04/28/09 — Wayne Christian beats Wayne Country Day

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Wayne Christian beats Wayne Country Day

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 28, 2009 1:46 PM

The hits just kept on coming.

Michael Johnson clubbed a three-run, seventh-inning homer and state-ranked Wayne Christian cruised past archrival Wayne Country Day 24-6 on a balmy Monday afternoon.

Johnson emerged one of eight Eagle starters to record two or more hits in the late-season, non-conference affair between the two perennial playoff teams. Designated hitter Chandler Harrell supplied a season- and career-best six RBI for Wayne Christian, which extended its win streak to 10 games.

"I feel that we are seeing the ball well at the plate and probably hitting the best as a team over the last three games," said first-year Wayne Christian coach Greg Johnson. "All the guys are contributing and have really come together as a real good baseball team."

Wayne Christian (13-2 overall) collected 19 hits against four Charger hurlers and successfully swiped a program-record 23 stolen bases in 24 attempts. Every starter but one recorded at least one stolen base.

Johnson's team capitalized on WCDS injuries and young pitchers who had deliberate moves toward the plate. The Chargers played without freshman catcher Hil Tanner, who is out with a season-ending knee injury.

"I had an eighth-grader behind the plate and had eighth and ninth graders on the mound, so they are still learning the game ... learning how to hold runners on (base)," said WCDS head coach Michael Taylor.

Eighth- and ninth-graders also comprised the infield and the young group played steady the first two innings. But five third-inning miscues allowed Wayne Christian to erase a four-run deficit and claim its sixth non-conference victory of the season.

The Chargers (5-9 overall) surrendered 15 unearned runs on 12 errors.

"With this young and inexperienced team, we cannot get down when things like that happen," said Taylor. "We have to learn from our mistakes and we have to want the next ball hit to us. If you look at the bright side, we were still in the game in the seventh down just five runs.

"We just ran out of gas."

Wayne Christian plated 10 seventh-inning runs.

Harrell, Dante Arthur and Chase Darden cranked out three hits apiece for the Eagles. Johnson finished 2-for-7 with three RBI. Kyle Harrell, Dominic Arthur, Luke Howell and Jordan Crouthamel each supplied two hits.

Cody Neal paced the Chargers' offense with two hits.

Wayne Country Day returns to action today at Rocky Mount Prep. Wayne Christian begins defense of its Carolina Christian 1-A Conference tournament championship later this week.