Lucky to escape its first jam, Faith Christian faced its second bases-loaded, no-out situation in just the third inning Thursday afternoon.
After allowing just one run in the second inning, Rocky Mount Academy made Faith Christian pay for twice playing with fire.
The Eagles scored five runs, fueled by a three-run triple from shortstop Trey Medlin in the third inning, and although Rocky Mount Academy struggled to close out a 9-7 victory, the Eagles still were able to hand their archrival its first loss of the season.
“We can’t leave opportunities like that against a great team like (Faith Christian),” said center fielder Linwood Jones, who scored three runs and had two doubles. “We have to take advantage and score runs.”
Rocky Mount Academy (5-1) was mowed down by Faith Christian pitcher Hunter Watson in the first inning.
Watson needed just seven pitches to dispatch the Eagles’ top three batters, but in the next two innings, he lost control.
Watson walked two batters in the second inning, before Chandler Klontz scored on an infield grounder by Reid Johnston.
He walked two more in the third, including the first batter of the inning – Andrew Weatherly – and Klontz. Jones drove in Weatherly before Medlin’s base-clearing triple to right-center field.
“It felt good to score and come back after leaving it empty last inning and drive all those runs in,” said Medlin, who worked a two-strike count full before driving the ball into the gap.
Jones, who made seven putouts in center field including multiple leaping catches, scored again in the fifth and sixth innings.
“Anytime you score nine runs, you’ve got to win,” Rocky Mount Academy coach Pat Smith said. “I can’t say anything about our offense that was bad (Thursday).”
Smith had plenty of complaints about his team’s defense, which committed four errors, including two in the seventh inning to extend the game for Faith Christian (7-1).
“We’re not good defensively right now,” Smith said. “It’s a good thing we could score runs (Thursday). We’re just not happy with our defense.”
Faith Christian came back from an unusually poor performance on the mound to score four runs in the seventh inning.
Chase Roupp, Cody Manning, Tim Bowling and Luke Roberson all scored before Landen Roupp struck out to end the game.
“I had no doubt they’d keep fighting,” Faith Christian coach Greg Clifton said. “I’ve got a good group. ... I feel real good about them. I love this team.”
Rocky Mount Academy 9
Faith Christian 7
FCS 101 001 4 – 7 9 0
RMA 015 012 x – 9 8 4
WP: Brandon Griffin (7IP, 7R, 3ER, 9H, 0BB, 5K); LP: Hunter Watson (3IP, 6R, 6ER, 4H, 4BB, 1K).
2B: Cody Manning (FCS), Linwood Jones 2 (RMA); 3B: Hunter Watson (FCS), Trey Medlin (RMA).
Justin Hite can be reached at 407-9951 or firstname.lastname@example.org