jeremy Sandlin 1-3, 2B, 2 RBI, 3 R; Tan Sanders 1-1, 2 RBI.

LOB -- Berean Christian 3, Faith Christian 6. SB -- Johnson, Burkholz, Lambert 2, Winders, Sanders.


Berean Christian

Burkholz (L) 2 7 12 8 3 1

Adams 1 3 4 4 2 0

Douglas 1 2 2 2 0 2

Faith Christian

Henson (W, 2-0) 3 0 0 0 0 8

Sasser 2 3 2 1 1 6

WP -- Burkholz 10, Adams 3, Douglas, Sasser. PB -- Brewer.