Cougars survive late Edinburgh rally, advance


Greenwood Christian Academy spent six innings building a five-run lead Wednesday night then twice survived game-tying rallies by Edinburgh in a 10-6 win in first round of the Class A Morristown baseball sectional.

Greenwood Christian (14-6) will face Morristown in sectional semifinals action Saturday at approximately noon.

Trailing 5-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, junior Kyle Armel led off with a single to left field for the Lancers and eventually advanced to third on a passed ball. The center fielder ultimately scored Edinburgh’s first run of the game during a run down on an interference call.

Freshman Coltan Henderson hit an RBI single and later in the same inning, sophomore Zach Murphy drove in two runs on a line drive single down the first base line. With two outs, junior Noah Martin tied the game with an RBI single but was later caught stealing to end the inning.

Catcher Nolan Check opened Greenwood Christian’s seventh inning at-bat with a triple and eventually scored on a wild pitch.

However, the Lancers (9-12) tied the game once again when sophomore Parker Bryant scored on a sacrifice fly by junior Zach Smiley.

In the top of the eighth inning, the Cougars scored four runs on passed balls and ultimately held on for the victory.

Senior Krae Sparks pitched five scoreless innings for Greenwood Christian before being pulled after surrendering five runs in the sixth and a single to open the seventh inning.

“The fifth inning was my fault. Those runs were on me,” Cougars coach Doug Hagist said. “I should have pulled him.

“The team bailed me out tonight.”

Lancers coach Michael Bryant was proud of his team’s resilience in what ultimately proved to be a losing effort.

“We basically did the same thing we’ve been doing all season,” he said. “Once we got going, we hit the ball pretty well.

“The errors and undisciplined base running got us in trouble tonight and the passed balls did us in.

“I feel like this is a game that just got away from us.”

Greg Seiter is a sports correspondent for the Daily Journal.