First Presbyterian Christian Academy pitchers Michael Lovelady and Phillip Swindell combined for 12 strikeouts in a 10-2 victory over Faith Baptist Christian Tuesday in Ludowici.
Lovelady struck out nine batters in six innings while allowing one walk, four hits and two runs. Swindell came in for an inning of relief and struck out the side to end the game.
It was the second win this season for FPCA against the Crusaders. In the first outing, FPCA claimed a 14-4 win.
FPCA scored a run in the top of the first inning. In the second inning James Phillips hit an RBI double, Matt Lormis got a RBI and Swindell hit a grand slam to give the Highlanders a 6-0 lead. In the bottom of the inning, Lovelady struck out all three Crusader batters.
In the fifth inning, FPCA added a run off an infield error by the Crusaders. Highlander Keshan Patel hit the ball deep to center field to drive in two runs.
Trailing, 9-0, in the bottom of the fifth, the Crusaders got a run after loading the bases.
In the sixth inning, Richard Lovelady hit an RBI double. In the bottom of the frame, Crusader pitcher Riley Jarrett got a base hit and later scored.
Highlander coach Bruce Green is looking to carry the momentum of the win to Thursday’s home game against Region 2-AA opponent Edmund Burke, which Green said will test his squad.
“They are last year’s state champs,” he said. “We played a pretty good ballgame against them in the beginning of the season, but I think they’ve cleaned some things up.”
Green added that if his squad can play well defensively on its home field, it could be a good ballgame. He said he expects Edmund Burke to play its ace pitcher, and he plans to do the same.
“Richard Lovelady will be pitching for us, and he has earned our confidence,” Green said. “If he has the game we think he can have, then they will have to beat him.”
FPCA is 5-5-1 overall and 1-2-1 in Region 2-AA of the Georgia Independent School Association.
Faith Baptist coach Matthew Sellars said his entire squad is young, and the Crusaders are having a difficult season, but added that sometimes a team has to lose while rebuilding, so it can win in the future.
“We have 15-16 players, and we’ll have 12 of them for the next two years,” he said. “We are playing for next year.”
Sellars said Jarrett, who is a ninth grader, is showing potential.
“He’s been at our school 4-5 years, and he plays a lot of travel ball,” Sellars said. “He’s a good ballplayer and probably our most all-around player. He played catcher for us in a game yesterday; he can do it all. He is just real young.”