‘Cats steamroll Saints; advance to AISA 3rd roundPublished 1:00pm Friday, April 25, 2014
The Edgewood Academy baseball team rolled into the AISA Class A semifinals after its doubleheader sweep of the Patrician Saints at Billy Skinner Field Thursday.
Pitching guided the Wildcats in its 9-1 and 14-0 wins. In Game 1, senior Chase Laney gave up one unearned run on three hits and struck out five in a complete game, picking up his eighth win on the year. Sophomore Christian Smith kept his perfect record in tact, allowing just two hits and fanning five in the five-inning 14-0 victory.
“We got good pitching yesterday,” EA head coach Bobby Carr said. “Christian Smith is 9-0 on the year and Laney is now 8-3. We got good pitching out of both them.”
Carr lauded the Wildcats’ defense, along with his pitchers, who pitched to contact.
“They try to keep it consistent in what they do. They pound the strike zone, throw a lot of strikes and that keeps the defense on its toes,” Carr said. “Both of them ground balls because they’re around the strike zone and the defense gets a lot of action. And that’s another thing, we’ve played solid defense this year, too.”
In the twinbill, Edgewood committed just one error. Offensively, the ‘Cats pounded out 21 hits with nine different batters getting a hit in each game.
Junior catcher Keith Johnson led the way in the first game, going 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs. Second baseman David Cayton went 2-for-4 with a RBI and two runs.
In the nightcap, senior third baseman Heath Young batted in two runs on two hits and scored a run, while senior shortstop and Jacksonville State University signee Taylor Hawthorne went 2-for-3 with an RBI and accounting for three runs.
“I thought the biggest things is that we did the little things well,” Carr said. “We executed all the little things, except for one squeeze play that we missed. But we swung the bats a lot better than we have been.”
One reason the offense turned a page, Carr said, was his team steps up in the brighter lights–the playoffs.
“As far as preparation, we do what we’ve been doing. They know where the bar’s at and they’ve answered everything in front them so far. Our players feel like the playoffs is our time of year, the bigger the stage, the better they play and it’s been like that the past five, six seasons.
“I could see a different look in their eye. They now what’s at stake. This team, this senior class, they don’t want to be the ones that lose and break the streak. I told the seniors this is their team, it’s not my team. And they’ve done a great job of leading them, I mean the kids show up hungry every day.”
The Wildcats (36-5) will host Abbeville Christian Academy in the AISA Class A semifinals Wednesday at 4 and 6 p.m.