With the Georgia Independent School Association state playoffs looming, the First Presbyterian Christian Academy baseball team has turned on the afterburners in hopes of chasing a state AA title.
The Highlanders appear headed in the right direction after posting two important wins.
On Tuesday, FPCA claimed a 3-0 victory over second-ranked Edmund Burke
Academy in Waynesboro.
Highlander pitcher Richard Lovelady earned the win, allowing only two hits and getting nine strikeouts.
Phillip Swindell got the save, pitching one inning and getting one strikeout.
At the plate, Matt Lormis was 2 for 3 and DeShaun Collins got the big hit in the seventh with a bases-loaded double.
Collins finished the game by batting 1 for 3 with a walk and two RBIs. The win against Edmund Burke was crucial in keeping the Highlanders’ state-playoff hopes alive. The Highlanders have two Region 2-AA games left, against Trinity Christian and Brentwood.
“We have to beat Trinity on Monday,” Highlander coach Andy Yanzetich said, adding they still would need to get by Brentwood to stay alive.
He said if the Highlanders beat Brentwood, they would clinch a playoff spot. If they lose to Brentwood, they would have to play another game against Trinity to break the tie.
On Wednesday, the Highlanders thumped Pinewood Christian, 15-3, in a non-region contest that Yanzetich said showed what his team is capable of down the stretch.
FPCA took a 9-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning starting with a solo, opposite-field home run from leadoff batter Collins. The Highlanders extended their lead to 12-2 in the second and 14-2 by the close of the third inning.
Collins was 3 for 3 with four runs, three RBIs and a walk. Matt Lormis was 3 for 3 with two RBIs, Ricky Gilliard was 2 for 2 with two runs scored and a walk. Lovelady was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, and Swindell was 2 for 3 with an RBI.
Highlander pitcher Kyle Hill got the win in four innings of relief.
“We are starting to peak at the end of the season,” he said. “I like where this team is going right now.”