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South Central dives past Christian Academy, 8-6

South Central dives past Christian Academy, 8-6
South Central dives past Christian Academy, 8-6
Adam McKain (3) of Christian Academy slides into second base as South's Paul Brown, who had slipped on his way to the bag, reaches for the throw from the plate (partially hidden behind McKain's wrist). (Photo by Alan Stewart)

Last Thursday’s baseball game between South Central and host Christian Academy of Indiana had it all, and most of it wasn’t good.
There was a balk, a couple of base-running snafus, errors galore and a laser beam, come-backer that literally knocked one pitcher out of the game.
On the bright side, however, No. 11-ranked (Class 1A) South Central emerged with a gritty 8-6 victory to push its record to 9-2.
Rebels twirler Deavon Wiseman was the unfortunate soul who was on the wrong end of a sixth-inning smoker by Adam McKnight. Wiseman, who nearly snared the ball, received a cut on the chin that required a few stitches to close. Paul Brown came in for relief and picked up the save.
The pitchers helped themselves, too: Wiseman ‘ who had five doubles, five homers, over 20 RBI and was batting over .600 coming into the affair ‘ was 1-3 at the plate with a RBI and a run scored. Brown socked a three-run shot in the first inning and scored twice in the win.
‘Deavon has done real well this year and (Christian Academy) hit him about as well as anybody. I was really surprised by that,’ South Central coach Dr. Richard Brown said. ‘Deavon still pitched a good game until he got knocked out.’
Every batter in the Rebels’ lineup reached base at least once, and the first nine players for South all reached base as well.
Chad McRae scored twice, Josh McRae went 3-4 with a double and two runs scored, Brown was 2-3 with a walk, a home run and three RBI, Justin Lillpop was 2-3 with two RBI, Nick Gehlbach marked an RBI and Brad Mercer went 2-4.
South (9-2, 2-0 Southern Athletic Conference) pounded CAI’s starting hurler, tallying five hits and five runs in the first inning.
Chad McRae led off by reaching on an error, Josh McRae singled to the left side and then Brown launched a bomb over the left field fence for a 3-0 lead.
Wiseman singled and stole second, then scored on a base knock by Lillpop. Brent Wilkerson grounded into a fielder’s choice, stole second and moved to third on an error. He eventually scored on a bloop single by Gehlbach.
By the time the carnage ended in their half of the first, the Rebels led, 5-0.
‘They hit the ball, but we didn’t field the ball. If we field a couple of those grounders, it’s only a two- or three-run first inning instead of five,’ Christian Academy coach Brian James said. ‘Our bats have been dead lately. In the first part of the year we’d score a bunch of runs and giving up 13 or 14 and now it’s kind of flip-flopped. We’ve gotten three our four hits the last three our four games. It seemed like until they brought Brown in we didn’t have many strikeouts and we were aggressive at the plate.’
Christian Academy (4-8) bounced back in the bottom of the inning to pull within one.
Caleb Stewart, a Harrison County native, reached on an error and moved to third when Wes Fleming singled. Adam McKim blasted a three-bagger to left-center for two RBI.
Patrick Fleming reached on another Rebels error to score McKim, then stole second and advanced to third on a wild pitch. He came in when China Stainey reached on an error.
South scored again in the top of the second as Brown walked and scored on two errors by the Warriors’ catcher.
In the fourth and sixth innings, each team scored once apiece.
Brown struck out the last four batters he faced to secure the save.
Coach Brown said his team typically puts together one strong inning and peppers the scoreboard with runs the rest of the way.
‘We run in spurts. We’ll put together a big inning in a game and then the rest of the game is here and there,’ South’s skipper said.
James said neither team showed its best stuff on the defensive side of the ball.
‘Neither one of us could catch a cold out there. Our defense has been a little more sound than that. Today we were on our heels, we were flat and there wasn’t a lot of enthusiasm.’
South Central plays one of only three home games remaining on the schedule this Saturday as it entertains Orleans for an 11 a.m. start.