The Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles controlled portions of their game against Jackson Academy at Bloch Park on Tuesday, but could not hold on down the stretch. Above, Ellwood’s Jaylen Furlow delivers a pitch to a Jackson Academy batter. -- Robert Hudson

Eagles collapse against Jackson

Published 12:22am Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Ellwood Christian Academy Eagles captured the lead twice early, but couldn’t hold on down the stretch, as they fell 28-11 to the Jackson Academy Eagles Tuesday at Bloch Park.

Johnathan Harris, head baseball coach of Ellwood (0-2), said his team has shown improvement in each of its first two contests, but has to learn how to finish games.

“We are getting better, so that is an improvement,” Harris said. “As long as we’re getting better at something, you can’t complain. We’re going to put a full game together in a bit and we’ll work it out. We’ll get ourselves a victory or two, or three.”

Ellwood trailed 1-0 after the top of the first inning, but Jackson Academy walked four batters with bases loaded in the bottom of the first, including hitting two Ellwood players with pitches, putting Ellwood up 4-1 after one inning.

Jackson exploded for four runs in the top of the second to take a 5-4 lead, shut out Ellwood in the bottom of the second, and added two more runs in the top of the third to go ahead 7-4.

But Ellwood came alive in the bottom of the third, as Jacoby Relph hit a triple that scored Denzel Smiley from first base and made the score 7-5.

Then Ellwood’s Chris Smith hit an infield single that brought Relph home from third and made the score 7-6.

Ellwood continued its momentum when, still in the bottom of the third, Jackson Academy walked Ellwood’s D.J. Edwards with the bases loaded and tied the game at 7-7.

Ellwood scored off two more fielding mistakes by Jackson that put them ahead 9-7 going into the fourth inning, but Jackson found its offense again, as nine runs in the top of the fourth put them ahead for good at 14-9.

Ellwood added another run when Devonte Cleveland brought home Jaylen Furlow with a double.

But Jackson capitalized off Ellwood’s pitching and fielding errors to get 10 more runs in the top of the seventh inning.

Ellwood will take to the diamond again Thursday when it will travel to Columbiana to play Cornerstone Christian School at 3:30 p.m.

 

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