Morgan wins thanks to ‘Larry,’ patience

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 4, 2005

The Morgan Academy Senators have a reason for their brief two-game winning streak. Their coach, however, has another answer.

The Senators pounded the ball Thursday and routed the Meadowview Christian School Trojans, 11-4, at Morgan Academy.

The victory evened Morgan Academy’s record at 2-2, while Meadowview Christian dropped its season opener.

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During their home opener on Thursday, the Senators sported their new mascot, Larry the Lanyard. The keychain holder was found by right fielder Matthew Taccone last week when the Senators competed in the Clarke Prep tournament. Morgan Academy had lost its first two games before Taccone’s discovery.

“I found it on the floor of the dugout in Grove Hill,” Taccone said. “We went 0-2 without it and we’re 2-0 with it.”

On this day, Larry the Lanyard was attached to a strap around the neck of Reid Buster. The team’s new lucky charm seemingly worked its magic, as Buster drove in five runs with a single and two doubles to pace the Morgan Academy attack.

Buster helped ignite an eight-run fourth inning that put the Senators up for good. He drove a pitch into the left-center field gap that scored Reid Tolar and Eric Pilcher that broke a 3-3 tie and put Morgan Academy ahead, 5-3.

Buster also had an RBI double in the third that accounted for Morgan’s first run. He also drove in Pilcher and Brad Averitt in the fifth with a flair single to center field. Pilcher was hit by a pitch to open the inning. He was one of seven Morgan batters hit by Trojans’ pitching. Averitt followed with a double to right-center field that advanced Pilcher to third and set up Buster’s hit.

Despite the team’s new mascot, Morgan Academy coach Robert Andress credited time and patience for the victory.

“Ten of our 19 players went to the basketball Final Four,” Andress said. “We only got to practice three days, so we didn’t get that much work in.

“We had to take it easy on our pitching,” Andress added. “Jeremy Smith and Reid Tolar haven’t had a lot of work. We hit the ball today. That was good to see.”

Meadowview Christian took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Tyler Wendell walked, was sacrifice bunted to second base and scored on Chris Sewell’s single.

The lead went to 3-0 in the third when Wendell was hit by a pitch and Sewell crushed a home run over the scoreboard in right field.

Trailing 3-1, Morgan hit on all cylinders in the fourth. After Josh McAteer walked to open the frame, Zach Hughey singled and Tolar walked to load the bases.

One out later, Pilcher coaxed a walk to score McAteer. Averitt then reached on an infield error that scored Hughey and Tolar to tie the game. Ben Callaway followed with a walk to set up Buster’s big hit. McAteer then reached on a second MCS infield error to score Callaway and Buster to up the Morgan lead to 8-3. McAteer scored on a dropped fly ball, the Trojans’ third error of the inning, to make it 9-3.

Meadowview plated a run in the fifth when Wendell and Dustin Lee singled and advanced to second and third on a passed ball. Wendell eventually scored on a wild pitch.