Faith Christian-Wayne Christian baseball
By Andrew Stevens
Published in Sports on April 10, 2012 1:48 PM
Faith Christian provided the wake-up call.
Wayne Country Day delivered the knock out.
The Chargers overcame a sluggish start and erupted for 10 runs in the fifth inning of an 18-7, mercy-rule win over the Conquerors Monday afternoon. In their first-ever meeting on the baseball diamond, the county foes combined for 22 walks, seven errors and 25 runs on just nine hits.
Levi Wise drew a bases-loaded walk in the top of the third inning to put Faith Christian in front 4-3. Dillon Floars raced home on an error and Silas Denlinger was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home a run. The Conquerors' advantage grew to 7-3 as Michael Clarke drew a bases-loaded walk.
Cole Davis' fielder's choice and a Faith Christian error cut the margin to 7-4 in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hil Tanner followed with an RBI double. Mason Bland's sacrifice bunt and Thomas Kierski's RBI infield single tied the game at 7-7.
Wayne Country Day took the lead for good as Kierski scored on a double steal.
"I don't think at the beginning of the game we were too focused," Chargers' head coach Michael Taylor said. "As the game went on they sort of realized this is a ball game. We started doing something with their mistakes."
The Conquerors (9-2 overall) failed to record a hit after the first inning and struck out 10 times over the final four innings. Neal earned the win on the mound allowing two earned runs on no hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in three innings of relief.
"I don't know what it was about (Neal)," Faith Christian head coach Justin Smith said. "He seemed to have more speed and a good curveball. I wished we could have hit the ball like we did the first part of the game."
Wayne Country Day drew seven consecutive walks in the bottom of the fifth inning, five of which forced home runs. John Strickland and Neal both provided RBI singles before Davis' three-run double invoked the mercy rule.
"We got down and the guys never quit playing today," Taylor said. "They just battled back and they executed. I was proud of the way we were selective at the plate the last couple of innings."
Wayne Country Day (5-6) entertains Grace Christian of Sanford on Thursday in the Charger Diamond Classic. Faith Christian plays host to N.C. Christian Schools Association 2-A foe Hilltop Christian the same day.
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