Central posts win with small-ball effort

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 21, 2005

Baseball is a game of scenarios. One of the most basic scenarios to ever unfold on the diamond is that of the basics: hit, run, score.

Tuesday afternoon, the Central Christian Academy Warriors put those principals into action by using a suicide squeeze play to push the winning run across the plate.

With one out in the bottom of the seventh inning, Brandon Tucker stepped into the batter’s box and took the first pitch. From then, the play was on.

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Tucker settled back into the box as Kenan Mathis began a sprint from third base. Tucker dropped his bat and bunted the ball down the right side of the infield, taking the focus away from the dish and allowing Mathis to score the winning run.

“We’ve been real sporadic like that, we’ve outscored our opponents 26-5 in the last two games and we’ve been hitting the ball extremely well,” said Steve Mackin, coach of the Warriors.

The Warriors opponent’s Tri-County Academy had not won a game all season, and at the end of the first inning, it appeared that the trend would continue.

Eric Curtis and Bud Shoultz made their way around the base paths and then scored giving them an early 2-0 lead. Three batters later, Bryan Sanders doubled to left center field, scoring Kenana Mathis. Sanders tacked on the fourth run in the first inning when he stole home with the pitcher holding the ball.

Central tacked on an additional run in the bottom of the second when Curtis led off with a walk and scored when Shoultz Tri-County tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the sixth, cutting the lead to three. The Jaguars tacked on three more runs in the top of the seventh to tie and then were able to push a fourth run across to give them their first lead of the game.

In the bottom of the inning though, The Warriors refused to lose. Harrison tripled to right centerfield and then scored on a sacrifice to the outfield by Ben Fleming. Mathis reached base courtesy of an error and then advanced to second and then to third following a walk drawn by Bryan Sanders.

“I was pretty frustrated,” said Mackin. “We were having trouble making a routine play. I

felt confident that we were going to produce runs and it took a squeeze to do it.”