First Presbyterian Christian Academy didn’t win Thursday, but they did play defense well enough to hold last year’s Class AA champions to only three runs. The FPCA boys lost, 3-0, in a home game against Edmund Burke.
The Georgia Independent School Association Class AA Spartan squad took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, but the Highlanders played solid defense, holding Edmund Burke to no runs until the top of the fifth inning.
Before hosting the Spartans, Highlander baseball coach Bruce Green said his squad was struggling defensively on their home field at Joseph Miller Park.
“We made one error at short stop, a couple of throwing errors from the catcher’s position, but we did make some great plays,” Green said of the defense. “And those were plays that we have not been making, so we are getting closer defensively.”
In the third inning, FPCA tossed out two players at first and tagged out a player attempting to steal second.
In the fourth inning, Highlander pitcher Richard Lovelady had two back-to-back strikeouts, and the outfield took care of the third out to keep Edmund Burke from scoring.
In the fifth inning, FPCA third baseman Jake Lee snagged a low line drive and made a toss-out at first. James Phillip made a leaping catch in centerfield for the second out, but the Spartans managed to add a run before Lovelady made the final out at first on the next play.
Lovelady pitched five innings and Phillip Swindell came in to finish the final two. Swindell picked off a runner on second in the top of the seventh inning, avoiding a possible run and getting the third out.
Although they played well defensively, the Highlanders’ offense kept them from challenging Edmund Burke.
“We are still not hitting the ball quite like we want to, but that is an outstanding pitcher,” Green said of the Spartan hurler. “We had some poor at-bats, but we had some good at-bats that just didn’t go our way. But we’ll get there.”
The boys were scheduled to host Curtis Baptist on Saturday, and they have games slated for Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
“I feel pretty good about all of those games,” Green said. “We just have to be real careful with our pitchers. Like today, Richard was pitching well, but he hit his pitch count so he has four days rest for the next one. We have to be very careful and as long as we can keep our pitch count down and work our pitcher like we hope to, we will be fine in those four games.”