With clear skies and a home field that didn’t look as if any rain had fallen on it this week, Faith Christian’s baseball team was handed an opportunity Thursday evening.
A victory against Kinston Parrott would have the Patriots in first place in the EPIC standings.
Adding another layer of hope was the news earlier in the day that Faith Christian and rival Rocky Mount Academy had agreed to reschedule their postponed contest for 5 p.m. Saturday, leaving a possible winner-takes-all scenario for the rivalry contest.
It was all laid out for the Patriots, but instead of their best effort, the home squad bobbled and threw away its opportunity.
Faith Christian committed a handful of errors that ultimately made the difference in a 10-5 defeat to Kinston Parrott.
It was the Patriots’ second loss to Kinston Parrott, and they fell back into a tie for second place in the league.
The latest scenario is this: If Rocky Mount Academy wins at Raleigh Grace Christian today and defeats Faith Christian, the Eagles will win the EPIC.
An Eagles loss would result in a three-way tie.
“It’s not what we wanted, but hey, it’s all we have to play for now,” Faith Christian coach Greg Clifton said. “We didn’t get it done, so we’ll have to get back to work.”
Though not as heartbreaking as their first defeat to Kinston Parrott in which the Patriots squandered a two-run advantage with multiple errors in the sixth inning, Thursday’s contest had a similar theme.
The Patriots dropped a fly ball and threw away an out in the first inning. In an attempt to make an out at second base, a Kinston runner was hit =in the back with the ball.
Two runs scored in the first and four more scored in the third thanks to a pair of errant throws to first base.
There were more adventures on fly balls in the outfield throughout the game.
“You can’t give good teams four, five and six outs in an inning,” Clifton said. “They got timely hits and took advantage of our miscues in the field.”
Patriots starter Luke Roberson lasted only three innings. Only two of the seven runs he allowed were earned.
Kinston Parrott leadoff batter Zacchaeus Rasberry did the remainder of the damage, leading his team with three hits – all doubles.
Luke Mills and Patrick Perry had RBI singles for Faith Christian, which must now settle for a chance at sharing a title run it controlled.
Kinston Parrott swept FCS this season.
One-loss RMA’s only league defeat came to FCS on April 3.
“We’re going to give it all we have to try and be co-champs,” Mills said. “We still have a chance to win it, so we have to go out and do our best like we’re playing for the championship.”
Kinston Parrott 10
Faith Christian 5
KPA 214 020 1 – 10 12 2
FCS 120 011 0 – 5 7 5
WP: Pierce Beaman (5IP, 5R, 5ER, 6H, 3BB, 1K); LP: Luke Roberson (3IP, 7R, 2ER, 5H, 4BB, 1K). 2B: Zacchaeus Rasberry 3 (KPA); Christian Perry (FCS).
Jessie H. Nunery can be reached at 407-9959 or firstname.lastname@example.org